Why should a man die in whose garden grows sage? Against the power of death there is not medicine in our gardens But Sage calms the nerves, takes away hand Tremors, and helps cure fever. Sage, castoreum, lavender, primrose, Nasturtium, and athanasia cure paralytic parts of the body. O sage the savior, of nature the conciliator!
From Page Ten of the Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum (A Salernitan Regimen of Health).
Sage (Salviam) appears in the famous ninth-century edict the Capitulare de villis, in which the emperor Charlemagne decreed which useful plants were to be grown on the imperial estates. The Benedictine abbot Walahfrid Strabo includes a salutation to sage, which he ranks first among herbs in a delightful poem known as the Hortulus:
There in the very front glows sage, sweetly scented, It deserves to grow green for ever, enjoying perpetual youth; For it is rich in virtue and good to mix in a potion, Of proven use for many a human ailment . . .
From Hortulus by Walahfrid Strabo. Translated from the Latin by Raef Payne. The Hunt Botanical Library, 1966.
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