Scientific Name:Salvia officinalis
About this Herb:Sage is a perennial, evergreen sub-shrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. Cultivated Sage comes in a variety of sizes, leaf and flower colors, and foliage patterns, with many variegated leaf types. The Old World type grows too approximately 2 ft. (0.61 m) tall and wide, with lavender flowers most commonly, though they can also be white, pink, or purple. The plant flowers in late spring or summer. The leaves are oblong, ranging in size up to 2.5 in (6.4 cm) long by 1 in (2.5 cm) wide. Leaves are gray-green, with creases, wrinkles, or ridges on the upper side, and nearly white underneath due to the many short soft hairs.
Common Names:Garden Sage, Common Sage
Uses:As a kitchen herb, sage has a slight peppery flavor. It is one of the major herbs used in the traditional turkey stuffing for the Thanksgiving Day dinner in the United States. It has been recommended at one time or another for virtually every ailment by various herbals. Modern evidence shows possible uses as an anti-sweating agent, antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and tonic. In a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial, sage was found to be effective in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Investigations have taken place into using sage as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease patients. Sage leaf extract may be effective and safe in the treatment of hyperlipidemia.
Applications:Extracts: 1 teaspoon 3 times a day
Tea: Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink no more than 3 cups per day to improve digestion and help regulate blood sugar. (Remember that people with diabetes must be under a doctor's care and should consult their doctor before taking medicinal amounts of any herb.) Drinking sage infusions could also help reduce wetness if you perspire a lot.
Infusion: See Tea and use as a gargle for sore throat or as a mouthwash for gingivitis.