Sage is an herb famous for its culinary and healing properties. It has lance-shaped leaves that are grayish green in color with a silvery bloom covering. It is available fresh, dried, or in ground powdered form. The oils and tannins in sage have astringent, antiseptic, and irritant properties. It is therefore an important herb in medications for mouth sores, mouth ulcers, and sore throat medications. Sage is used to alleviate respiratory infection, nasal congestion, coughs, tonsillitis and sore throats. It helps with indigestion and with the liver. It can help to alleviate insomnia, bleeding gums and to remove plaque. Sage is from the mint family, and has a slightly bitter to peppery flavor making it perfect for soups, roasts, stuffings and sauces. It should however be used with discretion because it may overpower the flavor of the dish. Sage and poultry are typical combinations, but don't overlook it as an ingredient in a fresh tomato sauce or fried and crumbled on top of a butternut filled ravioli.


Other names: sagebrush, Salvia

Physical Description

Green or brown in color ,leafy ,dry

Colors: Green and brown

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Salty ,peppery , herbacious
Mouthfeel: Crisp, Sharp, Earthy
Food complements: Onions, Wine sauce, Squash, Poultry, Sweet potatoes, Shortbread
Wine complements: Red wine, White wine
Beverage complements: Rum, Tea
Substitutes: Thyme, Mint

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: april, may, june, july, august, september
Peak: june, july
Choosing: Look for sage leaves that look green and healthy in color
Buying: Always buy sage leaves fresh
Procuring: Sage typically grows in humid ,moist climates and is harvested by picking by hand

Preparation and Use

Sage is most often steamed and used to flavor fatty meats

Cleaning: Rinse with warm water

Conserving and Storing

Store at room temperature.



History: Salvia officinalis has been used since ancient times for warding off evil, snakebites, increasing women's fertility, and more. The Romans likely introduced it to Europe from Egypt as a medicinal herb. Theophrastus wrote about two different sages, a wild undershrub he called sphakos, and a similar cultivated plant he called elelisphakos. Pliny the Elder said that the latter plant was called "Salvia" by the Romans, and used as a diuretic, a local anesthetic for the skin, a styptic, and for other uses. Charlemagne recommended the plant for cultivation in the early Middle Ages and during the Carolingian Empire it was cultivated in monastery gardens. Walafrid Strabo described it in his poem Hortulus as having a sweet scent and being useful for many human ailments—he went back to the Greek root for the name and called it Lelifagus. The plant had a high reputation throughout the Middle Ages, with many sayings referring to its healing properties and value. It was sometimes called S. salvatrix (Sage the Savior), and was one of the ingredients of Four Thieves Vinegar, a blend of herbs which was supposed to ward off the plague. Dioscorides, Pliny, and Galen all recommended sage as a diuretic, hemostatic, emmenagogue, and tonic.



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