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Green Medicine > Medicinal Plants > White Sage

White Sage

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(Salvia apiana)

White sage is primarily used as an incense, and is burned to give a general sense of well-being as well as to drive away specific ailments. Several species are called "sage" and burned in this fashion, most of them in the mugwort genus. Salvia apiana, however, is a true sage, closely related to the sage used in cooking.

White sage is not an especially rare plant within its range (which is mostly within the state of California), but it is endemic to one particular area and is not found elsewhere. Because white sage favors open spaces of the same sort that buildings often grow in, and because much of its range is located near populous areas, there is some pressure from development. Additionally, white sage is extensively harvested from the wild, and there is some concern that the rate at which the plant grows might not be sufficient to keep up with the popular demand.

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Last Updated: 4/4/02