Garden Sage is an exceptional herb often associated with Thanksgiving and pale green leaves. It’s distinctive aroma reminiscent of savory fall stuffings.
But sage is so much more than a savory herb with a beautiful leaf. It’s an incredibly easy to grow herb that can deliver a variety of health benefits.
Sage is part of our Medicinal Herb series, that began as a quest to discover uses for herbs found in a historically accurate 1860s herb garden.
Inflammation of mouth and throat, indigestion, menopausal symptoms, boost memory and improve mood.
Historically, sage was used as fertility treatments in Egypt and in ancient Greece, a solution was made using sage and water to clean sores and ulcers and to stop bleeding. It was also thought to extend life.
Today, sage is often used for mouth and throat inflammation, indigestion and sweating. It is also thought to alleviate menopausal symptoms in some women. There also is a small study that validates the use of sage to improve mood and boost memory, especially in healthy young people. It also has shown positive results in another clinical study where it showed enhanced thinking and learning abilities in older adults with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take this for medicinal purposes.
Culinary Herb Gardens
Sage is one of the most common herbs found in culinary herb gardens. I love its suede-like texture, the greenish-gray leaves. And while I must admit, turkey always comes to mind when I think about this herb, it actually has a varied and diverse history. In fact, sage wasn’t even used for food flavoring until the 17th century.
This herb is a member of the mint family and is best used as a fresh herb when its aromatic flavors are heightened. Its flavor has been described as a combination of rosemary, pine, and mint. When dried, its flavor is more camphoric.
This plant is used in the following forms: dried leaves, liquid extracts, and essential oils.
For more information on sage and others herbs, the government website at the National Institutes for Health is a great resource.
The University of Illinois notes that sage is a perennial herb “that prefers a full sun location in soils that are well prepared with compost.”
And recommends growing sage in a very well-drained soil, especially over the winter. It can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Cuttings are preferred as seeds may take several years to produce harvestable plants.
As plants age, they become woody and benefit from being replaced in order to maintain quality foliage for culinary use. Prune plants back in the spring just as new growth resumes. Sage is also useful as an ornamental plant in containers or in the garden.”
Leaves can be harvested through the season as needed. Cut 6-8 inch long stems for drying. Leaves can then be removed and stored in a sealed container. Sage can keep for up to two weeks when dry leaves are loosely packed in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.
Preservation: Sage can be stored fresh in the refrigerator in ziplock bags for two weeks, frozen for two months, or dried whole and crushed just before using.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Always consult with your physician before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
Medicinal Herb Garden Series:
Below is a list of posts we’ve compiled on common herbs found in historic medicinal gardens. Each post contains information of the herb’s medicinal uses, growing tips, and more.