Years ago, in Europe, there was a plague of Bubonic fever. A group of thieves made a special vinegar, infused with botanicals, and did not die of the plague! They started robbing the houses of plague victims and became very rich. Even today, Thieves vinegar and Thieves essential oil, are greatly believed on, by health gurus.
One of the base botanicals in this mixture, is Sage. This humble herb originates from the Mediterranean. There, it is seen as one of the 4 base herbs to work from. ( The others being parsley, rosemary and thyme.)
This herb has silvery leaves, elongated, and covered with fine down on the underside. It has a lovely savoury, peppery flavour. It needs full sun and can last several seasons, before becoming woody and stringy.Planting sage next to carrots, rosemary and cabbage, will be beneficial, but plant it some distance from cucumbers. It really makes beautiful garden plants, with pretty flowers as well.
The culinary uses of this herb is legendary, and sage based stuffing for roasts is probably the most well known. Sage with any form of egg is amazing. Sage butter is also a very old treat. Just chop the leaves finely and stir through the butter. Let the flavour develop for a few days in the fridge. My newest favourite is deep-fried sage leaves as a topping for various dishes. Take a big handful of sage leaves, and fry about 8 leaves at a time in a quarter cup hot olive oil. ( in a small pot) It takes only about 5 seconds per batch. Drain on toweling paper and season with good quality salt. Keep aside and serve as a topping on savoury dishes. My current favourite is amberosa rice, cooked in bone broth. When the rice is done, add to it oven roasted butternut cubes and fried bacon bits. Stir through and serve with a generous sprinkle of fried sage leaves. Yumm!!
The health benefits of sage, and there are many different species, are well documented. Top of the list, and conventional medicine confirms this, is brain health. In Alzheimer studies, people with mild and moderate Alzheimer”s, where given 2 mg of sage. 60 drops. Half of the people where given a placebo. They where tested for 2 months, and the people who received sage, tested much better in memory, reasoning skills and cognitive function than those who received the placebo. Young adults and children also test higher for focus, concentration and memory, if given sage. And that was after taking just a single dose. It really is a WISE old sage!
The second common way in which sage is use medically, is for menopause. It greatly reduces hot flushes and lessens over-perspiring. It also enhances mood, and lifts the depressions often felt during menopause.
Sage can be made into tea and drunk 3 times a day. This helps with digestive problems such as flatulence, bloating, heart burn, diarrhea, and stomach pain. This tea also helps with sore throat and gum disease. Taken 3 times daily, sage reduces “bad” cholesterol.(LDL)
Another well documented medicinal use is for cold sores. The standard cream for cold sores, Acyclovir Cream, takes 6 days to clear up cold sores. A cream made of sage extract combined with rhubarb extract, takes 7 days. Without the cost and harsh chemicals. Really a must have for this earth friendly, budget friendly and gentle lifestyle.
I am off to make some chicken stuffing with sage. Such a comfort!