Sage—-Not just for Thanksgiving


Posted by admin | Posted in Sage | Posted on 30-12-2014

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Sage isn’t just for Thanksgiving . Here is more info on its many benefits.

Salvia officinalis
[SAL-vee-uh oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss]

Names: garden sage, meadow sage, Spanish sage, Greek sage, Dalmatian sage; Salbel, Salbei, echte Salvei (German); sauge (French); salvia (Italian); Salvia (Spanish); Szalwia lekarska (Polish); Alisfakiá, Khamosfka (Greek)

Family: Labiatae

Description: small, rounded shrub with a height of 2 feet and a width of 2 feet. The flowers are violet-blue, pink or white up to 1 3/8 inches long, small, tubelike, clustered together in whorls along the stem tops. The leaves are woolly white, textured, elongated ovals 1-2½ inches. The drier the weather, the grayer the leaf color. Blooms May to June.

Cultivation: A perennial to zone 4-5. Germination is 2-3 weeks. Space 1½ to 2 feet apart. Soil temperature 60-70F. Soil should be well drained, sandy, fairly rich with some nitrogen and a pH of 6-6.5. Sow seeds 6-8 weeks before the first frost. Needs mulch when temperatures drop below 0F. Cut 6-8 inches of top growth from the plant 2 or 3 times a year (after the first growing season), then dry the bunches in thin layers. Sage leaves are heavy so drying may take from 7-10 days. Seeds difficult to germinate, root cuttings in sand or layer them. Use a light application of fish emulsion in early spring. Set traps to deter pill bugs; use bacillus thoringiensis to kill worms; spray with insecticidal soap to kill mealy bugs.

History: The generic name for sage, Salvia, comes from the Latin word meaning “to heal” or “savior” The Greeks called it elifagus which became the Greek spahkos and later, sawge in Old English. .The ancient Greeks and Romans first used sage as a meat preservative. They also believe it could enhance memory. Pliny prescribed it for snakebite, epilepsy, intestinal worms, chest ailments, and menstruation promotion. Dioscorides considered it a diuretic and menstruation promoter and recommended sage leaves as bandages for wounds. Around the 10th century, Arab physicians believe sage extended life to the point of immortality. After the Crusades, this belief showed up in Europe where the saying : “Why should a man die who grows sage in his garden?” evolved. Charlemagne ordered sage grown in the medicinal herb gardens on his imperial farms and the French called the herb toute bonne, meaning all’s well. Every country’s herbals recommended sage: an Icelandic book from the year 1000, Hildegard of Bingen, Chinese physicians, Ayurvedic physicians and John Gerard and Nicholas Culpeper. Folk healers in America used sage to treat insomnia, epilepsy, measles, seasickness and intestinal worms. The Eclectics used it primarily to treat fever and also prescribed sage poultices for arthritis and the tea as a sexual depressant. As late as the 1920s, US medical texts recommended sage tea as a gargle for sore throat and sage leaf poultices for sprains and swellings.
English herbalists believed that in the garden, this plant would prosper or wane as the owner’s business prospered or failed. It was also said that the plant grows vigorously in any garden where the wife rules the house. It was common, then, for the husband to prune the garden ruthlessly to destroy the evidence of his subservience. In France, it was displayed in cemeteries to mitigate grief.

Properties: aromatic, stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, immune stimulant

Constituents: Of oil: pinene, camphene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, bornyl acetate, borneol, salviol, camphor, cineole, thujone, phellandrene

Energetics: spicy, astringent, warm

Meridians/Organs affected: lungs, stomach

Nutritional profile: one teaspoon (.7 g) ground sage has 2 calories. It provides 0.1 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 0.4 g carbohydrates, 12 mg calcium, 0.2 mg vitamin C and 41 IU vitamin A

