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Why Thanksgiving is a Time for Smudging

Sage not only helps turkeys taste better, it's got spiritual and cleansing powers.

Our mouths start to water when we smell the delectable aromas of the Thanksgiving turkey roasting in the oven!

Part of that ambrosial scent  is due to the sage we rub on it's skin. Sage , or Salvia Officinalis, is an ancient herb that has so many uses it almost seems impossible.

Over the centuries, sage has been used as a healer of wounds, a muscle relaxant, a deodorant and a cure for sore throats. The word "salvia" is derived from the Latin word "salvere", to heal or to save or to be healthy and of course our word "sage" means wisdom or one who is wise.

The very wise ancient Greeks, who founded Western Civilization, were great lovers of sage, not only as a healing herb, but also as a delicious tea. Many Greeks still enjoy sage tea and now we are learning it may have benefits for those who suffer from diabetes.

A cup of sage tea may boost the action of insulin, so  if you are a diabetic, consult with your doctor and see if adding a daily cup might benefit you. You just might need less insulin! Sage has also been used to help with those pesky "female troubles" as they were once so delicately called.

Taken alone as a tea, it may slow the menses, and in wine, as the Greeks believed, stimulate them. Sage is also thought to have mystical, spiritual and cleansing powers.

I perform a ritual called "smudging" to purify a space that has held illness, strife or sadness. I also use it to "clear" my office of unwanted  and accumulated energies. The Indians who were so kind to our Pilgrim forefathers, also  taught us about smudging which was and is a sacred ritual for purification.

You can buy smudge sticks, pre-made bundles of sage,  or make your own, which I like to do since I know where it's been grown and that it has no pesticides.

Simply take dry sage from your garden and tie a bundle together with straw or cotton string. Open the windows of the space you want to clear.

Compose yourself and fill your mind with positive images. Light the smudge stick with a wooden match. Walk about the room, all four corners, and ask your Higher Power for the room to be cleared. Let the smoke disappate and close the windows. You're done!

The volatile oils in the sage will clear the room of lingering airborne bacteria as well as unhappy emotions.

So this Thursday, when you're preparing your turkey, remember you are using one of nature's oldest gifts to us, the wise and wonderful herb, sage.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all and let's not forget those who are still suffering from Sandy's effects, donate to your local food pantry this holiday season.  

Dr. Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or e-mail.  For an appointment, call 631. 472 .8139 or e-mail us at Drfootsi@myway.com 

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