Common Names: Culinary Sage, Garden Sage, Meadow Sage, Greek Sage,
Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis
Plant Family: Lamiaceae, Mint Family
Parts Used: Leaves primarily (and whole aerial parts for infusions)
Actions: Bitter, aromatic, astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative
Habitat: Culinary sage is native to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. However, you will most likely see it in someone’s herb garden. When people ask, “What herbs should I plant in my garden?” a common answer is SAGE. It’s a small, rounded, perennial shrub that is hardy (growing in zones 4-8). It’s easy to grow in the right conditions; full sun, warm-hot conditions, and well-drained soil.
“…where rosemary thrives in the garden, the woman rules the house, but where sage thrives, the man rules.” (Rosemary Gladstar, Medicinal Herbs; A Beginner’s Guide)
Collection: I generally harvest this leaf whenever I need it to cook. If I want to harvest sage for medicine, I will gather the leaves before flowering.
Sage is bitter and pungent. It helps lower cholesterol (digesting fats and meats), move stagnant digestion and tonify the liver. Sage’s volatile oils have a relaxant effect on the smooth muscles in the stomach, hence it settles the stomach, while also stimulating the digestive enzymes. It also aids gas and bloating. Think of sage when you’re at the uncomfortably full point after a meal, it will help move everything along. No wonder why we cook a lot of meats and heavy meals with sage…
Cold/ Flu/ Coughs
I commonly use herb for sore throats and coughs. It is drying, yet at the same time, it is an anti-spasmodic. Sage soothes a dry cough, that hurts both the lungs and the throat. Take sage as a tea or infuse it in honey for ultimate relief. These sage infused remedies are also powerful decongestants for both sinuses and lungs.
Circulation & Brain Power
While sage moves mucus out of the body or gets digestive enzymes flowing, it also moves blood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine sage can help stagnant blood conditions such as varicose veins and blood clots. As your blood flows, cognitive function improves. Sage strengthens memory and tones the conscious mind. Use sage as a brain tonic, prevent memory loss.
Kiva Rose recommends taking sage with skullcap or milky oats as a way of “waking up the mind, increasing memory awareness while staying grounded and calm.”
We most commonly use this herb for culinary purposes. It gives a deep note to your dish and that pungency really stands out. It is a powerful antioxidant, which slows spoilage, and it was traditional used as a preservative. Enjoy meals with sage. Below are a few examples…
One teaspoon (.7g) ground sage has 2 calories. It provides 0.1 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 0.4 g carbohydrates, 12 mg calcium, 0.2 mg vitamin C and 41 IU vitamin A
Whether you are entering menopause, dealing with irregular menstrual cycles, weaning your child from breast feeding or a man who suffers from premature ejaculation, sage is here to heal you! Sage helps the female reproductive system by regulating menstruation (especially if your menstruation is scanty or delayed). It can also help with menstrual cramps. Menopausal women read on… sage relieves hot flashes and night sweats. It’s a drying herb that regulates the body’s fluids. Men with premature ejaculation problems can benefit from the astringent and regulatory properties of sage. (No wonder it’s a man ruling herb!)
Caution to Breast Feeding Mama’s; Sage dries up the flow of milk during lactation. I would avoid it during pregnancy and while nursing. It is wonderful if you are wanting to wean your child from breast feeding or if you had a miscarriage.
Uses of Sage: tea, oil, salve, tincture, honey, vinegar, wine, butter, herbal salt, tooth powder, steam inhalation or essential oil.
Italian Braised Beef
3-4 pounds beef chuck roast
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
24 oz tomato sauce
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 1 can Italian plum tomatoes (28 oz)
1 cup water
½ tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh marjoram
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ lb fresh mushrooms, sliced salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or deep ovenproof skillet, slowly brown meat and onion in olive oil on top of stove or in oven at 450F. Turn over to brown both sides. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, water, allspice, marjoram, sage, thyme, garlic and parsley (reserve some parsley for garnish). Cover and cook on top of stove over low heat or in oven at 300F for 1 1/2-2 hours. Meat should be very tender. Add more water if necessary. When meat is tender, skim off any excess fat. Add mushrooms and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove meat from pan and let rest 10-15 minutes. Slice meat and serve with sauce over macaroni, rigatoni or rice. Garnish with reserved parsley. Substitute Chianti or Zinfandel for 1 cup water for extra flavor in sauce. (Southern Herb Growing)
Sage Stuffed Acorn Squash
6 medium acorn squash--cut in ½ and seeded
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup cornbread crumbs
½ minced onion
1 cup milk
1 egg beaten
2-3 Tbsp minced fresh sage
¼ cup olive oil (flavored if possible)
Place squash cut side down in Pyrex type dish. Add about ½"-1" water and bake at 350F for 1 hour or until tender (microwave 20- 25 minutes). Cool somewhat. Scoop out squash leaving shell. Combine squash pulp and all ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Spoon back into shell. Drizzle with oil and bake additional 15 minutes. Serves 12. Can easily be cut down. (The Herbal Connection Collection)
Same recipe with thyme By Rosemary Gladstar
- Fill a widemouthed glass jar half full of fresh sage leaves.
- Gently warm a batch of raw, unpasteurized honey, so that it will better extract the properties of sage.
- DO NOT OVERHEAT OR BOIL HONEY; heat over 110 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the honey's enzymes and destroy its medicinal benefit.
- Add enough honey to the jar to cover the herbs, and place the jar in a warm spot.
- When the honey tastes and smells strongly of sage, it's finished.
- You can leave the sage leaves in the honey, or strain them out.
- Bottle and store in a cool pantry.
To Use: Use by the spoonful. Enjoy this delicious thyme honey by itself, or use it to sweeten teas for additional medicinal benefits.
“Relax Already! Selected Nervine Differentials” in Plant Healer Magazine by Kiva Rose
Medicinal Herbs; A Beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar
Sage, Featured Herb by Rosalee De La Foret
Southern Herb Growing by Madalene Hill & Gwen Barclay
The Herbal Connection Collection by Maureen Rogers & Patricia Sulick
The Herbal Menopause Book by Amanda McQuade Crawford