Sage, salvia officinalis, is a culinary, medicinal, ornamental, and magical plant. The plants name come from the Latin word for salvation. It has a long history of being used as everything from a preservative to way to assist in weaning children. Personally, I use sage to help with sore throats.
A woody perennial with square stems and an almost furry stem comes from the northern Mediterranean. This beautiful flowering herb is hardy in North American growing zones 4 – 8. It has single, opposite leaves and pale blossoms. Sage grows well in a container. It also plays well with others in the garden where is can reduce cabbage moths and carrot flies while it attracts bees. Plant with cabbage, carrots, strawberries and marjoram but avoid planting with onions.
It takes two years for Sage to reach a size that allows for more than one harvest but an established plant can provide more than enough for household use. Pruning prevent sage from getting too leggy. Yes, that is my neglected sage plant in the photo.
Sage should be dried and stored as whole leaves or crumbled gently. You may notice a different taste to your dried sage than fresh. This is normal.
In the kitchen, sage is good to cook with fatty meats as the camphor and terpenes will aid in their digestion. Sage is the herb that I use most with pork and roasted poultry. Be cautious, as over indulging in sage can actually lead to indigestion.
Ingesting sage can also work as a hormonal stimulant. It has been used for centuries by nursing mothers seeking to reduce breast milk production as their children reach the point of being weaned. The reduction is credited to the estrogen stimulation, which may also assist those suffering from hot flashes.
I like to use sage for sore throats and swollen tonsils. Use it in a gargle or a throat spray. Sage also makes a pungent, savory tea that I like to combine with honey and lemon. You may also choose to infuse raw, local honey with sage (find mine at Kitchen Witch Herbals) and use that to sweeten any beverage. Sage is antiviral and antibacterial so it can help prevent, and help resolve, colds and flu.
I did say that Sage is a magical herb. At one time, it was credited as a means of achieving immortality. I don’t know about that but regular use could definitely contribute to a long life. Sage is considered a masculine herb, connected to the Air element and the planet Jupiter. It is said that sage can clear negative energy, increasing the vibration of a space. This includes your personal space when used in a soap, bath, or perfume.
The wellness benefits of Sage are wide ranging and deep acting. Sage in your garden, and in your kitchen, allows you to bring those benefits into your life in many ways. Now you know how I like to use sage. Let me know how you use it.
See you soon!