Sage Dreaming: Herbal Journals

I do love writing about herbs. I often find that these posts become an investigation into a natural medicine, rather than me just arriving here and pretending I knew this stuff all along. It's also a good excuse to invite in a plant into your life and reflect upon it's use. Sometimes I'll muse all week on a plant, learning what I can and then posting about it. Today, it's about sage - ordinary, grey leaved, feminine, culinary and medicinal sage. My sage plant was calling me because it was sitting there sadly in a neglected part of the garden and asking for a transplant, which I dutifully did, trimming off the excess leaves and giving it a liberal dose of seaweed fertilizer so it might survive and blossom in Spring.

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Please excuse the lack of original photos - a dark and rainy afternoon in Victoria does not a good photo make!

I love the syncronicity of sage calling me. Sage itself is named for wisdom, but also it's botanical name 'salvia' means salvation or healthy. Every civilisation and culture has had a use for sage, lauding it in their medical texts and folklore - from Icelandic books written thousands of years ago, to Chinese Medicine, England's Culpepper or the sage burning of Native American traditions. We've always burnt sage in the house and in our live in vehicles because we knew it had merit - it wasn't just a hippie thing to do, but could clear up to 94 percent of airborne bacteria, thus disinfecting the air.

Sage is probably one of the herbal remedies I've known forever. From a kid, at the first sign of a sore throat, Mum'd make a strong sage tea and we'd gargle it. Between that and turmeric and honey, our sore throats never lasted for long. However, it's some of it's other benefits that made me immediately curl up with a sage tea and the fire on this afternoon, just as the rain set in and I'd finished transplanting her. I smiled as I read what sage was good for, because it's often the way - as @artemislives noted with kaffir lime leaves this week, plants often call out to you just when you need them. Me? Sleepless nights. Worrying I'm perimenopausal (I'm not even going there - @crosheille wrote a great post about it last week), anxiety. Exactly what sage is meant to help with!

Some research backed benefits of sage are below. The hyperlinks link to research - there is a lot more than I have time to cover today.

  • Menopause, including hotflushes and night sweats1
  • May contain psycho-active components which enhance it's use in ritual2
  • Beneficial for the treatment of anxiety3
  • Could help with insomnia 4
  • Relieve in pain, fights oxidative stress, may have anti-cancer properties
  • Controls inflammation, helps with memory and thus may have use in alzheimers

There's a few things I want to do with sage today. One, crispy fried sage is delicious on risotto. I like my risotto plain, with a good garden salad made of all the greens I can find. That'll be tonight's dinner sorted.

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Fry sage leaves in oil and sprinkle with salt. A delicious topping for pasta and risotto

The other thing I'll be making today is a sage and lemon cleaning vinegar. Being late winter in Victoria, there's an utter abundance of lemons around. To make a cleaning vinegar, all I need to do is heat up that crappy white vinegar I have under the sink, add it to a jar stuffed with lemon rind and sage, leave it for about a week and voila - a great cleaner for benchtops as it cuts through grease and is antibacterial. An alternate way to do this is a third water, a third vinegar, a splash of vodka, lemon or orange essential oils, and a few sprigs of sage. Clearly, playing with sage medicine is a good way to spend a rainy afternoon!

The other purpose for my sage is a medicine. I am loving my shelf of tinctures and potions and think if a zombie apocalypse arrives, I'll have what I need to treat at least a few ailments!

Whilst I've been largely making vodka tinctures, I'm not 100 percent convinced all those droppers of alchohol are good for me. I do like putting a hops tincture in a tea as I presume most of the alcohol will be burned off. With sage, however, I think the best idea is to make a vinegar tincture. This makes sense of course as it can double up as a salad dressing or, for those of you that like to eat meat, a tablespoon of vinegar inside the cavity of a roast chicken can make the meat more tender and tasty. A sage vinegar would be amazing for this. Sage also goes well with lemon - a few dropperfuls of sage vinegar in a glass of cold iced water with lemon would make a delightful summer drink, don't you think?

Of course, a vodka tincture last longer and is likely more potent, but I think a sage vinegar would be perfect for a sore throat gargle, especially that we're not out of winter yet. Apple cider vinegar is also good for sore throats because of it's antibacterial properties, so between that and sage, that's good ju ju indeed.

How do you use sage?

Do you have any remedies or recipes that involve this common garden herb?

With Love,




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I wonder if that is related to the Salvia Divinorum, which is a shamanic medicine plant used to shift consciousness?

Probably related in the genetic but not at all the same effect

Sage is not a familiar herb in here. So great to know about this beautiful herb from your post. Fried sage looks yummy.

I understand what happens to you when you write about plants. Something similar happens to me and I almost finished doing a great research 😊 Simply, Mother Nature is great! 🌱🌿☘️

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I feel a sage and lavender oil magnesium foot soak coming on as I read this - such a STUNNING combination. Delightful post, my dear. Sage infusion also makes a lovely healing throat spray with a few drops of peppermint - nice for scratchy old teachers' scratchy throats. :) x


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Great to learn about this but I'm not sure if it's available here in my country or not.
I do have something to share, maybe in another post! :)

I don't think I appreciate sage near enough as I should! What a great rundown of all the wonderful ways you can use it! I think we've got some bouncing back in our garden now, and that homemade cleaner is definitely on my list. I'll have to keep the medicinal uses in mind as we get into the winter months (though they seem far away in this summer heat now). Love reading all of these articles!

Yes I underrate it too!!! Its strong tasting for food and not my favourite. But medicinally its wonderful! Let me know how you go with the cleaner!

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Hey. A beautiful name for a medicinal plant (Sage.) In the composition of the syrup for the throat is sage, I give it to my child with a cold. How do you like in childhood

Yes, its great for sore throats! I always made a tea and used it as a gargle but will try the vinegar tjis time.

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Thanks for all those wonderful tips on using sage! I usually grow some in my garden but I didn't put any in this year. Your article has inspired me to get growing and using more of it for I do love sage!

Does yours get killed by winter snows?

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Yes it doesn't over winter here so I either have to start a new one each year or pot it up and bring it indoors

Sage is one of the herbs to last the longest into winter. I still had good sage leaves in January this year.

Good ju ju!

I never knew about sage, of all things! I've heard of it as a potherb, of course, but not as a medicinal. I guess a lot of herbs are that way though :)

It has HUGE accolades in ALL cultures, and you must make the sage medicine vinegar for your herbal first aid kit. I also added a few lemon slices to keep it submerged and it smells great.

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Lemon and sage isn't just a tincture. That sounds like an awesome chicken marinade.

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Did you even read my post, lol. Anyway, put sage vinegar inside carcass of chook when you roast it. Makes it super tender. That's why people shove a lemon up it and roast it. And tasty. xx

I put the sage plant in the chicken enclosure because sage goes well with chook :P

I did lol you said a tablespoon, I'm thinking like a quart. Lol

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Great post on Sage! Wow, so this is the remedy I need for the “pre” you know the rest. 😞 The only experience I have with using Sage if from the dried version. I really want to try frying them and adding them on top of one of my Keto pastas! Yum! I use ACV weekly for it’s benefits and for cooking! That cleaning mixture sounds pretty impressive too! Thanks for sharing all of this healthy wisdom you gained ;)

Ugh dont you say it girl, dont you say it!!!

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