Botanical name: Salvia officinalis
Dutch: Salie, German: Salbei, French: Sauge
Mint family Labiatae

General description

Sage originates from the countries in the Balkans and around the Mediterranean Sea. One finds Sage everywhere in Southern Europe, to a height of 800 meters and in the gardens of the Provence it is often seen. Sage is now cultivated everywhere, and is rare in the wild.

Sage is a robust half bush that becomes 30 to 100 centimetres in height. The plant grows in closed bundles of subdivided, hairy stems. Sage is also a beautiful fragrant bush, popular for bees and often underrated as a flowering garden plant.

The flowers are light purple to blue with a straight upper lip, in four to ten flowers in a apparent floral wreath. The white and pink forms are rarer. The flowers appear on the old wood.
The plant flowers from June to August with lip form flowers and have an ascending inflorescence.

The leaves grow pair be in greyish green of colour vague with yellow spots on old leaves. They are thick, fluffy and have an oval form with a striking nerve structure at the bottom of the leaf.
The leaves emit (when touched) a strong smell and have a sour, warm taste.
Also the dried leaves are extremely aromatic and spicy.

The stems are square and have a green colour with fine hair. The plants are wooded in the second year. Sage is a remaining and a reasonable winter suited, ever green bush. The plant cannot survive strong frost.

The seeds of sage are dark brown, oval and very small.

Sage is used next to a powerful medical plant also as an important kitchen herb, when it is used alone, it comes the best to its right. It is however also a valuable aid for the digestion of fat dishes. The leaves are used for medicinal purposes.

Cultivate sage yourself.
There are much different kinds of sage available.

Sage grows best on a sunny place, in not too damp, lime rich, alkaline and good drained soil. It can grow easy in pots, indoors and on windowsills. The plant can also tolerate some shadow.

Multiply sage by letting it grow from seed.
All kinds are easily multiplied by taking cuttings. The rooting time in the summer is approximately four weeks. Replant at 45 to 60 cm distance.

Cut back (after flowering) to retain the compactness. Move the wooded plant each four or five year. Yellowish leaves can indicate that the roots need more space.
The small green caterpillar eats the sage leaves and can be removed by hand or to cut back and burn the leaves.

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Sage is native in the western and southern Balkans where it grows on the bare lime rocks. Via the Swiss and French monastery gardens sage is also been found in the rest of Europe. Nowadays, sage is a cultured plant and becomes cultivated on large scale in the southern countries of Europe.
The name Salvia, from the Latin Salvere (being healthy, to cure or to save), means "beneficial herb" and already indicates its good reputation.
Sage has been praised from way back as restorative means. By regular sage use, one would live longer. The herbalist Gerard wrote in 1597: "Sage is good for head and brains, it makes the senses and the memory more alert, strengthens the nerves, repairs the health of the disabled and cures trembling limbs".

For the wise from the past was the cultivating of some sage plants in the garden, a guarantee for a long life and a good health. Also a sage plant in the garden meant that the woman of the house was the boss.
In the seventeenth century sage was so much valued by the Chinese that Dutch traders noticed that the Chinese wanted to trade three boxes Chinese tea against one box of sage leafs.

For the Romans, sage was a sacred herb which had to be collected with some ceremony. The appropriate person brings an offering of bread and wine, carries a white tunic and is barefoot and cleansed. The Roman instructions were against the use of iron tools, a sensible measure because iron salts are incompatible with sage.
Long ago virgins went on the evening before the longest day in groups to a park or garden. This was the so-called midsummer night. Every virgin had a branch of sage with her and had to perform some rituals with this sage. If everything went well precisely at midnight the future spouse would appear for the virgins with the desire to marry.

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The leaf stands well in wreaths or garland.

Put dried leaf between linen to drive off insects.
The leaves can be burnt on charcoal or can be boiled in water to disinfect a room. Sage smoke drives away animal- and cooking smell.

Use the leaf in face steam baths and astringent cleaning lotion. Rub the leaf on the teeth to let them become whiter. The leaf is also used in mouth rinse water. By rinsing with strong sage tea (grey) hair becomes darker and more sturdily.