Medicinal Uses: Sage oil has a unique property from all other healing herbs–it reduces perspiration. Several studies show sage cuts perspiration by as much as 50% with the maximum effect occurring 2 hours after ingestion. This effect explains how it developed a reputation for treating fever with profuse sweating. Salysat is a sage-based antiperspirant marketed in Germany. Sage is a drying agent for the body. Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for sores and stings. Use two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day. Can also be used as a gargle. It tastes warm, aromatic and somewhat pungent. Tincture: 15-40 drops, up to four times a day.
Like rosemary, sage contains powerful antioxidants, which slow spoilage supporting its traditional use as a preservative. This is due to the presence of labiatic acid and carnosic acid. British researchers have confirmed that sage inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, thus preserving the compound that seems to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.
Sage makes a good digestive remedy. The volatile oils have a relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, while in conjunction with the bitters, they stimulate the appetite and improve digestion. Sage encourages the flow of digestive enzymes and bile, settles the stomach, relieves colic, wind, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea and colitis, liver complaints, and worms. Its antiseptic properties are helpful in infections such as gastroenteritis. Sage is a tonic to the nervous system and has been used to enhance strength and vitality.
It has a tonic effect upon the female reproductive tract and is recommended for delayed or scanty menstruation, or lack of periods, menstrual cramps and infertility. It has an estrogenic effect, excellent for menopausal problems, especially hot flashes and night sweats. It stimulates the uterus, so is useful during childbirth and to expel the placenta. It stops the flow of breast milk and it is excellent for weaning. One German study shows sage reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics who drink the infusion on an empty stomach. It also contains astringent tannins which account for its traditional use in treating canker sores, bleeding gums and sore throats. Commission E endorses using 2-3 teaspoons of dried sage leaves per cup of boiling water to make an anti-gingivitis tea. Recently published studies by a team of scientists from the Department of Microbiology and Chemotherapy at the Nippon Roche Research Center in Kamakura Japan, informed that powdered sage or sage tea helps to prevent blood clots from forming, and is quite useful in the prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction and general coronary pains.

Floral Calm Tea: 4 oz skullcap herb; 2 oz rosemary flower, leaf; 2 oz linden flower; 1 oz sage leaf; 1 oz passion flower herb. Combine 1/2 ounce of the mixture with 3 cups of boiling water in a teapot or container with a well-fitting lid. Let stand for five to fifteen minutes before straining. Drink 2 ups hot or cold as needed. (The Herbal Menopause Book)

Cyclone Cider Deluxe
¼ cup grated fresh gingerroot
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
1/8 cup fresh sage leaves
1/8 grated fresh horseradish
4 slices fresh organic lemon
4 slices fresh organic orange
4-6 fresh peeled garlic cloves
2-4 cayenne peppers
apple cider vinegar
honey or maple syrup
Place all herbs, fruits and vegetables into a widemouthed jar. Cover with 2-3 times as much apple cider vinegar. Place plastic wrap over jar and then secure tightly with a lid. Shake daily for 2-4 weeks. Store at room temperature out of direct heat and light. Strain, squeezing all liquid possible out of the herbs. Discard herbs and rebottle the vinegar. Add honey to taste, enough o make a syrupy consistency. Take 1-2 Tbsp as needed, or add to soups, sauces, marinades and dressings.

Sage Throat Spray:
5 fresh sage leaves
8 oz distilled water
5 inch square cheese cloth
8 oz amber glass bottle with spray-top
Place sage in a small glass bowl. In a small, nonmetal pot with a tightly fitting lid, bring the distilled water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the sage. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Place the cheese cloth in a fine-gauge sieve. Strain the infusion into the spray bottle and discard the spent herb. For swollen, inflamed throat apply the spray every 2 hours. Can be stored in refrigerator for 3 days. (The Healing Kitchen)

Homeopathic: Homeopaths use sage for night sweats, coughs, and to dry breast milk.

Flower Essence: Sage flower essence enables the Self to learn and reflect about life experience, particularly enhancing the capacity to experience deep inner peace and wisdom. This remedy addresses a natural distillation process which occurs as the healthy person ages. Drawing wisdom from life experience; reviewing and surveying one’s life process from a higher perspective.

Aromatherapy Uses:

Extraction method: steam distillation of the dried plant.

Characteristics: strong, herbal, fresh and spicy; colorless. Top note.

Energy: heating, drying; Taste: pungent, bitter,astringent

Dosha effect K V-, P+

Blends well with: bay, bergamot, geranium, ginger, lavender, melissa, myrtle, niaouli, orange, rosemary; cajeput; clary sage; eucalyptus; peppermint, pine, rose, tea tree, citrus, rosewood, citronella, pine

Toxicity: Since the oil contains up to 50% ketone, a toxic substance that causes cramps, it should not be taken orally.

