Herb Series: Medicinal Uses for Sage

How many of you grow herbs for medicinal uses? Sage is by far one of the hardiest herbs that I have growing in my herb garden. Good old sage. We all have our fussy favorites like Tomatoes that require extra vigilance against disease and pests not to mention extra watering and pruning but there are also the old faithful plants like this sage which are almost indestructible. When we bought our house this sage plant was shriveled and struggling with weeds in an old garden box where it had hardly been watered. I transplanted it into a bucket and set it aside doubting it would survive the winter. Not only did it survive but it thrived after we transplanted it into the herb garden last spring. It bloomed and doubled in size giving me this! I gratefully use it for beef stew every week in the winter and it was the big crowd pleaser on the Turkey at Thanksgiving, but I have been curious what other health benefits it offers. In these quieter months of winter I have been researching the medicinal benefits of some of my culinary standbys like sage and here is what I have discovered. It has been used by herbalists since the Ancient Egyptians and it is believed that the Romans introduced it to much of Europe and the UK where it has been a popular plant in home and herb gardens since Medieval times. The French actually referred to the herb as ‘toute bonne’, which means “all is well.” So how can we use Sage as an herbal remedy today? Hot Sage tea is wonderful for calming sore throats and can be helpful for coughs, colds and bronchitis. Some practitioners believe it can improve memory and research indicates that the essential oil of Sage inhibits acetylcholinesterase an enzyme that Alzheimer’s drugs target. It also has anti-bacterial properties so it is often used in mouthwash. I for sure plan to experiment with using it the next time I have a sore throat. 

Christina Manning Lebek