Red Sage (or Chinese Sage, Tan Shen, Dan Shen)
Tea, gargle, inhalant,
Anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, carminative, digestive, blood thinning, dilate blood vessels
Angina, myocarditis, heart attack, menopausal hot flushes, improving brain function, high cholesterol, mental stamina, concentration, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, indigestion.
Avoid if pregnant or with fever and for extended periods (see below for details)
Red sage, Chinese sage, tan shen, or danshen, (not to be confused with common sage) is a perennial plant in the genus Salvia, highly valued for its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Native to China and Japan, it grows at 90 to 1,200 m elevation, preferring grassy places in forests, hillsides, and along stream banks. It’s Latin name salvia, meaning “health”, “salvation” or “to save”, alludes to the plant’s powerful healing properties. Red sage is a powerful herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to help treat a wide range of medical concerns. It is a typical aromatic Mediterranean herb whose self-protective chemicals travel to us on the breeze.
Most traditional uses for red sage are for heart-related problems, such as, angina, myocarditis, and heart attack. It seems to have a blood thinning property while at the same time dilating the blood vessels. Other uses of red sage leaf tea include menopausal hot flushes, improving memory, high cholesterol, mental stamina and concentration, Alzheimer’s disease. It is anti-inflammatory for the throat, especially as a gargle. Asthma as an inhalant mixed and heated with vinegar. It also can be taken as a carminative and digestive.
Do not use sage leaf if pregnant. Do not drink for more than three weeks without one weeks’ break. Do not attempt to suppress a fever with sage leaf tea.