Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a member of mint family. It is an evergreen plant. It has a strong spicy aroma and slightly bitter taste. Sage has great medicinal value. Sage is a memory booster, anti microbial, anti inflammatory, diuretic, astringent and anti oxidant.
Sage is a brain tonic. It eliminates mental tension and improves failing memory. It also improves concentration. Sage tea is had to relieve and reduce stress. Sage leaves are boiled in water. This decoction is used as a lotion and applied on abrasions and ulcers to heal them. A hot compress of this decoction is put on the forehead to relieve headache. A hot compress applied on the abdomen helps in cramps, flatulence and dyspepsia. It also relieves itching and swelling caused by the insect bites. It also gives a great relief in sprains and joint aches. A paste of sage leaves is applied on the scalp to control dandruff and to stop pre-mature graying of hair. Sage has different hot and cold properties. It is a diaphoretic herb. A hot decoction promotes expulsion of wastes and toxins from the body by increasing perspiration. It is effective in cold and cough and is an expectorant. A cold decoction of sage on the other hand acts as an astringent. It decreases sweating and acts as a coolant for the body. A decoction of sage leaves is helpful in oral cavity disorders. It is used as a gargle in tonsils, mouth ulcers, sore throat and laryngitis. Its astringent quality gives relief in loose and bleeding gums and gingivitis. People chew sage leaves to clean their teeth and to strengthen their gums. Most of the herbal toothpastes and mouthwashes contain sage. Sage is most popularly had in the form of tea. Sage tea is an appetite stimulant. It gives relief in typhoid fever. The smoke released from
burning the dried leaves gives relief in Asthma. The leaves of sage are chopped fine and put in boiling water. Its vapours are inhaled to get relief from sinusitis and lung problems. Sage is a remarkable antioxidant. It fights the destructive free radicals in the cells. Sage is believed to have estrogenic biochemicals. It is greatly useful in menopausal symptoms like palpitations, dizziness and hot flushes. It should however be avoided during pregnancy. It is diuretic and helpful in urinary tract infections. One of the most popular uses of sage is for fumigation. Sage leaves are burnt and fumes released. The fumes kill germs and are also believed to cleanse the house of the negative energies. Sage has rightly been called “a miracle herb”.
Sage also has a great culinary value. It has a spicy flavour and is used as a condiment and a flavouring agent. It is used in foods that are fat or protein rich and heavy to digest. It is used in pizzas, soups and stews.
Sage can be easily cultivated at home. It can be bought from the nursery. It grows well in full sun to partial shade. It can be propagated through stem cuttings. It is a hardy perennial herb. Leaves are best used fresh. The leaves can be plucked, shade dried and stored for use.