Whittier Narrows


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  • White Sage


    White sage (Salvia apiana) is a native shrub growing in chaparral and coastal sage scrub reaching 3 or 4 feet although the flower stalks grow much higher.  Very aromatic, with showy white to lavender flowers growing in loose whorls.  Leaves appear whitish gray, hence the name.  Considered the most sacred of plants for the Native Americans,  it is burned in ceremonies as a cleanser and purifier, for sweat ceremonies and meditation.  It is cherished by bee keepers, "(apiana" refers to bees) helping produce one of the finest and clearest honeys.  Although all sages are believed to have antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, white sage is reported to be a potent remedy for upper respiratory ailments, headaches and poison oak rashes, as well as stomachaches.  Also edible, young stalks were eaten raw and the seeds were ground for flour, using leaves as seasoning.  A shampoo can be made with fresh leaves and they are also used as a deodorant.  White sage is believed to promote healing and protect from toxicity.