Our Wild & Edible series showcases different wild and edible plants in the San Diego region. The purpose of this section is to educate the masses about our native plants and their uses. We feel it is important to have this knowledge in case you are ever stuck in a sticky situation, such as being lost on a hike and need to forage in order to survive. It also helps re-connect us to the land, which thanks to technology, most of us are being pulled further and further away.
Native plants may grow on your own property, or a friend’s property, in which case it is completely legal to harvest from. Plant nurseries often have a native plant section as well, in which case you can purchase your own plants! Otherwise, wild harvesting is considered illegal in most places in San Diego. Learn your plants and grow your wisdom! Wisdom is power, afterall.
For those of you that enjoy learning about native plants in San Diego, I will slowly begin teaching you the information that I know. Let's start off with white sage.
* For spiritual 'cleansing', or scrubbing as it is often called, it is recommended to burn a single leaf and pray while you do it. White sage should never be burned thoughtlessly, like incense, because it is a sacred plant. Even if you're not into ceremonial practices, white sage has a very soothing scent.
* It is often referred to as a 'spirit plant'. It is said to enhance any medicine you take and protect you from the toxicity of western medicines. It is recommended to put a single leaf in your water and drink it throughout the day (when you are sick).
* Use it as an air freshener. Have you heard of lighting a match after using the bathroom? Keep some sage in the bathroom and try lighting it instead! All other smells will be dominated.
* White sage contains a compound called miltirone which may act like Valium to relieve anxiety.
* It is very powerful, but can be used as a tea to address flu symptoms & to ease a cold or other illness. Take note of how it should be prepared:
Put one leaf in one cup of cold water. Bring the water (and the leaf) to a gentle simmer.
• Do not let it reach a full boil.
• Do not sweeten the tea with anything.
• Only drink this tea at night, before bed, never during the day.
• Do not drink more than one cup a night
* It is said that the essential oil of white sage is dangerous and not recommended for internal or external use. This goes for any of our native plants. They are powerful on their own and their properties do not need to be consolidated.
* So to summarize, the standard dosage is 1 leaf per day when you are sick or for burning, no more! Please do not use any more than that!