Sacred in many Shamanic and Native American belief systems and is used in smudging, and other, ceremonies to purify the body. It has long been used in healing.
An old proverb says “why should a man die who has sage in his garden?”. It was used in the Middle Ages to treat fevers, liver disease and epilepsy. In England, the tea drunk as a healthful tonic. It was also believed to strengthen the memory. An old English custom states that eating Sage every day in May will grant immortality. It was also said that a woman who ate sage cooked in wine would never be able to conceive and its fresh leaves were said to cure warts. It is said that where sage grows well in the garden, the wife rules and that sage will flourish or not depending on the success of the business of the household.
Garden sage is a suitable substitute for white sage and most Salvia species can be used for smudging.