Sage, an Herbal Profile
One of the first herbs that I took an interest in growing was sage. There are many uses for it, and while it a wonderful medicinal and culinary herb, many still use it to this day for purifying spaces. Why is that? What is the stigma behind sage? I have tried creating a smudge stick myself, and I think it smells rather... pungent. I don't love how to smells wafting about the house. But some people do, and I think it's fascinating how it is used in many spiritual habits. This ritual of burning sage specifically is often looked at as a Native American tradition, though it was used by Celtic druids and the Indigenous people of the Amazon. Salvia officinalis, or sage, is named from the word "to heal," and it is specifically used for just that.
Sage, also called garden sage, common sage, or culinary sage is a perennial evergreen shrub. It has woody stems and green/gray leaves. A member of the mint family, its origins come from the Mediterranean region. There are several different cultivars known throughout the world.
The most early text we have of sage being used comes from the Ancient Romans. It was then thought to have traveled in the packs of Roman soldiers to ward off evil, protect against animal bites, and increase the fertility of women. For the most part, they used it often as a dietary supplement and to help digest their food. During the Middle Ages, Charlemagne decreed that every farm on the crown's land must grow sage. It was often believed by the English that sage grown in the garden was a sign of how well your business would do; the more sage there was the better.
As with all herbs, over time it was used in many different ways such as in an herbal tea, poultices, and burning. Sage is often used medicinally, now, as an aid for sore throats and inflammation in the mouth. A grounding and cooling herb, it is one of the best remedies for laryngitis and sore throats. It can be used for colds, fevers, coughs, and flu. The leaves will help to soothe the throat and aid in inflammation of the mouth and tonsils. Oil made from the plant will help soothe mucous membranes.Even it ancient times it was used to clean teeth and as a gargle. Sage is extremely astringent which makes it a decent antiperspirant. Sage can help to strengthen the immune system, improve bone health and strength, treat eczema, psoriasis, and acne. If you have trouble with dandruff or an itchy scalp, you can distill dried sage to make a hair mask. As sage has antibacterial properties you can use it to soothe bug bits and skin infections.
I most often use sage while cooking! I find it has an interestingly sweet flavor, especially when used in a quiche or on meat. It makes a predominant flavor when used to season poultry, and I think can work wonders on a roasted chicken if used as a stuffing or placed under the skin. You can grab my roasted chicken recipe and try it for yourself! It is one of the few herbs to remain as a staple in English and French cooking. It is definitely an herb to try growing in your garden this year!
We sell dried sage from our garden in our online shop. You can purchase it in bulk quantities as well! We love being able to share our herbs with you. We also use our homegrown sage in a few of our herbal mixes and teas such as our Herbal Nesting Box Mix for Chickens and Detox Tea.