by Ayshica Andrews
herb most synonymous with fall has to be sage. It pairs well with all fall
cuisine: roasted meats and veggies, squash and pumpkin soups or stews,
Thanksgiving stuffing, and delicious sweet potatoes. Crispy sage leaves
also add a final touch to a bowl of pasta. However, there's much more to this earthy-tasting herb, and
it is fantastic to keep in your herbal remedy box.
is a member of the mint family. Mint family plants can be identified by their
square stems and opposite leaves. Mint family plants are known to aid
digestion, which is why sage is so popular in heavy dishes. Botanically it is
known as Salvia officinalis. Salvia means to save or to heal, and officinalis
denotes that it has uses in medicine and herbalism. Its high volatile oil
content is responsible for the sweet, earthy aroma.
simple ways to incorporate more sage in wellness are sage tea and sage honey.
tea is an easy way to take advantage of the healing qualities of this herb.
Depending on the temperature of the tea, sage will benefit the body
differently. As a warm tea, sage is useful for those who cannot digest fats
well. Sage is both bitter and pungent, and it is these qualities that work on
digestion. It eases gas and bloating, as well as painful intestinal cramping. Warm
sage tea can also be used to calm mild fevers, as it stimulates sweating to
remove the heat from the body.
a room temperature tea, its antibacterial and astringent properties (astringent
herbs have a drying or tightening effect on the tissues of the body) are more
prevalent. It is used to soothe sore throats, mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, and
canker sores. It is often an ingredient in natural mouthwashes and tooth
is also a powerful ally for women’s wellness. It is used to help decrease milk
flow when weaning babies. However, during pregnancy and nursing, sage should be
avoided other than as flavoring in food. In addition, the compound thujone in
sage stimulates blood flow in the pelvic region and is helpful with missed or
irregular cycles. Sage is also beneficial for menopausal symptoms. It cools hot
flashes and supports the adrenal glands.
recent years, studies have shown that sage is beneficial for improving memory
and cognition and can help people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. In
Alzheimer’s patients, the chemical acetylcholine breaks down quickly and over
time the production of acetylcholine is reduced. Sage has anti-acetylcholinesterase
properties and slows down the breakdown of acetylcholine.
honey is a little more special, especially in cold and flu season when extra
comfort and care are appreciated. A spoonful can be swallowed or stirred into
boiling water in order to soothe a sore throat. It will bring relief to
inflamed tissues as well.
honey can be used in marinades and vinaigrettes, drizzled on toast, or enjoyed
on a scone. It is delicious whipped into butter and spread on a warm piece of
a tablespoon of fresh-chopped sage to a mug.
over 8 ozs to 10 ozs of boiling water, then add a teaspoon of honey and a
squeeze of lemon.
and steep for 10 minutes before straining.
well to ensure all the honey has dissolved before straining. If
a room-temperature preparation is needed, leave to cool further.
an 8 oz glass jar by placing in a pot of water that completely submerges the
to a boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes.
from the boiling water with a pair of tongs and allow to air dry on a clean
it has completely dried, fill the jar halfway with homegrown or organic
store-bought sage leaves.
organic, raw honey (local is best) over the sage leaves until the jar is full.
the jar and leave the honey to rest.
the jar over once a day
4 weeks, your honey will be ready.
can be strained and should be kept in a cool, dark place where it can last for
quite some time.
culinary sage can be purchased at the grocery store or grown at home. As the
weather cools down, it does very well in the garden. Alternatively, a pot on a
sunny window ledge is perfect for everyday kitchen use. In late spring, the
beautiful lilac-colored blossoms can be added to salads. As we ease into fall
and winter, we can take advantage of all the benefits that sage offers for
Ayshica Andrews is a realtor, blogger, gardening consultant,
and “food is medicine enthusiast.” For more information, email her at [email protected] or visit GardeningInTheDesert.com. Also follow her on
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