I love using different herbs in my cooking because of their many health benefits, and they also taste great of course. It is easy to grow them too, so that you have some herbs to hand all the time.
Sage is one of my favourites. It has been considered to be an important healing herb for thousands of years and has been an essential ingredient in traditional medicine such as Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Sage contains large amounts of vitamins and nutrients, so it is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to treat infections and pain, but also for memory enhancement, hence sage benefits still include helping with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Sage tea has been used to relieve problems with digestion or diarrhoea.
Today sage is mainly used to spice up meat dishes, such as sausages, soups, chops and stock. It adds a nice, slightly peppery, savoury tastes to dishes. It is quite strong, so best to be used sparingly, especially if using dried sage. Sage can also be added to melted butter served on top of meat dishes or vegetables for example, or stir fried quickly for a garnish.
In addition to cooking, sage is still used as medicinal herb too. It is said to help with hormonal problems during menopause by preventing excess sweating and calming down hot flashes. It helps to lower blood sugar too. Because of it’s antiseptic properties, sage also relieves sore throat, mouth ulcers, cough and common cold. Simply add a teaspoon of sage leaves in half a cup of water for 30 minutes and gargle.
Also the essential oil of sage is used in cough mixtures. However, while the herb itself is safe to consume, the essential oil of sage is very powerful, so can only be used in moderation this way and it is not recommended for pregnant women.
Sage is very easy to grow, just needs full sun and good soil. The benefits of growing sage in your garden include controlling garden pests and attracting pollinators. You can also burn small amount of sage which is said to calm and improve mood.