Uses: Digestive system: helpful for weak or debilitated digestion, also good for diarrhea
Respiratory: strengthens the lungs and if useful for colds, flu, coughs and sore throats.
Reproductive: Promotes menstruation and is helpful for scanty periods or menstrual cramps. Eases hot flashes and sweating during menopause
Muscular System: relaxes the muscles, especially when they have been overworked as in weight-training or other strenuous sports.
Skin: Good for cuts and wounds; seems to arrest bleeding from cuts and wounds and helps the formation of scar tissue.
Emotion: Quickens the senses, strengthens the memory and tones the conscious mind. Indicated for tiredness, depression and grief

Digestive: 6 drops sage; 4 drops peppermint; 2 drops orange
Respiratory: 5 drops sage; 4 drops eucalyptus; 2 drops thyme
Reproductive: 6 drops sage; 3 drops geranium; 3 drops cypress
Emotion: 4 drops sage; 2 drops bergamot; 2 drops lime

Cosmetic Use: Sage is recommended for oily skin as a deep cleansing mask or a facial steam. It’s a tooth cleaner or works well with apricot and banana as a lip balm. It’s recommended for dry/sensitive hair; anti-dandruff; added shine and luster; color enhancer for dark and grey hair. It’s a refreshing and deodorizing footbath.

For an aftershave: Buy two bottles of plain witch hazel. Pour ½ cup liquid out of one of the bottles, and 1/4 cup crumbled sage leaves. Cap the bottle and shake it thoroughly. Let it stand for a week, pour out all the witch hazel in the second bottle, and strain the scented liquid from the first bottle into the second through a coffee filter or a clean linen handkerchief. Discard the wet sage leaves. If you prefer a stronger scent, repeat the process, adding another ¼ cup crumbled dried sage leaves to the liquid. At the end of the second week, strain the liquid back into the empty witch hazel bottle, discard the sage leaves and the empty bottle and use the liquid as an astringent aftershave.. Sage tea can be used as an after-shampoo rinse to make brunette hair shiny and smooth. To make the rinse, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 tablespoon rubbed or ground sage. Let the mix steep for 15 minutes. Then strain the liquid through a coffee filter or a clean linen handkerchief; use after shampooing.

Rosemary-Wheat Germ Body Toner
1/2 cup water, 2 Tbsp chopped sage leaves, 2 Tbsp chopped rosemary leaves; 1/4 cup wheat germ; 1/2 cucumber (do not peel); 1/4 russet potato; 1 Tbsp alfalfa sprouts; 1 tsp lemon extract
Bring water, sage, and rosemary to a light boil; reduce heat and simmer infusion for 1/2 hour. Let cool and, in a blender, mix infusion with remaining ingredients together on medium speed for 1 minute, or until pureed. Filter solution through a paper towel or coffee filter, discarding solids. Put liquid into a small cosmetic bottle and apply to face, gently wiping with a cotton ball. Let toner absorb into skin and follow with a moisturizer. Use daily. Cover and refrigerate; discard after 3-4 days. (Blended Beauty)

Black Tea Body Masque with Almond and Peppermint
1 1/4 cups water, 2 black tea bags, 1 Tbsp chopped sage leaves; 1 Tbsp thyme leaves; 1/2 packet unflavored gelatin; 1/2 tsp honey; 1/4 tsp almond extract; 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan; immerse the tea bags, sage and thyme in it, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes; remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in gelatin, honey, and extracts. Let sit in refrigerator for 8-12 hours or until firm (it should have a gelatinous consistency). Apply to the body, smoothing mixture evenly over skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Makes 1 cup. For entire body, double the recipe. Cover and refrigerate; discard after 5 days. (Blended Beauty)

Hair Color: Make an infusion of a handful of “tops” or the dried leaves in 1 pint of boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes before straining. Massage into scalp and hair after shampooing. Let dry on and afterwards massage in a little coconut oil if the hair is dry.

Sage Stain-removing Powder
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves; 2 Tbsp sea salt
Put the ingredients in a bowl and using a pestle or some other heavy smooth tool, crush them into a fine powder. Place the mixture in a warm oven. When it is well baked and fairly hard, remove and pulverize a second time. Store in a shallow airtight container. This cleanser rids the teeth of harmful plague and unsightly stains.

Deodorizing Herbal Foot Bath
2 Tbsp rosemary, 2 Tbsp pennyroyal, 2 Tbsp sage, 2 Tbsp angelica, 2 Tbsp juniper berries, 2 pints boiling water. Put all the ingredients in the boiling water, cover and leave to stand for one hour. Strain, bottle and refrigerate. Pour half a pint of liquid into a foot-basin partially filled with warm water. Immerse your feet in the soak for fifteen to twenty minutes. Pat dry and apply a cologne or astringent. (The Natural Beauty Book)
Sage Lip Cream: 4 tsp sweet almond oil, 1 tsp shredded beeswax, 2 tsp dried sage, 4 tsp warm rosewater, 5 drops sage oil. Put the almond oil and the beeswax together in a double boiler and simmer slowly until they have melted and mixed. Add the dried sage, stir, cover and allow to simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to steep for two hours. Return the mixture to a low heat, strain and whip in the rosewater. Continue blending for several minutes. Remove from the heat, ad the sage oil and keep stirring until the salve thickens and cools. Pot and label.

