Sage is the most common and most important purifying herb used in Native American ceremonies. You will never see a Native American traditional ritual were burning sage is not one of the first things the medicine person or shaman will do.  Sage is a very masculine plant. It is the strongest of the Native American purifying plants. Sage dispenses a strong earthy smell. The significance of its English name, sage, also means wise old man. Many sage varieties contain hormones. It is probably one of the reasons Native Americans consider it as a masculine species. In fact, herbalists will often use the garden variety (Salvia officinalis) as a tea to harmonize the hormonal balance in women. The smoke purification that it offers is so powerful that it sometimes causes respiratory discomfort in those who have lung diseases due to excess mucus. We often surround our sacred objects with sage before storing them so that they are constantly protected against any evil or negative influence.

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