Sage is my last pick for the most essential herbs you should have in your kitchen.
Sage is best known for its use in Thanksgiving dinners. It is quite fragrant and comes in many varieties.
Garden Sage, the most popular variety, is a perennial herb with soft, silvery green leaves. It is used in teas, cooking, and decorations. Sage is also useful in attracting helpful bugs to your garden.
Pineapple Sage is another popular variety that is used mainly for medicinal purposes like helping with anxiety.
Clary Sage is mainly used medicinally in essential oils.
Sage pairs well with rich and creamy dishes, especially those with dairy and it cuts through the heaviness of the dish. It also blends well with cornbread and adds that distinctive flavor to stuffing.
Sage is a sturdy herb and can be added at the beginning of cooking.
Health Benefits of Sage
Oils are often created from sage leaves and can be used to treat the following:
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- Brain function
- Enhance memory and alleviate depression
Sage is an excellent source of:
- Vitamin A (immune system and vision)
- Magnesium and calcium (for metabolizing the bones)
- Iron (anemia prevention)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K (prevent blood clotting)
- Vitamin B6 (brain function)
- vitamin E (antioxidant for cell protection)
- high amounts of folate (RNA and DNA building blocks)
- potassium (heart and blood pressure)
Sage is a sun-loving and hardy herb that grows well in zones 4 through 11. As with most herbs, sage is best grown from clippings and does well in containers. It grows well near rosemary, carrots and cabbage.
Sage is a perennial, so it will come back each year. For best flavor and harvesting, replant every 4 to 5 years.
Harvest sage as you do mint, clipping above where two leaves meet.