Sage is an herb from an evergreen shrub, Salvia officinalis, in the mint family. Its long, grayish-green leaves take on a velvety, cotton-like texture when rubbed (meaning ground lightly and passed through a coarse sieve). Sage is grown in the United States. It also is grown in Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Serbia.
Benefits of burning sage are believe to include:
- Removing bacteria from the air.
- Repelling insects.
- Improving intuition.
- Purifying specific objects.
- Improving mood and reducing stress and anxiety.
Taos Sage, or sagebrush, as it is sometimes called, is actually a type of Artemisia that grows profusely throughout the high deserts of the south-western United States. Artemisias have a remarkable reputation as sacred herbs throughout the world. They are widely used for purification rituals, protection and to facilitate astral travel. According to Native American tradition Artemisia is used to make bad spirits sick and to scare them away.