Sage is a plant in the mint family that is used to cook and heal. There are over 900 different species of sage. The name sage comes from the Latin word “salvia” or “salvus” which means “to heal” and “healthy”.
When we talk about sage, we usually mean real sage, which is also called garden sage, kitchen sage, or medicinal sage. It originally comes from the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. However, it is now growing all over Europe.
True sage grows about eighty centimeters high and forms a low shrub. All parts of the plant smell strongly. The flowers are at the ends of the stems. Their calyxes are reddish brown, the petals are purple to blue.
You pick the leaves of the plant and use them fresh or dry them first. In the kitchen, they are used as a spice. It goes particularly well with fish or meat. The spice is also used with vegetables and in soups. Flowers can also be used in a salad, for example.
As a tea, common sage is particularly effective against the flu. It works against bacteria and viruses. Those who drink sage tea should also sweat less. Sage tea also helps with digestion. For these reasons, sage was already used in ancient times. However, one must not use too much of the plant, as that would be poisonous.
How are the sage plants in general?
Sage grows all over the world except in the Arctic, Antarctica, and Australia. Each continent has its own species, sometimes even each country. That is why there are special uses for sage in some countries. The chia seeds from the flowers are special. One says something like “Tschia seeds”. For the Indians, the natives of North America, these were important food.
Most sage species survive the winter. So they live for several years. In the other species, the seeds sprout again in the spring. The leaves have fine hairs and therefore feel velvety soft. The whole plant forms a bush.