Ritual Uses: Gender: Hot. Planet: Jupiter. Element: Earth. Part Used: herb. Basic Powers: Healing, Prosperity. Add to healing and prosperity sachets, incenses, and amulets. It absorbs negativity and misfortune. It drives away disturbances and tensions, and lifts the spirits above the mundane cares of life. Burn it to consecrate a ritual space. Carry it as an herb of protection. Use it in the ritual bath and the chalice. Herb of Jupiter. It brings wisdom, immortality and wealth. Tradition holds that those who eat sage become immortal in wisdom and in years. It is used in wish manifestation and to attract money. The Language of Flowers: domestic virtues; esteem; long life and good health

Culinary Uses:
Fresh sage has a milder flavor than dry so it can be used more extensively. In Italy, fresh sage leaves are fried whole and eaten with gnocchi, potatoes and veal dishes. Focaccia is frequently studded with fresh sage leaves. In England, fresh sage and onion stuffing is traditional with goose and chopped fresh sage is mixed with cottage cheese to spread on dark bread. Sage honey is marvelous over homemade bread and muffins. Stir chopped fresh sage into biscuit dough and add it to dumplings and scones. Lay cut branches of sage on top of hot coals to impart a sage flavor to the cooking food. Spread fresh leaves ver a pork roast before cooking. Use it to cut the richness of fatty foods such as goose, duck and oily fish. Fresh sage has a prominent lemon zest flavor that is lost when the herb is dried. Fresh sage can be frozen: place small sprigs in plastic bags and freeze. It will keep for up to two months.
Tastes good with/in: poultry stuffing mixtures with onion, rich and fatty meats such as goose and pork, sausages and other charcuterie, veal, risotto, anchovies, tomato-based sauces, salads, pickles and cheese dishes. An affinity with oregano, thyme, parsley and bay leaf.

Sage Liqueur
12-14 fresh sage leaves or 4 tsp dried or 2 tsp ground
2 whole cloves
sliced and scraped peel of one lemon
1½ cups dry white wine
1 ¼ cups vodka
1 cup sugar syrup
Lightly crush the sage leaves, add the clove and lemon peel to the white wine and vodka for 2 weeks. Strain and filter; add the sugar syrup. Mature 4-9 weeks.
Sugar Syrup
1 cup white granulated sugar and ½ cup water
Bring to a boil, and stir until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Always cool before adding to alcohol mixture. (Homemade Liqueurs)

Sage Flower Pesto
2 cups sage flowers
1/4 cups walnuts, roasted
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 green onion, white part only, coarsely chopped
Process all ingredients in processor until smooth. Good on pasta or as an accompaniment to roast pork or veal.

Sage Crusted Lemon Sole
1 cup sage flowers, finely chopped
12 small mushrooms, finely chopped
¾ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lemon zest, finely chopped
1/3 cup bread crumbs, processed to a fine consistency
1 egg
6 Tbsp sweet (unsalted) butter, softened to room temperature
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 lemon sole fillets
Mix the flowers, mushrooms, parsley, lemon zest, crumbs, egg, butter, salt and pepper in a nonmetallic bowl. Preheat the broiler. In a heavy, cast-iron (or all metal–no plastic handles) frying pan, heat the oil until hot (not smoking). Add the fillets and cook them about 2 minutes on each side, just until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon the crust mixture onto the fish. Smooth to evenly cover each fillet. Place the frying pan about 12 inches under the broiler and cook until the crust is crisp and lightly browned. Be careful not to burn it. (Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate)

Sage Stuffed Acorn Squash
6 medium acorn squash–cut in ½ and seeded
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup cornbread crumbs
½ minced onion
1 cup milk
1 egg beaten
2-3 Tbsp minced fresh sage
¼ cup olive oil (flavored if possible)
Place squash cut side down in pyrex type dish. Add about ½”-1″ water and bake at 350F for 1 hour or until tender (microwave 20-25 minutes). Cool somewhat. Scoop out squash leaving shell. Combine squash pulp and all ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Spoon back into shell. Drizzle with oil and bake additional 15 minutes. Serves 12. Can easily be cut down. (The Herbal Connection Collection)

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Flowers in the Kitchen, Susan Belsinger, Interweave, 1991; ISBN: 0-934026-63-7
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An Herbal Feast, Risa Mornis, Keats, 1998, ISBN: 0-87983-801-9
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HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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