I have been trying to find a medicinal use for my hummingbird sage. Anyone have any info?
I don't even know if it's edible! Not many sages are. I'd be very careful...
the term 'officinalis' means the variety of plant that has medicinal properties....
Here is what Michael Moore says on Salvia officinalis.
SALVIA OFFICINALIS (Sage)
As a gargle for mouth, pharyngeal, and esophageal irritation/ inflammation,
accompanied by moderate gastralgia; to help decrease milk production when weaning.
FLOWERING HERB. Tincture [Fresh, 1:2, Dry, 1:5, 50% alcohol] 30-60 drops, in hot
water (diaphoretic) or cold water (tonic).
NOTE: Many Artemisias (Wormwoods) are called sages locally; they are nearly
opposite in all respects to Salvia
According to Chumash medicine woman, Cecilia Garcia, you can make a tea from it that is naturally sweet and is comforting.
Sun tea or put a leaf or two in cold water and bring to a simmer, turn off the heat, remove the leaf and enjoy. She makes popsicles from the tea for children. Don't discount comfort as a therapeutic effect in our stressful world.
Hey, I'm an amateur herbalist in Southern California.
I do my homework, though, and can reassure that, while it is imperative to identify a species before using it, that many salvias are, indeed, medicinal plants. Officinalis is usually used to refer to a number of old-world plants, commonly used at the time of naming for medicinal purposes (and often evolving into modern-day cooking spices).
However, species denoted as Officinalis are often related to a few, or a wide variety, of edible and medicinal plants.
Some common sages that you'll find along with Spathacea that are noted for their medicinal use (NOT always equal to "edible," but in this case all are acceptable tea fodder) include Salvia Mellifera (I've read that you can brew it, but it's very, very strongly aromatic), Salvia Leucophylla, and Salvia Apiana (the famous "Sacred White Sage" looks most like Hummingbird Sage, but with much paler and fuzzier leaves). I primarily use them in incense and salves, but I do not believe any are particularly toxic. Some salvias, even common-name sages, can potentially be toxic. Always make sure to positively identify your herbs before play time.