The Indians believed in the value of sweating in almost all illnesses and so used as a diaphoretic the sage in making a hot tea. A tea from the leaves of the sage bush was adopted from the Indians and became the standard eyewash of the United States Army in the West. One of the remedies for a headache was sage tea or a compress of sage leaves, the leaves being either crushed or boiled. There were almost as many dosages for influenza as there were herbal drugs. The favorites were hot juniper or sage tea and inhaling the fumes from a fire of sage. If one’s legs were ailing, weakening, or shaky they were bathed in a hot sage tea, then poulticed with sage leaves. To steady and strengthen mind and nerves, the Indians, as they do today, drank sage tea.
… Sage tea also was used for paralysis. Sage leaves, fresh or dried, were made into a tea for diarrhea, menstrual disorders, and swellings. It had a particularly favorable effect as a tonic after childbirth. Fresh leaves were crushed, strained, and mixed with lukewarm water for stomach distress or were chewed for flatulence or as a tea for indigestion. The powdered herb destroyed worms in children and was so accepted officially in 1840 by the incoming whites. The juice of the herb or its powder was put on moist sores which, with this procedure, were said to dry and heal quickly, as were “green wounds.”