Article - Garden SageCommon Name: SAGE - GARDEN
Scientific Name: Salvia officinalis
This perennial evergreen shrub has been in use for thousands of years for its healing and culinary properties. With its foliage of grey-green and whorls of violet blue flowers in summer, it makes an attractive garden plant.
Pick young leaves and use it either fresh or dried. Before cooking, quickly immerse sage leaves in hot water to bring the leaf oils to the surface and enhance the flavour. Sage is valued for counteracting rich fatty meat like pork, goose and duck. It is tasty in oil and vinegar. Sage and onion stuffing is a well known accompaniment for poultry and roast pork. Fresh sage can be sprinkled sparingly over salads and on grilled fish or meat. You can also use it in/or sprinkle it over vegetables, cheeses and kebabs. Add a few finely chopped fresh leaves sparingly in bread or scone dough, and with cottage cheese. Freeze in ice cubes for later use.
In ancient times sage was used to preserve meat, as an antiseptic and to cure snakebites. Today it is supposedly the herb of eternal youth as modern research has shown that it arrests the ageing process, and it is being tested as a treatment for Alzheimer. It has a high mineral content. Sage is known as a digestive medicine to treat upset stomachs, flatulence and diarrhoea. It is astringent, carminative, antispasmodic and a systemic antibiotic. It is used for poor digestion, hormonal problems and to stimulate the brain. It is antiseptic and can be used as a dentifrice (toothpaste), and when you burn the dried herb, as a deodorise for animal and cooking smells. It is a popular remedy against gingivitis (tandvleis ontsteking) and mucosal inflammation of the mouth and throat. Chew a few fresh leaves to ease a sore throat and symptoms of flue. For a cough/ colds - pour over 4-5 fresh leaves, 250ml (1 cup) of boiling water, and allow to stand for 5 min.. Strain. Add honey and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste (optional). You can also add a little thyme. Brew a stronger tea to use as a gargle and mouthwash for mouth ulcers and sore throat. It's also a good tonic and considered effective as antisudorific to treat night sweats and excessive perspiration. It is also anti- diabetic. Prepare a poultice to treat boils and burn the dried herb as an inhalant for asthma.
Hair rinse: Slow cook 10 leaves for 10 min. with 2 cups (500ml) of water, let it cool off and keep for later use. To colour grey hair, add 20ml (4 tsp) used tealeaves (2 teabags) to this mixture. Strain and rinse your hair after washing. It is a natural deodorant - use in bath, potpourri.
Dried: Good moth repellent.
It does not like wet roots. Woody stems should be cut back after flowering. Replace every 4-5 yrs. It likes a warm, slightly shaded position.