Growing up in Southern California we were able to find wild white sage in parks and on trails. When people (at least the people I know) think of white sage they usually think of smudging. Using the herb either loose leaf or bound together into a rolled stick to burn and then energetically cleanse areas and people using the smoke. Smoke cleansing and purification is found in many cultures but as this is a native plant to the area it was also associated with the Native Americans there. I had rarely seen it used outside of smudging but once found it used in herbal (legal) tobacco alternative cigarettes I purchased once for spiritual use. Those contained mullein unfortunately and I ended up with a slightly itchy throat but the rest of the blend was actually quite pleasant and I made a blend myself that I gave to friends after. I had also used the herb in oils for ritual use and perfumes as well as incenses. Please note that white sage and kitchen/cooking sage are NOT the same thing and even look slightly different.
When I met my now husband he had white sage in his freezer. I thought it was odd and asked him about it. He said he used it in tea and cooking. That in some stories he read it helped create a long life as well as having medicinal properties. I tasted it in food and it was actually great. Now I use a little (very little!) in certain foods and occasionally tea. Today I am making black beans with white sage, turmeric, smoked paprika and curry spice to go over rice. The white sage really adds that special something extra to the flavor. This herb is also great on gamey meats and in other savory dishes.
I have no scientific or otherwise backing for anything stated here so please do your own research! However, from my readings the herb is said to contain antibacterial properties and is good for general healing, sore throats, congestion, skin problems and inflammation, heavy and painful periods, etc. It decreases breastmilk production so be aware of that. I am using very little in my food and rarely as I still nurse my daughter. Though through her own choice she nurses rarely now. Spiritually speaking it is used today in cleansing, purification, blessing and healing.
Coming from a Paganism and Witchcraft background most of my herbal knowledge is more spiritually based and when medicinal knowledge pours out of me it’s almost always connected to herbs I have used spiritually. As I start working towards a homesteading lifestyle I look more and more into native plants and their medicinal properties. Working with what is around me is not only a smart thing to do but it’s actually fun too! I plan to make my herbalism posts a frequent thing so be sure to stay tuned for more!