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White sage

Spring Valley CA

General Information

Common Name(s): Ramona (Audibertia) polystachya, Kumeyaay: Pestaay, bee plant
Family Name: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species: apiana
Indigenous Name: Quaashil
Spring Valley CA CSUSM Student Spring Valley CA

Supporting Documents


Botanical Description(s)

1) shruby with velvety, white lanceolate leaves and white flowers tinged with purple; the leaves and stems of many species are fuzzy which gives the plant a blue gray apearance
Bibliographic Source: Munz, Philip - Introduction to California Spring Wildflowers
Publication: University of California press, 2004
2) A shrub to 1 - 3 m tall, has a woody base and grayish-white, herbaceous, four-sided upper branches. The evergreen, opposite leaves, 5 - 10 cm long, are slightly toothed, wrinkled above, with minute appressed hairs on both surfaces giving the leaves a white or pale green appearance. The small lavender to white flower is two lipped. The flowers bloom March - July on prominent stalks to 2 m in height that rise well above the sessile base. This mint grows in sandy washes and on rocky hillsides.
Bibliographic Source: Jepson, Willis - A Manual of the Flowering Plants of California
Publication: University of California Press, 1966

Plant Uses

Medicinal Uses

>Medicinal Purpose: > Psoriasis & Skin Cancer
>Part Used: > Leaves
>Preparation: >Unsure
>Administration: >Unsure
>Explanation: >Main component of salvia apiana is eucalypotol with research suggests treats different skin diseases including psoriasis and skin cancer. Exact form of treatment has not been determined.
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Bibliographic Source: >Chi-Hsien, Liu - Development and Characterization of Eucalyptol Microemulsions for Topic Deliver of Curcumin
Publication: Chem. Pharm. Bull, 2011

>Medicinal Purpose: > Scrapes and abrasions
>Part Used: > Leaves
>Preparation: >"The tea is most effective if you fill a jar full of the leaves, add a tablespoon of alcohol on top of them, close the lid, and store the pickled leaves for tea use" (Moore 1993, p.268)
>Administration: >Use tea as a wash
>Explanation: >"The tea, tincture, or powder is an excellent wash or dust for dirty scrapes and abrasions, and you can simply soak the area in the tea if it is a particularly nasty injury" (Moore 1993, p.268-269).
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Bibliographic Source: >Moore, Michael - Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West
Publication: Red Crane Books, Inc., 1993

>Medicinal Purpose: > Chest colds
>Part Used: > Leaves
>Preparation: >"The tea is most effective if you fill a jar full of the leaves, add a tablespoon of alcohol on top of them, close the lid, and store the pickled leaves for tea use" (Moore 1993, p.268)
>Administration: >Tea
>Explanation: >Good for chest colds. You can also steam the leaves for inhalation.
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Bibliographic Source: >Moore, Michael - Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West
Publication: Red Crane Books, Inc., 1993

>Medicinal Purpose: > bronchitis, sore throat, upper respiratory inflammation
>Part Used: > seeds and leaves
>Preparation: >boil 1 teaspoon in water for tea
>Administration: >no more than 3 cups of tea per week or you will have reverse effects
>Explanation: >the seeds can be used to make a tea or can be eaten raw
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Ethnographic Details and Source: >Leriget, Robert - 26-FEB-07

>Medicinal Purpose: > used for sweating related to digestive discomfort
>Part Used: > seeds and leaves
>Preparation: >1 teaspoon boiled in water to make a tea
>Administration: >no more than 3 cups of tea per week or you will have reverse effects
>Explanation: >white sage is used in tea or can be eaten raw
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Ethnographic Details and Source: >Ruben, Greg - 05-FEB-07

>Medicinal Purpose: > Skin Irritation
>Part Used: > leaves
>Preparation: >1/4 cup ground and mixed with two cups of cornstarch
>Administration: >sprinkled on babies skin
>Explanation: >It can be stored in a small jar and used later. It can be used as a powder sprinkled lightly onto a babies skin and gently rubbed.
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Bibliographic Source: >Kavasch, Barrie - American Indian Healing Arts
Publication: Bantam Books, 1999
Utilitarian Uses

