Thursday, June 7, 2012

Herbs : Sage

Sage is a sprawling gray-green perennial herb used for healing as well as for cooking.  In the 17th century, it was believed that the condition of a home's sage bush reflected the financial state of the home.  If the sage bush was flourishing, it was thought that the home's finances were also.

How to grow Sage

When growing sage in your herb garden, plant it near the back or as a border, as it can grow up to approximately 2 feet tall.  Growing sage will not only provide a pretty plant that lends colour and texture to your garden, but it will also be useful in attracting important pollinators (bees) to your garden.

If you have a large pot, sage is also a good choice for container gardening.  Here is a video showing how to grow sage.

And here are a couple of articles as well :

Health Benefits of Sage
  • Considered by many Asian traditions to be strengthening to the digestive system and calming
  • Contains rosmarinic acid which is a potent antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent.  Rosmarinic acid can be readily absorbed and acts to reduce harmful inflammation. Increased intake of sage as a seasoning in food is recommended for persons with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, as well as bronchial asthma and atherosclerosis.
  • Research has confirmed that sage is an outstanding memory enhancer.  
  • Sage helps provide better brain function and has been used in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease for over a thousand years.
  • research has suggested that it may be an effective option to help treat Alzheimer's disease
  • Sage has been shown to be effective for symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes.
  • there is also evidence that sage may provide benefits for some people with diabetes by its ability to boost insulin's action.

Some ways to use Sage

Sage tea is often used to sooth a sore throat.  However, drinking sage tea can be dangerous in large amounts, or even in small amounts over a long period of time, so please use only occasionally and in moderation.

In the days of the Roman Empire, women used a strong tea made of sage to darken their hair.  If you want to try this, brew a pot and make it reasonably strong.

You can also use this tea cold as a mouth freshener and a tooth cleanser.

Cooled sage tea is often recommended for complexions with acne-prone skin.  Make a face wash by brewing tea, then removing the leaves and cooling.  After cleansing, splash your face with the cold sage tea. This is both cleansing and an astringent.

Because of its effective astringent properties, sage often appears in herbal preparations for body washes and deodorants.  It is considered very useful for reducing excessive perspiration for people suffering from this problem.

Cool sage tea is also often recommended as a foot soak for foot and toenail fungus because it has anti-fungal properties.

Check back tomorrow for how to use Sage in cooking.

"Almost any garden, if you see it at just the right moment, can be confused with paradise."
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