Black Sage

Caribbean herbalists use black sage, also called bloodberry, as a tea for colds and chest tightness or congestion, and it is often combined with the herbs 'jack in the bush' and 'search mi hear'. It is commonly used for menstrual cramps, which might explain one of its names, bloodberry.

It is still used as an astringent for spots and boils, and in Trinidad to treat a range of skin diseases.

In the Brazilian Amazon indigenous people make an infusion from the leaves to treat infections, inflammations, rheumatism and arthritis. It is taken internally or topically.

Its anti-inflammatory properties have been confirmed in the laboratory, and it has been tested as an anti-fungal and larvicidal (anti-mosquito).

The smooth bark is chestnut colored, and the leaves are dark and rough, smelling of citrus. It thrives in open areas such as fields and pastures, along roads and in open forest. Birds eat the fruits and help spread the seeds in their droppings.

Black sage is not related to the culinary herb we know in Britain as sage (Salvia genus).