Allow us to introduce: sage, the herb which prevents outbreaks of sweating, tastes good and is today listed with chia as a “super food”. But first things first.
The name salvia comes from the Latin “salvare”, which means “to heal”. Already in ancient Egypt this herb was used to treat stomach disorders, toothache and asthma. The Romans recommended sage for coughs, hoarseness and to promote contractions. At the time of Emperor Charlemagne this herb was to be found in every monastery and convent garden. Walafrid Strabo, a monk from the monastery of Reichenau in the 9th century, sang the praises of the healing properties of sage in his didactic poem “Hortulus”: “The sage shines out first and foremost, it has a sweet scent, considerable energy and is a useful beverage. It has been found to help most human ailments and has earned the position of always being able to delight in being ever green and youthful.”
An extremely popular tenth century “cocktail” was known as “In good health”. Arabic doctors sweetened fresh sage tea with honey and drank it to enhance their mental abilities and concentration.
In the 13th century the following impressive sentence was being taught in Salerno, Italy, at the oldest medical faculty in Europe: “How can a man die in whose garden sage grows?” It was recommended that every herb garden had a blue or violet-flowering sage plant. We’re happy to pass this advice on to you. Get a sage plant. They grow beautifully in gardens, in pots on windowsills or on the balcony. It is believed that both fresh and dry sage keeps pests at bay, which is why sage is often planted between cabbages and carrots. Beside its many positive properties sage also tastes wonderful with meat and pasta, in teas and in many other dishes. There is an innovative recipe for a refreshing sparkling summer drink below!
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a medicinal plant with strong anti-bacterial, fungicidal, antiperspirant and astringent properties. In today’s herbal medicine we use sage primarily for respiratory illnesses, problems in the mouth and throat and excessive sweating.
Before the advent of toothpaste, people would wrap a sage leaf around their index finger and massage the teeth and gums with it. This killed any bacteria, removed plaque, strengthened the gums preventing bleeding and refreshed the breath. Maybe you should look out for a toothpaste with sage in it next time you need to buy one. We believe what was good centuries ago is worth keeping!
Is your throat sore, does it ache? Then try simple sage lozenges before you buy a pile of medication. Sage has be used to cure respiratory disorders for centuries. The herb contains specific essential oils (e.g.thujone) and astringent tannins (e.g. rosemarinic acid). Sage sweets with honey and beeswax were already used in the Middle Ages to treat tuberculosis. They help to ease coughing attacks. From literature we also know that the monks often made a syrup of sage, honey and apple vinegar. It was used to treat coughs, colds, sore throats and bronchitis and as such became the favorite remedy.
We recommend sage tea with honey and lemon juice. You can drink it or gargle with it if you have a cough, sore throat, inflammation of the gums, tonsils, throat or larynx, or any other cold symptoms. If you are a singer – whether professional or under the shower – and you’ve over-taxed your voice, then this tea can help too. You will soon be back to your full vocal proficiency!
Sage tea even supports digestion. It strengthens the stomach and promotes metabolic processes by helping to reduce excess weight and sink blood sugar levels. The tea can also bring relief with discomforts associated with menopause or with weaning. Also sage tea helps with skin problems.
This is how to prepare sage tea: Fill a cup with fresh sage leaves so it is a quarter full. Pour boiling water over the leaves and allow to draw for one to three minutes. Add a little honey, agave syrup or another sweetener and a few squirts of lemon or lime juice.
You can also use the tea externally for washing, rinsing or bathing. In summer a cool foot bath of sage tea prevents excessive sweating. And wounds that aren’t healing well or eczema can be treated with it as well. Insect bites don’t itch or hurt as much if you dab them with sage tea.
And now we come to the pleasurable part because sage can be a joy in the kitchen. As it promotes digestion, sage is often used in heavier, fatty dishes. It goes beautifully, for example, with creamy parmesan risotto and saltimbocca.
In the Middle Ages beef and poultry were flavored and preserved with the help of sage leaves and salt. Meat treated in this fashion was very popular and demanded high prices. Try it at your next BBQ. Simply make a marinade of olive oil, garlic, sage, mustard, salt and pepper. Rub into the meat and allow to work in for 30 minutes before grilling.
The young, fresh leaves and flowers can be eaten raw, blanched or pickled. Sprinkle sage over salad, it gives it a rich color and an aromatic flavor. Sage also gives vegetable dips an extra dimension. Mix low fat curds with fresh herbs from the garden or balcony, add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and already you have a summer supper, or a tasty starter for a BBQ. Or why not make herb butter with sage? Let yourself be inspired by this versatile medicinal herb!
And incidentally, essential sage oil is wonderfully suited to seasoning ice cream, sweets and baked goods.
Thanks to food blogs part of the sage plant is on everyone’s lips: chia, which is often also referred to as the seed. Chia is considered one of the “super foods” because its high content of antioxidants, calcium, potassium, iron, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids eclipses most other foods. Use this link to see which recipes you can try out with chia.
Here is a recipe for a refreshing drink with sage which is bound to impress and delight your guests at your next garden party. Place two or three sage leaves in each glass and fill with ice. Squeeze a grapefruit and put two teaspoons of the fresh juice in each glass. Fill with champagne or prosecco and garnish with sage leaves and a slice of grapefruit. Cheers!
At RAUSCH you will find sage in our high quality Sage SILVER-SHINE LINE for grey or white hair, which also works wonderfully to stop yellowing in blonde hair. The conditioning hair packs for oily scalps (link to product) also contain sage. Its essential oils give hair a fresh and natural fragrance.