Scientific name: Salvia officinalis

Sage is another valuable herb useful for medicinal purposes as well as in the kitchen. From helping heal a sore throat, lessen menopausal hot flashes, prepare for weening a toddler, and more.

Nutrients

  • Camphor
  • Thujone
  • Cineole
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic acids – incl. rosmarinic acid
  • Tannins
  • Bitters

Health Benefits

sage

  • Liver tonic
  • Digestive aid for fatty meats
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps rebuild strength after being sick
  • Hormone balancer: can help with menopause side effects
  • Regulates fluids in the body
  • Reduces sweating: often an ingredient in deodorants
  • Astringent
  • Antiseptic
  • Decreases inflammation: in the mouth, throat, and tonsil – good for colds

Cooking Tips

The most popular use of sage these days is around Thanksgiving and Christmas for stuffing. The most popular form is dried leaves, whole or ground. The flavor is pretty strong so go easy on it!

Pairings

  • Fatty meats: lamb, sausage (helps with the digestion)
  • Stuffing
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Can be mixed with: onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley, bay leaf, rosemary

CAUTION

  • Sage can be used to dry up a mother’s milk, which if that’s your goal great, but if still breastfeeding obviously you will not want to use sage on a regular basis. Used daily, 1 cup of tea will slow the flow substantially.
  • Can cause indigestion for some people.
  • Contains low levels of thujone which can be toxic, so it is suggested by other sources to take no more than 15 grams of sage leaf per dose.

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Stress reliever: make a tea mixing sage with mint or rosemary and lemon balm
  • Sore throat, tonsillitis, laryngitis: gargle with sage tea, mixed with 1-2 drops of peppermint oil if desired

How to Grow

Planting

Where do you live?

Grown in zones 5-8, it will grow as a perennial. Anywhere hotter will be an annual

Put em in the ground

It’s difficult to grow these from seed, so it’s easier to get a plant started at a nursery or start from a cutting.

  • Full sun
  • Warm to hot weather
  • Well-drained soil, 6.5 – 7 pH

Care

  • Cut back old growth in early spring before new growth starts
  • Mildew can be a problem, so thin it out as needed to allow more airflow

Harvest

  • During the first year, don’t harvest too much
  • After that, harvest as needed – a full stem or leaf by leaf
  • Allow 2 months between a big harvest and the first frost of the year