Sage is native to the Mediterranean region, and seems not to be used in cooking on the subcontinent. Its official name, salvia, comes from the Latin, salvare, meaning, to save, as it was believed that sage was a cure-all.
The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that it conferred wisdom, and enhanced their mental abilities. For them it symbolized wisdom, skill, longevity, good health and increased psychic powers. In the Middle Ages it was used as a treatment for assisting those who had become forgetful, and infusions of it were given to cure fevers and intestinal problems. It was also thought that it could cure eye problems, liver diseases, epilepsy and infections of all types. Europeans used it to protect themselves from witchcraft in the 14th century. There is an English proverb 'He that would live for aye, Must eat sage in May’. This echoes an Arabic saying, ’How can a man die when he has sage in his garden?’
John Gerard wrote ‘Sage is singularly good for the head and brain; it quickeneth the senses and memory…’He went on to detail other benefits. Dioscorides used the leaves and stems to clean wounds and staunch their blood flow. Culpeper used sage tea to help ease sore throats and coughs. He also suggested its juice could be used with vinegar to ward off the plague and used sage along with other summer herbs to make cooling drinks in summer.
If you are attractive to biting insects, you should rub the crushed leaves over exposed parts of your body to deter bugs.
Scientists have found that sage boosts oestrogen production so can help women who need such a boost.
Try boiling sage with potatoes, or use it with other cooked potatoes .You can use sage instead of basil in our basil and tomato sauce recipe. Try the one below:
SAGE AND GARLIC SAUCE
14 sage leaves, each one torn but still leaving the leaf intact
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
olive oil for frying
Heat the oil over a low heat and add all the ingredients. Cook for 5 mins, remove from the heat and pour over your favourite pasta. Then add freshly ground black pepper and salt if you wish.
This has Taste and is a Treat-especially as it’s so quick to rustle up.