Salvia africana

Blue Sage - Salvia africana

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.”

Plant Uses & Benefits: aromatic, bees, butterflies, cosmetics, culinary herb, flavouring, fragrance, incense, insect repellent, medicine, pot plant, potpourri, small garden, tea, water-wise, wind tolerant

Names

Common names: blue sage, wild sage, African sage, purple sage (English); blousalie, bloublomsalie, Afrikaansesalie, perdesalie, wildesalie (Afrikaans). 
Botanical name: Salvia africana
Previously known as: Salvia africana-caerulea
Family: Lamiaceae

• Previously – Salvia africana-caerulea
• Etymology – Latin salvere meaning ‘to save’ or ‘heal’, caerulea means ‘blue’
• Confusers –
• Other species in the genus –
o Salvia aurea – dune sage, golden sage (was Salvia africana-lutea)
o Salvia chamelaeagnea – rough blue sage, mountain sage, white flower varieties
o Salvia officinalis – Common Mediterranean, European sage

 

Family
Lamiaceae


Nature

Type: shrub
Vegetation type: Peninsula Shale Renosterveld 
Flower colour: blue, white
Flowering season: Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter
Plant-animal interactions: bees, butterflies
Red list status: Least Concern

• Indigenous to South African fynbos, Western Cape, and Northern Cape.
• Perennial shrub, common on the Western Cape sandy coastline, river beds, and mountain slopes.
• Leaves – aromatic, rich in essential oil, slightly hairy, edge may be toothed
• Flowers – blue-purple and white, most of the year
• Pollinated by bees (flower adapted) and butterflies
Conservation Ecology
• Wide distribution, commonly cultivated
• Red List – Least concern


Use as Medicine

Herbal traditions: Cape Dutch, Cape Herbal Medicine
Plant parts used: leaves

• Used as a medicine by the early Dutch settlers, with lemon juice and Epson salts, for digestive ailments.

Safety & Toxicity

Safety: caution during pregnancy, herb-drug interactions

• Avoid using in pregnant women
• Use with caution in patients on hypoglycaemic or anti-convulsant therapy

Qualities & Phytochemistry

Plant qualities: aromatic, bitter, cleansing, uplifting
Phytochemical constituents: caryophyllene, rosmarinic acid, sesquiterpenes, spathulenol, terpenoids

Leaves
• cleansing, clearing, and uplifting
• Essential oil – sesquiterpenes – spathulenol, beta-caryophyllene
• Phenolic compounds – rosmarinic acid

Actions & Pharmacology

Plant actions: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiplasmoidial, carminative, expectorant, vulnerary

Vulnerary
Carminative
Antibacterial
Antiplasmodial
Antioxidant
Anti-inflammatory
Expectorant

Preparations

Plant preparations: balm, compress, cream, decoction, dried, essential oil, fresh, fumigant, gargle, gel, incense, infusion - aqueous, infusion - vegetable oil, lotion, salt, salve, smudge, soap, spray, steam, syrup, tincture, wash

• fresh – chewed
• infusion
• decoction
• essential oil
• steam
• wash
• gargle
• cough syrup

First-Aid Indications

First-aid use: colds & 'flu, colic, cough, depression, diarrhoea, flatulence, heartburn, indigestion, sore throat, stomach ache, wounds 

• Skin
o wounds
• Respiratory
o colds and ‘flu
o coughs
o sore throats
o chest infections
• Digestive
o Indigestion
o colic
o flatulence
o stomach-ache
o diarrhoea
o heartburn
• Urogenital
o ‘women’s ailments’
• Psychiatric
o mental fatigue
o depression

Medical Indications

Medical use:  

● Tuberculosis

Veterinary Indications

Medical use:  

● S. africana has shown antipyretic and analgesic potential in mice and rats.135

Dosage

Research

Review Articles
• none
Clinical research
● Clinical Trials – none
● Meta-Analyses – none
● Randomised Controlled Trials – none
● Systematic Reviews – none


Other Uses

Uses & Benefits: aromatic, bees, butterflies, cosmetics, culinary herb, flavouring, fragrance, incense, insect repellent, medicine, pot plant, potpourri, small garden, tea, water-wise, wind tolerant

Use as Food
Plant Parts Used
● leaves
Preparations
• Good substitute for Salvia officinalis in cooking. Fresh, medicinal, aromatic, bitter flavours, but can be a bit disinfectant-like, so use sparingly.
• Fresh
• Dried
• Tea
• Added to salt

Other Uses
● insect repellent
● fumigant


Cultivation & Harvest

Light-level: afternoon sun, full sun, morning sun, semi-shade
Soil type: sandy, well-drained
Soil pH: Acidic
Propagation: cuttings, seed

● Soil – well-drained, sandy, acid, well composted
● Light – full sun, semi-shade
● Water – avoid overwatering, drought resistant
● Pruning – after flowering to keep neat and stimulate new growth
● Frost-tolerant
Propagation
● Cuttings – new growth from the base of the plant in spring or early summer
● Seeds – sown in spring or early summer
● Pruning – after flowering, and pinching the tips will encourage bushy, vigorous growth and more flowers.
Harvest


Resources

Websites