>Medicinal Purpose: > Baskets
>Part Used: > Reeds
>Preparation: >Split and dried
>Administration: >Lace on basketry for baby cradles
>Explanation: >Rhizomes are split for baskets 6" to 4" out from the plant. There are two crops per year and the split reeds are used as lace on basketry for baby cradles.
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Ethnographic Details and Source: >Pink, Willie - 05-MAR-07
Food Uses

>Medicinal Purpose: > n/a
>Part Used: > Seeds, Stem tops
>Preparation: >Seeds - dried; stem tops, peeled
>Administration: >Food
>Explanation: >Seeds are eaten after drying and the tops of stems when tender are peeled and eaten raw.
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Bibliographic Source: >Sparkman, Phillip - Culture of the Luise?o Indians
Publication: University of California Press, 1908
Cultural Uses

>Medicinal Purpose: > blessing ceremony
>Part Used: > dried stems, leaves, flowers
>Preparation: >dried before use
>Administration: >pass over body
>Explanation: >smudging white sage practiced in blessing ceremonies
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Ethnographic Details and Source: >Ruben, Greg - 05-FEB-07

>Medicinal Purpose: > Ceremonial
>Part Used: > Leaves
>Preparation: >Dried
>Administration: >Burned
>Explanation: >For Ceremonial cleansing
>Related Plant Lore: >Al Cerrda said that ?White Sage is used in all blessing ceremonies for smudging?
>Ethnographic Details and Source: >Cerda, Al - 05-FEB-06

>Medicinal Purpose: >
>Part Used: >
>Preparation: >
>Administration: >
>Explanation: >
>Related Plant Lore: >The dried leaves and stems of the same variety are smudged (burned) in Native American ceremonies.
>Bibliographic Source: >Tilford, Gregory - Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West
Publication: Mountain Press, 1997

>Medicinal Purpose: >
>Part Used: >
>Preparation: >
>Administration: >
>Explanation: >
>Related Plant Lore: >Used bundled in blessing ceremonies.
>Ethnographic Details and Source: >Ruben, Greg - 05-FEB-07

>Medicinal Purpose: > An offering ceremony
>Part Used: > Stem with leaves
>Preparation: >Dried and then burned
>Administration: >Smoke
>Explanation: >It would be used like incents
>Related Plant Lore: >White sage is a positive plant that is used for purification. It is also used in offering ceremonies. In our class, before an offering ceremony Don Erasto would burn some white sage and spread it around to each individual to purify and give them positive energy. The offering ceremony consisted of people bringing plants to plant as well as other foods to be used as offerings to Madre Tierra. Don Erasto would then give a speech talking about all the offerings. After his speech, we would all plant our plants.
>Ethnographic Details and Source: >Erasto, Don - 01-FEB-10

>Medicinal Purpose: > Ceremonial- Hunting
>Part Used: > leaves
>Preparation: >dried and burned
>Administration: >pass through, be engulfed in, and inhale the smoke
>Explanation: >Before a hunt a fire was sometimes built of White Sage and Artemisia Californica. The hunters stood around this and in the smoke, the belief being that this absolved them from any breach of social observances they might have committed, which would otherwise bring them ill luck ( Sparkman 199).
>Related Plant Lore: >The tops of the stems when tender are peeled and eaten uncooked. The seeds are eaten (Sparkman 229). Luiseno word (229).
>Bibliographic Source: >Sparkman, Philip - The Culture of the Luiseno Indians
Publication: University of California Publications, 1908

>Medicinal Purpose: > Puberty Ceremony for Boys
>Part Used: > White Sage Flour
>Preparation: >Mixed with salt
>Administration: >Chewed and then spit out into a pit
>Explanation: >Used to see if the boy heeded/did not heed the councils words
>Related Plant Lore: >"At the conclusion of the lecture each boy was given a small ball of white sage flour mixed with salt. After chewing the mixture, the boy would try to spit it out into the small pit in the center of the circular ground painting. The shaman or elder in charge of the ceremony would examine this, and if the ball of flour was dry he would state that the youth had heeded the council given in the lecture. If the ball was moist the the leader would state that the boy had not heeded the councils given, and the spectators would shout their disapproval."
>Bibliographic Source: >Smith, Gerald - Fading Images
Publication: Riverside Museum Press, 1994