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Sage 圣人 shèngrén, traditional 聖人


So many Westerners have forgotten the benefits of this herb and only consider it worthy to stuff the chicken or turkey with at Christmas time. Its many properties warrant it a much worthier place in the household than that, for the herb is extremely beneficial to the system as a whole. It soothes the stomach, tonifies the intestines, aids weak digestion, helps those who have lost their appetite, stops internal bleeding, and is very good for kidney and liver troubles, as well as colds. It will relieve the sweating of those suffering from influenza and tuberculosis. External cuts, grazes, bruises and any knocks or sprains can be soothed by bathing the area of the skin with an infusion of this herb. Use it more in your daily life and you will find it truly worth your while. Get into the habit of always keeping some in the kitchen or in your first-aid box.

Sage has always played an important part in salads, stuffings, and sauses and has been used over the centuries for adding flavour to cheese. If you make your own cottage or vegetarian cheese add this wonderful herb to give it that bit more taste and goodness. In China it it sometimes added to soya-bean cheese and curd. Sage is excellent in treating weak appetites, nervous ailments, upset livers and kidney troubles, and it helps ensure that menstruation is regular. However, nursing mothers should not drink sage tea, as it has a tendency to stop the milk in the breasts.

Sage tea (圣人茶 shèngrén chá, traditional 聖人茶)

Add half an ounce of sage leaves and stems to one pint of hot water. (Do not boil the water, as otherwise you will lose the benefit of the volatile oil that the sage contains.) Drink a wineglassful daily.

Sage gargle (圣人漱口 shèngrén shùkǒa, traditional 聖人漱口)

Mix one ounce of sage with two ounces of honey and one dram of borax; steep the mixture in one pint of hot (not boiling) water for fifteen to twenty minutes; allow to cool, then strain and bottle. For a sore or inflamed throat, laryngitis, tonsilitis or mouth ulcers, use the gargel three times daily.



The Tao of Long Life - The Chinese Art of Ch'ang Ming

by Chee Soo

©Seahorse Books 2008 reproduced with permission