White Sage -v- Common Sage. What’s the difference?

Salvia officinalis flowers

Salvia officinalis: Flowers and leaves. Photographer: Sten Porse

There are many types of sage that are used for many different purposes – smudging, medicinal or culinary.  The two I am talking about here are from the Salvia family which is a type of mint. Many other herbs are also called sage but are from the Artemisia family of sunflowers.

According to Wikipedia, the name Salvia derives from the Latin salvere (“to feel well and healthy, health, heal”), the verb related to salus (health, well-being, prosperity or salvation); referring to the herb’s healing properties.

Two that are commonly used in sage smudging are Salvia Officianalis (Common Sage) and Salvia Apiana (White Sage).

What’s the difference?

They are very similar herbs. Both can be used medicinally for a range of ailments. Common Sage has the added bonus of being able to use it in your cooking.

Common Sage is the variety that was mostly grown in Europe, originating in the Mediterranean. White Sage is grown more often in the Americas.

Sage Smudge SprayWhat is used in the Sage Smudge Spray?

Common Sage’s medicinal and folkloric uses date back centuries in Europe.  The Herbal Academy tells us that Common Sage was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Egyptians and even by Medieval Monks.

Many of us here in Australia have a European ancestry.

When I was finding all the ingredients to make the Sage Smudge Spray I felt very drawn to using the Common Sage variety Salvia Officinalis.  After doing the research into the history of the sage herb, it makes perfect sense why it resonated so strongly and that it was the best choice for me with my European background.

Sage Smudge Spray gives all the benefits of burning dried sage leaves but without the smoke. The process of burning sage produces a strong odour, which some people can’t tolerate due to allergies. It’s not always appropriate indoors e.g. in your office or a hotel room.

This is a quick and easy alternative to smoke smudging.  Available in two convenient sizes in a beautiful blue glass bottle.


Postage available in Australia from $9.95

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