As a medical herb, one uses the leaves and sometimes the flowering tops. From May to June (just before the flowers come) the leaves and/ or branches of sage are collected and slowly dried at a temperature of 35 ° C. In this way sage keeps the best taste and is prevented against musty.

Seed of clary can become used as an extract in eye water. Beer of the clary was ones famous because of its stunning properties. Of a large number of sage kinds, red and green sage is mostly used medicinally.

Sage has strong antibiotic properties (anti-bacterial and anti-mould). Watery and alcoholic extracts of the leaves become used for rinsing and gargle by mouth, gums, jaw and tonsil inflammations. A few drops of essential oil in salty water is a good rinse means for (infected) wounds and ulcerations. The tea of sage helps against bleeding gums and throat pain. Sage is also present in many herbal toothpastes.

Recipe for gargle water
Pour ¼ l. of water on 1 teaspoon of sage leaf.
Let it extract for 20 minutes.

For a method for preparing tea, click here and for a method for preparing a tincture, click here.

Sage tea and sage wine calms the nervous system and is good against a low blood pressure. By taking a tea of sage, after an (excessive) meal for instance, it promotes the digestion. Sage helps also against a bad appetite and against flatulence and can help to defeat diarrhoea.

For a method for making medicinal wines, click here.

The leafs contain phyto-estrogens and can because of that become used against an irregular menstruation and to treat menopause problems. By hot flashes and (nocturnal) transpiration the cold tea works best at a quantity of 3 to 6 times daily half a cup. Of the tincture use daily 2 to 4 teaspoons dissolved in water.

There are many tablets and drops available for exuberant transpiration, the ending of breast-feeding or gums and mouth mucous membrane inflammation. Examples of these are Salvia (tincture) and Famosan Salvia (tablets) of A. Vogel.

Follow when using these products the indications of the producer.

Sage is prescribed these days against night sweat for TB-patients, it decreases the transpiration sometimes for days in succession.

Sage decreases coughs and cold, and helps to prevent cold on the breast. Take at the beginning of flu or cold daily 3 to 4 cups of tea, possibly with marigold. Take by chronic complaints 2 cups of tea or 3 teaspoons tincture.
Sage helps also against tiredness during or after a virus infection. An old means against pain problems is the daily chewing of three fresh leaves.

Sage is also applied a as tonic (for the heart).
Sage is arousing, astringent, cramp preventing and helps by restless sleeping, liver illnesses, water driving off, stimulates and regulates the bile stream (usefully when losing weight) and it cleans the blood.

Sages leaf, that simmered some minutes in vinegar, are good a compress for painful joints and rheumatic problems.

Sage also appears to help against painful, knobbly breasts (consult by knobs in the breasts always a physician!), infertility, grief and after miscarriages. Sages also decrease the lactation. And it appears to help by nervousness, anxiety, forgetfulness and confusion of older, chilly and weakened people.

Applications with ethereal oil.
Steam distillation of the flowers and a colour lynx furnishes leaf till light yellow oil with a powerful aroma. The oil shows similarities with feminine hormones.
Also for the lighting of muscle and joint pain, the oil becomes used frequently.
Often the working of an ethereal oil can become stronger when combined with other ethereal oils. Sage is combined often together with Thyme.

Here some applications of the ethereal oil of sage follow.

By aphthous ulcer, inflammations in the mouth, sensitive gums

Mix 5 to 10 drops Sage in a glass water and gargle with this 2 to 3 times per day.

By sweat feet
10 drops Sage and 10 drops Cypress mix oil with 20 ml basis and rub in with this the feet daily.

By badly healing wounds
Mix 3 drops Sage and 3 drops Thyme in a tablespoon St. John wort oil.
Spread this mixture 2 turn a day on the wounds.

By skin problems, sores, eczema
20 drops Sage mix boiled in a glass, cooled down water.
Rinse or dab the skin with this 1 to 2 times a day.

By insect bytes
2 drops Sage on a damp wad of absorbent cotton. With this dab or lay the wad of absorbent cotton on the bite/ stab.

By flu, cold
20 drops Sage, 20 drops Rosemary and 20 drops Eucalyptus mix.
Of this mixture only drops on a tissue or handkerchief do and inhale this deeply. Daily to need.

