Sage – Salvia Officinalis
Common or garden sage (Salvia Officinalis) is one of the best known herbs.
Many of the salvias are breathtaking when flowering.
The garden sage has beautiful purple-blue flowers. Sage is an evergreen perennial native to the Mediterranean countries, but now grown in many parts of the world. Sage grows best in a sunny place and well-drained soil. These plants should not be fertilized.
Sage is a popular culinary herb in Italy. In French cooking sage is hardly used. Sage has a strong flavor and only small amounts are needed in cooking especially in long cooked dishes. Sage is obviously used in the English sage Derby cheese and the American sage cheese.
Sage tastes great with fatty food dishes like duck and pork. It is also great with red meats. Sage is often used in tomato sauces.
Whole sage leaves tastes wonderful when grilled with meat or fish. Do try it at your next barbeque party. Deep fried sage leaves are sometimes used as a garnish.
Sage is a common ingredient in turkey stuffing in the United States.
Herbal Remedies – Health Benefits
In herbal remedies the leaves are used. Sage tea is popular in many European counties.
Sage is used as a mouthwash to fight sore throats and gum infections. Sage is a common ingredient in gargles.
Sage has a drying effect and is a wonderful herb for people with extensive sweating. Sage is especially good for women who experience perspiration during their menopause.
Sage is an herb which has positive effects on the mind. It helps improve memory and concentration. Researches are being made about the positive effects sage may have in delaying Alzheimer’s disease.
Sage has antioxidants that that helps prevent premature aging. One cup of sage tea every day should help. Sage tea is especially beneficial for elderly people.
Fresh sage leaves can be used to rub on stings and insect bites to ease itching and pain.
Use sage tea to rinse your scalp if you have a dandruff problem. Sage will help defeat dandruff.
Sage has a positive effect on your digestive system and improves liver function.
Sage will help the blood flow better for women with irregular menstruation problems.
Sage tea is known to reduce breast-milk production in women who are nursing and should be avoided by women who intend to continue breast feeding their baby.
Warning: Do not overdo the use of sage over long periods of time. People suffering from epilepsy should avoid sage. Sage essential oil contains 50% thujone, overuse is toxic.
An old English superstition tells us that a newlywed couple should each plant their own sage bush. The size of the two sage bushes will determine who will be the master of the house.
Sage was one of the herbs in the ancient “Four Thieves Vinegar” believed to fight off the plague during the Middle Ages. Four herbs were mixed in vinegar. The four herbs were sage, rosemary, lavender and thyme. One story tells that thieves who robbed people who died from the plague used this special mixture and therefore did not get sick themselves. Those who were caught were forced to relieve their secret remedy to avoid punishment.
« He who would live for aye (forever), must eat sage in May. » Old English Proverb