Foraging 2 – Sages, ivy and more….but are they?

It was a slightly rainy afternoon on Saturday this weekend but I felt compelled to have a little wander and do a spot of foranging.  I’d noticed a few things in previous days that I wanted to collect.

Jeruselum Sage: 

This plant I found to be often mis-represented when researching online.  It is often mistaken for other “Jeruselum Sage”s which have closer links and similar anti-oxident properties to other sages.  So it took some reaerching to find the actual benefits of THIS type of Jeruselum Sage.  It is not actually a sage (family Salvia) but in fact from the Phlomis family.  So, be careful when you’re reading up on it as you’ll soon find loads of sites wrongly talking about those other sages with photos of this one.  That can be confusing.

BUT, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some super merits in its own right!

Phlomis species are used to treat various conditions such as diabetes, gastric ulcer, hemorrhoids, inflammation, and wounds. (reference)

It also is reported to have a great taste and aroma so I will be looking forward to adding this to tea and/or trying is on the insence burner.

Wood Sage:

Also not really technically a sage (family Salva) but again a super plant with lots of uses in its own right, in fact Wood Sage is a bit of a super-plant!

Alterative and diuretic, astringent tonic, emmenagogue. Much used in domestic herbal practice for skin affections and diseases of the blood, also in fevers, colds, inflammations, and as an emmenagogue.

It is useful for quinsy, sore throat, and in kidney and bladder trouble.

In chronic rheumatism it has been used with benefit, and is considered a valuable tonic and restorer of the system after an attack of rheumatism, gout, etc.

Wood Sage is an appetizer of the first order, and as a tonic will be found equal to Gentian. It forms an excellent bitter combined with Comfrey and Ragwort, which freely influences the bladder.

It is also good to cleanse old sores. If used in the green state with Comfrey and Ragwort, the combination makes an excellent poultice for old wounds and inflammations in any part of the body. Culpepper tells us:

A snuff has been made from its powdered leaves to cure nasal polypi.


Clary Sage:

This Sage actually is a sage! Salvia Sclarea.

Clary has been perceived both as a weaker version of sage (Salvia officinalis) and also as a significant herb in its own right. An antispasmodic and aromatic plant, it is used mainly to treat digestive problems such as wind and indigestion. It is also regarded as a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve period pain and pre-menstrual problems.

The whole plant, and especially the leaves, is antispasmodic, appetizer, aromatic, astringent, balsamic, carminative, pectoral and tonic. It is useful in treating disorders of the stomach and kidneys and is a valuable remedy for complaints associated with the menopause, particularly hot flushing. The seed forms a thick mucilage when it is soaked for a few minutes in water. This is efficacious in removing small particles of dust from the eyes. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Reference

Ground Ivy:

So we had a number of sages that aren’t sage – well this is an Ivy that isn’t really ivy!  Glechoma hederacea is from the Lamiaceae/Labiatae family.

Ground Ivy was a favourite ingredient in spells and magic because it grew so readily in graveyards, ruins and shady places thought frequented by witches. The plant’s strong association with witchcraft might explain why country folk believed it drove away other flora. Reference

Ground ivy is a safe and effective herb that is used to treat many problems involving the mucous membranes of the ear, nose, throat and digestive system. A well-tolerated treatment it can be given to children to clear lingering catarrh and to treat chronic conditions such as glue ear and sinusitis. Throat and chest problems, especially those due to excess catarrh, also benefit from this remedy. The leaves and flowering stems are anodyne, antiphlogistic, appetizer, astringent, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, pectoral, gently stimulant, tonic and vermifuge. They are best harvested in May whilst still fresh, and are dried for later use. The leaves are used in the treatment of hypersensitivity in children and are useful in the treatment of kidney diseases and indigestion. Applied externally, the expressed juice speeds the healing of bruises and black eyes. References

Lesser Celandine (or Pilewort)

Lesser celandine has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of haemorrhoids and ulcers. It is not recommended for internal use because it contains several toxic components. The whole plant, including the roots, is astringent. It is harvested when flowering in March and April and dried for later use. It is widely used as a remedy for piles. An infusion can be taken internally or it can be made into an ointment and used externally. It is also applied externally to perineal damage after childbirth. Some caution is advised because it can cause irritation to sensitive skins. References



Rosemary is high in Manganese, an essential nutrient for metabolic health. Manganese also helps the body to form blood clots, allowing injuries to heal faster.

Rosemary has a number of additional health benefits, including:

Potentially Reduced Risk of Cancer

Rosemary contains carnosic acid, a compound known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Studies have found that carnosic acid can slow the growth of cancer cells in the body and even lower the risk of developing tumors.

Immune System Support

Studies have shown that the carnosic and rosmarinic acids in rosemary have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Consuming rosemary regularly can potentially help lower the risk of infection and help the immune system fight any infections that do occur.

Stress Reduction

Although more research is needed, preliminary studies indicate that rosemary has a positive impact on reducing anxiety and stress. In a randomized trial conducted on university students, rosemary was found to improve the students’ sleep quality and lower their anxiety levels when compared with a placebo.

Improved Memory and Concentration

Rosemary has been used for centuries as a memory aid, and studies in aromatherapy using rosemary have corroborated some of these claims. One study found significant improvements in cognitive performance within 20 minutes of inhaling rosemary essential oil.


Rosemary is especially rich in phytochemicals. While phytochemicals aren’t essential for survival like vitamins and minerals are, they are nevertheless important for fighting disease and maintaining overall health.

The phytochemicals in rosemary may help to improve eye health, regulate liver function, and lower the risk of asthma.

Rosemary is also a superb source of:

Pantothenic Acid

Drying process

Once I had collected the leaves I brought them inside and cleaned them by washing under the tap only where needed and wiping dry gently with a piece of kitchen roll.  Then they all went into the dehydrator for 3 hours on 70 degrees.  I left them overnight and both the Clary Sage and the Jeruselum Sage had retained some moisture by moring so I gave them both a couple more hours at the same temperature.

And then bottled them up in airtight bottles.


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