An example of available ethereal oil, is the sage oil from Chi.

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Chemical properties

In the plant present compounds.
Ethereal oil (among which: thujon, chamfer and terpenoids), Resin, tannins (among which: salviatannine), bitters matter, Flavonoids (among which: 6-methoxygenkwanine, Genkwanine, Hispiduline, Luteoline, Salvigenine) and Phenolic acids (among which: caffeine acid, rosemary acid and labiatic hard).

Chemical constituents.
Chained (35.0%), Sesquiterpenoids (12.0%), Esters (2.5%), Phenols (3.5%), Oxides (8.0%), Monoterpenoids (20.0%), Aromatic aldehydes (10.0%), Alcohols (8.0%), Remainder (1.0%).

Active compounds in the Ethereal oil.
camphene (0.2 - 3.3%), limonene (0.5 - 4.2%), mycrene (1.2%), allo-ocimene, cis and trans beta-ocimene (0.3%), paracymene (0.8 - 1.6%), a-pinene (0.5 - 5.5%), beta-pinene (0.2 - 3.3%), a-and? -terpinene (0.2 and 0,5%), terpinolene (0.4%) and a-thuyene (0.21%)

allo-aromadendrene (0.3%), alpha and ?-cadinene, beta-caryophyllene (0.4 - 7%), beta-copaene, alpha-corocalene, a-humulene (4%), ledene, alpha-maaliene and selina-5,11 diene

cis and trans-2-methyl-3-methylene-hept-5-ene (0,1%)

Not terpenic alcohols:

borneol (2 - 14%), p-cymenol-8, linalool (0.5 - 12%), terpine-1-ol-4 (0.5 - 4%), a-terpineol (0.1 - 9%), beta-terpineol and trans-thuyanol-4 (0.4%)


Terpenic and not terpenic esters:
bornyl-acetate (0.8 - 3.2%), linalyl-acetate (0.6 - 2%), linalyl-isovalerate, methyl-isovalerate (0.1%) and sabinyl- acetate (0.4%)


caryophyllene-oxyde (1.1%) and 1,8- cineol (5.5 - 14%)

chamfer (1 - 26%), a-thuyon (12 - 33%) and beta-thuyon (2 - 14%)



Bifunctional components:
Salvene (?)

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Do not use during pregnancy or by epilepsy. Use also no sage during breast-feeding, because the milk becomes it drier from. The in dishes used quantities are safe.
Weathered not sage with artemisia kinds!
Sage may not become taken in (for a long time) in a high doses.

The most ethereal oils cannot be taken in without risk. Use ethereal exclusive internal oil when you have sufficient knowledge or consult a (homeopathic) physician. In general however the working by external use is stronger than by internal use.

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Some fresh leaves by fat dishes simplifies the digestion.
Sage fits excellent by all pork and goose dishes.

Sage is an utmost important constituent by the preparation of the famous Provincials "Aigo boulida". A soup that is served to simplify the digestion of everything after that yet will be eaten.

The flowers of sage have been arranged to cut up in salads. The leaf is good to combine with other strong tastes. The making of sage vinegar and sage butter is the trying landlord.

Recipe 1, Stuffing of onion and sage.
In England, on Sundays the meat was supplied with a stuffing. That must oppose the fat in the meat, absorb juices, hide promote taste and smell of bad meat, and promote the digestion. The stuffing have also been arranged for large tomatoes and sweet peppers, and as independent dish.

1 shredded small onion
1 dessert spoon sage (fresh or dried)
1 ts thyme and/ or rosemary
1 cup bread crumb
1 dessert spoon pine nuts or choped nuts (no peanuts)
1 dessert spoon oats
1 egg
toe garlic (when wanted)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything, fill the vegetable or meat dishes with it, or bake on a greased oven plate for 20 minutes in a hot oven.

Recipes 2, Deep-fried herbs.
All what more strongly tasting herbs qualify. Pimpernel leaf has a fine form and a good taste. Sage, basil or garden sorrel are also suited.

20 to 30 herb leaf (dependent on the size)
Oil for the deep-frying

Requisites for the possession.
100 g flower
a bit salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons warm water
the egg white of 1 large egg

For 4 persons
Rinse the herb leaf carefully and dry it.

