We usually think of Sage during the holidays, when we make our Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. But, sage is quite versatile, pairing well not only with poultry and stuffing, but also with beef, pork, sausage, eggs, cheese, squash, apples, and citrus. Other recommended pairings with sage are asparagus, beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, corn, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes and turnips! My daughter even chose sage to decorate her wedding cake!  


Eating all of that sage could make you a little wiser too!

In 1597, herbalist John Gerard wrote that sage was "singularly good for the head and quickeneth the nerves and memory." Research on sage was conducted at the Medicinal Plant Research Center in England in 2003. Those who regularly took sage oil pills had much better word recall than those who did not. Perhaps having sage on the wedding cake will help my daughter and son-in-law remember their anniversary!  


Some researchers believe sage could be useful in treating Alzheimer's too. Sage contains a compound that is a natural acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. Simply speaking, those with Alzheimer's are deficient in the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. By inhibiting the enzyme that breaks it down, levels can remain higher. Alzheimer's patients are sometimes treated with drugs that do the same thing sage does naturally.  


Sage has been used for thousands of years for many other ailments, too. Its primary uses are the treatment of sore throats, typhoid fever, diarrhea, asthma, dental abscesses, mouth sores, digestion, nerves, muscle and joint pain, excessive perspiration, and hot flashes in menopausal women.  

Colonists in New England relied on sage tea to combat colds and flu, and even today many herbalists will recommend it to relieve symptoms and bring down fevers. Add some lemon, ginger, and honey, and sip on this delicious drink. Sage has antibacterial properties and is a natural expectorant, helping to expel and dry up excess mucus. 


Sage tea made with sage leaves I dried from my garden.

Sage oil is also effective against E. coli, salmonella and staph infections. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, but that's not all! Sage is a good source of vitamin A and calcium and has been used as a beauty aid to produce clear skin, and as a hair rinse to reduce hair loss and darken hair color.


Medicinally, sage is primarily used as a tea, but is also available as an extract and essential oil.


Grieve, A Modern Herbal (©1931)

Tierra, The Way of Herbs (©1980)

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™