All the salvias have potent medicinal properties, but Salvia Africana is specifically antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-malarial and anti-tuberculosis.
It has been found to inhibit cancer cells. It is also potentially anti-allergenic, and beneficial for the heart. It has also been found to work synergistically with Wild Dagga, for anti-viral effect.
Chew on a few fresh leaves (and preferably a flower) and you will experience a sudden sense of clarity, as if a subtle part of the mind has popped open. At the same time, the sinuses, throat and ears seem to clear up. Using wild sage as a smudge has similar effects – burn the dry leaves and inhale the smoke to bring on a meditative state of mind. Sage is also burned to clear the energy of a space, and can help to fumigate against airborne pathogens. The leaves can be added to an actual smoking mix: this can help with sinus congestion and instil greater awareness whilst also being calming. (In high doses, Sage might potentially be slightly hallucinogenic, however).
A more conventional (and age-old) way to work with sage is in a tea. You would use the leaves but can also include the flowers. Traditionally, the Bushman and Khoi people used Blue Sage leaves (often mixed with Ballota Africana) to clear chest complaints, coughs, colds, fevers and gynaecological ailments. The Cape Settlers combined the tea with Epsom salts and lemon juice for stomach ailments and colic. The tea is also very calming and delicious with a little bit of honey. It can also be boiled down into a decoction and mixed with honey and lemon, as a natural syrup for respiratory ailments and infections, even whooping cough.
In the absence of fresh plants, dried, powdered sage can also be added to soups or savoury smoothies, but has an intense taste, so mind your flavour combinations. Sage also creates a delicious flavour in food. The dried leaves can be used in much the same way as domestic sage or rosemary – as a herb for vegetable, fish or meat dishes – it is high in folate, vitamin A, Vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. It also makes a really interesting flavour addition to sweet or sour foods, likes jams and marmalade. For this, you would infuse sprigs of blue sage into your fruit mix while cooking, and remove before pickling.