How to Grow Sage (Salvia officinalis):
Soil: Well drained, light soil. No fertilizing required. Water only in dry weather once established. Sage won't do well in soggy or overwatered soil.
Position: Sunny and not crowded by other plants.
Height: 0.3 - 0.5 metres.
Plant: From Spring to Autumn.
Pests and Disease: nil
Pick: New growth all year round for use in cooking.
Care: cut back old growth in early spring, this will encourage fresh growth and prevent the plant from becoming woody. Plants are best replaced every 4 or 5 years.
Propagation: seeds, cuttings
Sage likes the company of other Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, rosemary and thyme.
Do not consume sage in large quantities when pregnant or breast feeding.
Part used: leaf
There is an ancient saying, roughly translated as: "Why should a man die while sage grows in his garden?" This saying illustrates the wide range of medicinal benefits from eating sage and drinking sage tea.
Regularly consuming sage is a good way to increase the antioxidants in your diet. Sage is an important herb in the Mediterranean diet and is linked to good cardiac health.
Sage is a fantastic digestive aid when consuming rich or fatty foods. Sage is often paired with butter in cooking.
I regularly recommend sage tea for relieving the sweating associated with hot flushes and night sweats during menopause.
Sage is also great herb for fighting colds and flu. It will help to soothe the inflammation in the mouth or throat and is anti-bacterial.
New research into the chemical compounds in sage has shown that it can be beneficial in the treatment of dementia, depression, diabetes, lupus, heart disease and cancer.
Clinical trials are proceeding for using sage to treat Alzheimer's Disease. These trials look very promising.
How to cook with Sage:
If you nibble on a fresh sage leaf you will discover that it has a very strong and pungent flavour, which needs to be used carefully in cooking. Sage is best used in small quantities and with other strong flavours.
Fresh sage compliments dense, sweet-savoury foods which benefit from it's strong flavour and bitter finish.
Sage is delicious with pork, chicken, prosciutto, bacon, egg, onion, butter, tomato, apple, white beans, pumpkin and squash.
Add a small amount of chopped, fresh sage to beef burgers.
Recipe for sage tea to relieve sweating
2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
500mL of warm water
juice of 1 lemon
Combine the above ingredients in a jar and leave overnight.
In the morning, strain the sage leaves out.
Dilute and sip throughout the day to assit with hot flushes.
Sage tea may also assist with night sweats if consumed before bed.
Sage Pesto Recipe
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (omit for dairy free version)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine herbs, garlic and oil in a food processor and blend until creamy. Mix in nuts and parmesan and then add salt and pepper to taste.