Sage can be grown from seeds, cuttings or as transplants. This herb requires full sun and a well drained soil. It is drought tolerant, so it doesn't require much water. Over watering sage can cause it to become mildewy. Sage does not tolerate frost well so cover it or plant it after the last frost of the season. Like other herbs, sage makes a good container plant. Make sure you place it in a sunny location. Cut sage back and fertilize it often to keep it bushy. If kept from becoming too woody, sage will usually last 3-4 years. Sage leaves should be picked as needed. Make sure to pick the leaves before the flowers appear. When drying sage to save for later, avoid allowing it to become musty.
History of Sage
The Romans thought of sage as a sacred herb. They used great ceremony when gathering it. The selected gatherer would wear a white tunic and offer sacrifices of bread and wine. The Chinese and Persians would would ask "How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden?" Sage was so valued by the Chinese that they would trade three chests of Chinese tea for one chest of sage leaves.
Cooking with Sage
It is believed that sage aids in digesting fatty foods. It adds a wonderful savory flavor to food. Here are some excellent recipes that use sage in them, just remember 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dry herbs.
Using Sage in Skin and Hair Care
• Sage can be rubbed on your teeth to whiten them.
• Infused in hot water with mint and allowed to cool, sage can be used as a mouthwash.
• It can also be used as a facial steam.
• Infusing sage with green tea makes a wonderful astringent for your skin.
• Sage has been used since the Middle Ages to get rid of gray hair. Infuse a handful of sage with a pint of hot water, allow to cool and pour over clean hair.
(Infusing- boil hot water and steep a handful of sage leaves in it until the water becomes cool. Remove sage leaves before using.)
Household Uses For Sage
• Use sage in floral arrangements because of it's wonderful scent, leaves and flowers.
• Spread dried sage leaves among linens to keep insects away.
• Put sprigs of sage on a barbecue to helps get rid of cooking smells.
Medicinal Uses For Sage
• Drink sage tea to aid in digestion, to help reduce sweating, to soothe a cough or sore throat.
• Never take large doses of sage or use it for long periods.