Lyre Leaf Sage – Salvia lyrata

Lyre Leaf Sage flowers
Lyre Leaf Sage flowers

This native perennial herb of the eastern United States is listed as Endangered in New York State. When I first found this herb, I saw tall stalks, with flowers on the ends waving in the breeze beside the road. It took me ages to find out what it was. But when I did, I suddenly realized I was seeing it everywhere!


Native Americans used the root in salve form for sores, and used the whole plant in tea form as a treatment for colds and coughs. At one time it was believed that the leaves used as an external poultice was a cure for cancer, and a wart remover.


Like its cousin Garden Sage, this form of sage has uses in the kitchen also.  The young leaves have a mild mint flavor and can be used in salads or cooked as a potherb. The entire plant dried or seeds can be used as a tea. And the seeds can be ground and mixed with flour to make breads.


To make an enjoyable bedtime tea take 1 cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of dried herb, and steep for ten minutes. Sweeten to taste and drink warm at bedtime.

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