Prepare the batter: sieve the flower with the salt in a bowl.
Stir the oil and the water through the flower mixture till a smooth batter arises.
Let the batter 1-2 hour stand on a cool place.
Beat the egg white stiff and fold it carefully through the batter.

Heat the oil till a drop of the batter becomes crispy and brown, but does not burn.
Dip the leaves one by one in the batter and deep-fry they with some pieces at the same time in 2-3 minutes brown.
Take the leaves carefully from the oil and let them leak on kitchen paper.
Holds the herb leafs warm in the oven till all leaves have been deep-fried and serve them after that immediate.

Recipe 3, sage wine.
You can prepare sage wine to let during 10 days about twenty Sage leafs soak in a soft white wine.

Recipe 4, potato puree with garlic and sage.
400 grams potatoes
3 toes garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sore minced sage
½ decilitre sour cream
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon minced parsley
salt to taste

Preparations manner.
Peel the potatoes and cook them in 20 minutes done.
Pours off the liquid.
Peel in the meantime the toes garlic and cut them in very thin slices.
Heat the oil and bake the slices of garlic in this brown.
Add the sage to and put the fire off.
Pound the warm potatoes fine and stir there the sour cream, the mustard, the parsley and the oil with the baked garlic and the sage through.
Bring the potato puree with a bit of salt on taste.

Recipe 5, Asparagus with Sage.
8 slices fillo dough (freezer)
1 pot green asparagus (190 g)
1 teaspoon sage
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg
12 slices boiled ham

Preparation (20 minutes).
(Let the fillo dough thaw before according to indication in ca. 2 hour).
Preheat the oven on 225°C or gas oven 5.
Cut in half the asparagus and strew sage on the ham slices.
Role in each slice of ham 2 half asparagus.
Divide the fillo dough in strips, as broad as the asparagus-ham rolls.
Cover the dough with oil.
Beat the egg loose.
Roll the ham rolls in 2 slices fillo dough and cover it with the stirred egg.
Bake then in the middle of oven in ca. 10 minutes the rolls brown.
You can serve them warm or cold.

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Other variants

The genus Sage counts ca. 900 kinds that appear in tropical and subtropical areas and also in the moderate regions.

In the Netherlands (rivers district) and Belgium (mainly Maasdal) Meadow Sage (S. pratensis) only appear. Meadow Sage is in the Netherlands these days a protected plant. Meadow Sage flowers from May to July large clusters fully beautiful bright blue flowers. The plant becomes approximately 60 cm high.

S. pratensis: Meadow Sage, 60 cm, protected in the Netherlands.

Meadow Sage is also bred as a garden plant. This also applies for several not-native kinds. Here some examples follow.

S. lavandulifolia: Light balsemien like taste; good in tea.

S. o.' Tricolor' : Half winter hard. Leaves green stained with pink, white edges. Generous taste.

S. o. `Purpurea variegata' : Strong taste, good in therapeutic tea.

S. o. `Prostratus' : Balsemien like taste.

S. o. `Icterina' : Soft of taste.

S. o. `Purpurea', Purple (or red) sage: Strong taste leaf. Use in tea against throat pain.

S. sclarea, clary: Two-year-old. Large ridged leaf, long flowering lilac flowers.

S. elegans (S. rutilans) : Scarlet red flowers in the late summer.
Like pineapple tasting leaves.

S. o. `Broad leaf' : Rarely flowers in cooler climate.
Well for culinary and medicinal applications.

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Remaining images

Here a number of impressions / photographs of Sage (Salvia Officinalis) are shown.

Green and red Sage.

Dried leaf of Sage.

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[1]. Bremness, Lesley;- The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing and Using Herbs - Fifth edition; Studio (1994). ISBN 0140238026
[2]. Shaw, Non; - Herbalism: An Illustrated Guide - First edition; Element Books Ltd. (2000). ISBN 1862042241
[3]. Rüdt, U.; - Therapeutic and poisonous plants - First edition; Zutphen: B. V. W. J. Thieme & Cie (1973). ISBN 90-03 94630 , 2

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