Why sage is used in the handcrafted Invocation products?

By 11 January 2018 Blog

A bit of History…

There are over 900 varieties of sage. This family of plants is considered one of the redemptive during the bubonic pest Epidemic of the Middle Ages. Official sage is deemed to be tonic, stimulating and adaptogenic. Chinese had no hesitation exchanging precious tea leaves for sage. Louis XIV made it his favourite herbal tea, while Romans, Greeks and Arabs would use it as a tonic and in compresses against snake bites.

For the Natives of South America, there is a variety called chia whose seeds are still part of their diet, having a rich supply of omega 3. Moreover, chia is recommended for any regular diet by western nutritionists. Chia is consumed the same way as rice and wheat semolina.

North American Aboriginals use different varieties of wild sage. The most commonly seen is white sage, which grows in the Mojave and Sonora deserts. These territories cover California, north of Mexico and a part of Nevada and Arizona. Sage is considered a sacred plant by all Native Americans. It’s used as a smoke offering to Creator and its smoke represents a privileged way to communicate with Spirits. It’s said that the smoke carries our prayers as it disappears into the spirit world.

The Use of Sage

In all First Nations, smudging with sage was used as a purification ritual. Smudge is used to clear and purify places, individuals and objects from all harmful negative energies.

OhShinnàh Fastwolf of Apache nation, studied smudging with scientific resources, as she was curious to discover why all First Nations would use the same herbs, sweet grass, cedar and sage, for purification purposes. With help from university scientists, she found that the positive ion, a means of transportation for pollution particles, like dust, would be taken away by the smoke of those herbs, leaving room for negative ions. These negative ions are beneficial to one’s health and are present in high concentrations after an electrical storm, on granite mountains, by the sea and in coniferous forests.[1]

The Medicinal Use of White Sage in Native Practices

For First Nations, in addition to ceremonies, white sage also had several medicinal properties. Indeed, this variety of sage was appreciated for its astringent, antiseptic, antimicrobial, aromatic, estrogenic and tonic effects.

They could make a herbal tea to treat fever, headaches, arthritis and diarrhea. They also used it as a gargle and mouthwash for sore throats, mouth sores and gingivitis. With a decoction of sage root, they were able to relieve menstrual pain, symptoms of menopause and skin problems. Some nations used it, mixed with bear fat, to relieve rashes and various infections.

Invocation Products

Three of our products contain white sage in the form of essential oils: the CHIIYAAM shamanic perfume, our bath salt with CHIIYAAM essences and our shower gel with the CHIIYAAM essences. Blue Eagle created this olfactory composition based on the traditional smudging ceremony, which could include in the shell: white sage, cedar, sweet grass and juniper. With essential oils, he was able to recreate this ceremony without the inconvenience of smoke.

CHIIYAAM is an aromatherapy perfume dedicated to purification, with a top note composed of cedar and red mandarin, which acts rapidly and fades quickly. The action continues very lightly with the heart note, where white sage is present.[2] The cedar and the sage, with their negative ions, are thus charged with collecting along the way the positive ions responsible for the heaviness of the atmosphere, thus leaving room for a lighter atmosphere, which promotes well-being, openness and clarity.

[1] Blue Eagle, Le Sentier de la beauté, p.102, Éditions le Dauphin Blanc, 2015

[2]Blue Eagle, Sacred scents and mystic music, p.91, Éditions Invocation, 2013.