26 Jul 2007

Common Sage

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) is more than just a culinary herb, it has been popular for thousands of years for its medicinal properties and for preserving food. It's name Salvia means "to heal".

Sage is described as an aromatic, antiseptic, antifungal, astringent, digestive, diuretic, antibiotic, antispasmodic, estrogenic, carminative, a tonic and many other terms depending on where you look. In other words a very useful herb. Italian medical students in medieval times recited "Why should a man die who grows sage in his garden?"

It makes an attactive plant with it's soft silvery green leaves and blue flowers. Sage is a great container plant if put in a sunny spot in the home or as a garden plant in the warmer areas. Whether you intend using the leaves in your cooking or for minor health problems, or both, it is a very useful fresh herb to have growing nearby. Pests do not bother sage but be careful not to over water it. Cut leaves sparingly in the first year of growth.

WARNING: Sage oil should not be used by pregnant women and epileptics, and used with care by those with high blood pressure.

Women will find it useful, as sage relieves PMS, regulates the menstral cycle, relieves depression, hot flushes and night sweats during menopause, and is also used to reduce excessive lactation in nursing mothers. A sage compress relieves inflamed varicose veins.

Great for hair and skin. Helps refine the skin texture and relieves oily skin and hair problems by regulating the sebum production and it heals sores and ulcers. Sage is also popular as a natural deodorant, for coloring grey hair and for preventing dandruff.

Sage is useful with coughs, colds and flu as it relieves mucous build up, is a wonderful gargle for sore throats and breaks a fever. Before toothpaste was used to clean the teeth, sage was used to freshen the breath and strengthen the gums.

Great at exam time as stops panic attacks, alleviates mental exhaustion and assists with memory retention.

Sage is wonderful in food due to it's unique flavor, but on top of that, it also assists digestion and prevents flatulence. When used in cooking, note that less is more, as too much added to food can give the dish a musty taste. To store fresh sage leaves, place in a loosely closed plastic bag or plastic container with airholes and place in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for a few days. Note that dried sage is stronger than fresh sage and therefore use it sparingly.

You might also like to try pineapple sage, which adds a strong pineapple flavor to drinks and desserts. Pineapple sage has red flowers and is also a pretty addition to your indoor or outdoor herbs.

"If one consults enough herbals...every sickness known to humanity will be listed as being cured by sage."
Varro Taylor, Ph.D.


Basic Sage Tea

As a pleasant drink or gargle, pour a cup of boiling water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves and steep for 10 minutes.

Calming Tea

1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp chamomile

Put in 2 cup teapot, brew 10 minutes, strain and serve.

Sage and Peppermint Tea for Fevers
From Recipe Goldmine

2 tsps dried sage
1 tsp dried peppermint
1 cup water, barely boiled

Place the herbs in a teapot. Pour the boiling water over them. Cover, and steep 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten. Sip SLOWLY while warm, up to 3 cups a day.

Sage and Rosemary Recipe for Covering Grey Hair
This is from Purdue University and will gradually bring back the color of you hair! You must use it for at least 3 weeks to see results. For brown to black hair.

1/4 cup dried sage
1/4 cup dried rosemary
2 cups water

Simmer the sage and rosemary in the water for 30 minutes, then steep for several hours.
Apply to hair and leave on until dried. Then rinse and dry. Repeat weekly, until desired shade, then monthly to maintain color.

Black Tea and Sage Rinse
From Recipe Goldmine
For darkening grey hair.

3 tbsps black tea
3 tbsps sage
1 teapot freshly boiled water

Steep black tea and sage in water. Allow to cool and use as a hair rinse, pouring the tea repeatedly over the hair. Rinse with tepid water.

Deodorant Foot Wash
From Freebies4Ya

1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
1/2 cup fresh sage, Finely Chopped
2 cups water
8 drops lavender oil

In a saucepan, combine lavender flowers, sage and water and simmer, covered, on low heat for about 20 minutes. Strain mixuture through cheese cloth and let cool. Discard solids. Add lavender oil and pat on feet with a wash cloth. Repeat as necessary.

Toner For Oily Skin
From Savvy Womans Magazine

2 tbsps chopped mint leaves
8 sage leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsps fresh thyme leaves
2 stalks fresh bok-choy (with leaves)
6 tblsps witch hazel
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 cup water

In a saucepan heat water, sage, parsley and thyme. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. While still warm, pour infusion into a blender with bok-choy, witch hazel and lemon juice and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Strain mixture through a coffee filter or paper towel and pour liquid into a small cosmetic bottle. Apply to face with a cottonwool pad, blotting all over.

Sage Spray Deodorant
From Regaining Health Naturally

1 ounce of sage tincture
1 ounce of witch hazel extract
10 - 20 drops of essential oil blend - Use sage, coriander or chamomile to fight bacteria and add another one that has the fragrance you like.
5 - 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract (a natural anti bacterial agent used here as a preservative add the GFSE into the sage alcoholic tincture before you put the oils in otherwise the GFSE tends to separate the oils.

Place in spray bottle, shake before use.

Carrot Potage
From Green Chronicle
A vegetable soup very similar to an ancient potage.

4 large carrots, peeled
1 medium sized potato, peeled
1 medium sized onion, peeled
2 tablespoons vegan marg or virgin olive oil
1 tsp thyme and sage, chopped
2 pints vegetable bouillon
1 tsp yeast extract
seasoning to taste

Chop the vegetables. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until it becomes transparent. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool slightly, then blend in small quantities in a blender until smooth. Reheat to serving temperature and adjust seasoning to taste.



sir jorge said...

sage is definitely one of my favorites

motherwintermoon said...

Sage. I love it. Thanx Jackie. Thank you for the award too.

I find a great vegan poet today at

I read her copyright and reproducing or republishing her work is not allowed, but I'm going to list her site in my links. I thought you might like to as well.

I admire her work and wanted to share this new-to-me discovery with you and your readers. Apparently there's going to be a book of her poetry in the future.

I wanted to post this comment on your Vegan Diet blog, but comments there are only open to Blogger bloggers.

Enjoy this day, MW

Marion said...

I drink Sage Tea, both for its taste and its calming effect on me. I love it, Jackie, thanks for posting such great info and recipes on Sage.

Janey Loree said...

This is a wonderful blog...I shall return!!! Stopped by while voting for you in BLOG VILLAGE...

Princess Haiku said...

Hi Jackie,
The sage oil seems very appealing and I am going to try some of these cures. I always keep wild sage on hand for ceremonial purposes and didn't realize it was so versatile. Nature has given us such treasures.

Dirty Butter said...

All I can say is - WOW!

Stacey said...


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TopVeg said...

I love growing sage & using it for cooking. Amazing how many uses it has!