Harvesting Sage

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I grew about 3 or 4 sage plants from seed this year and they have been thriving. Over the weekend, I harvested a handful that I'm going to dry and reserve for some of my favorite fall dishes, such as butternut squash soup and, of course, Thanksgiving stuffing.

There's plenty of information about sage elsewhere on the Web (including here and here), but I recently read a few new-to-me things about this herb that I thought were particularly interesting:

-- Its name, Salvia, is derived from the Latin word, salvere, which means "to be saved". It's a reference to the plant's many healing properties.

-- Sage is high in vitamins A and C, and it's a member of the mint family.

-- Research has shown that sage improves brain function and acts as a memory enhancer. It is being tested in new drugs that could potentially treat Alzheimer's disease.

-- A gargle made with sage will help soothe a sore throat. It is also effective for treating sore gums/gingivitis. Sage tea helps to reduce stress and improve digestion.

I've never (knowingly) used sage for any of it's medicinal properties, although I have tried using it as a hair color a few times. (Very messy, but it smells good!).

The best way to use fresh sage, though, in my opinion, is on a big bowl of buttery pasta with cheese. Mmm, mmm, good!


Blogger Unknown said...

I love sage tea with some honey, so the recipe for sage honey to use on biscuits was immediately mentally saved. :)

I'm interested in this hair dye thing, too. What color did it make your hair, and how long did it last?

12:59 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Sage honey on biscuits? That sounds scrumptious!

Sage can be used to make hair darker. I tried it a few times because I wanted to color my, ahem, "one or two" gray hairs without resorting to the chemical stuff. The recipe is here: Boil 1/2 cup of dried sage in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes, let it steep, and then rinse your hair with it several times. Let it dry in your hair, then rinse it out. It did make my few wise grays look more golden in color, but I didn't use it on a weekly basis, as recommended, so the hairs never really got darker. It might work, though, if used consistently. It is sort of like using henna, if you've ever tried that.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Silvia Hoefnagels . Salix Tree said...

I grew sage from seed for the first time last year, and the plants look gorgeuos this year! They flowered in the spring, very pretty. And there are plenty of fresh leaves this year to use in cooking. One of my favorite tastes, next to parsley!
Great info, didn't know it had all those vitamins and healing properties!

3:20 AM  
Blogger Angelina said...

I never seem to use sage in pasta, which is strange since I once had a squash ravioli with a sage-butter seasoning that was really memorable.

When I was a kid my mom would make me sage and honey tea when I had soar throats, at the time it made me want to gag a little, but I got used to it and I still drink it (but with pleasure now). She used to tell me that no matter what other herbs I grow in my garden, I should always have sage. So nomatter where I move, sage is the first thing I plant.

I hope you don't mind me dropping in, I'm really enjoying your blog.

7:02 PM  

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