Herbivore: The Scoop on Sage

Learn why sage has been one of the most sought-after herbs for thousands of years.
Related To:
Culinary Sage

Culinary Sage

Sage does best in a warm, sunny location.

©2013, Image courtesy of cogdogblog.

2013, Image courtesy of cogdogblog.

Sage does best in a warm, sunny location.

Yes, it’s delicious in turkey stuffing, but there’s more to sage than the Thanksgiving feast! This gray-green plant has a long history of medicinal and therapeutic use. Here are some interesting facts about sage’s history, lore and modern uses.

Herbal History

From its roots in ancient Egypt, where it was used as a fertility aid, to the Celtic belief that sage increases wisdom, sage has been one of the most sought-after herbs for thousands of years. In fact, some ancient cultures believe that sage could prevent aging altogether! No wonder sage’s botanical name, Salvia, is derived from the Latin word for “to heal.” And the word sage can also mean “wise.”

Even today many people perform the ancient ritual of “smudging” a home or other kind of dwelling with smoldering sage. The smoke is said to cleanse the air, clear away negative vibes and replace them with positive, healing energy.

Culinary Uses

As a member of the mint family, this highly aromatic herb packs a lot of flavor and is said to assist with digestion, which may be why it works so well paired with fatty foods. It pairs well with poultry, lamb and eggs and is delicious baked in biscuits or infused into oils or butter. Sage is best used fresh.

Medicinal Uses

Today herbalists recommend the use of sage for cramps, gas and bloating. Its oils have antibacterial properties, making sage effective for fighting infections. Its leaves are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can be useful for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Sage tea is also thought to be soothing for sore throats.

Growing Sage

Culinary sage — also called garden sage or common sage — is easy to grow. It loves containers and isn’t particularly susceptible to pests and disease. Sage does best in a warm (but not extremely hot), sunny location and is most vulnerable to overwatering. Make sure your sage gets plenty of direct light and prune it every so often to keep the plant looking good and thriving.

Next Up

Salvia apiana

Discover the ghostly beauty of white sage, also known as bee sage.

Sage Cocktail Recipe

Create a quick syrup for this dreamy cocktail.

Salvia officinalis

Discover the wonderfully savory herb known as garden sage.

How to Make a Herbin' Orange Cocktail

Looking for a winter cocktail that is high in vitamin C and garden goodness? This one has a complex and balanced range of flavors that give it a tasty kick. 

Homemade Herbal Bug Repellent Spray

There are natural alternatives for bug repellent. You probably have some growing in your garden. Try making bug repellent spray from herbs you grow yourself.

Garden of Youth

Five easy-to-grow plants with anti-aging qualities that can help you look and feel younger.

Book Review: Herbal Cooking for Self-Care

In Recipes From The Herbalist’s Kitchen, discover how herbs can help create meals that are not only delicious, but help you live your best life.

DIY Bouquet Garni

Add garden fresh herbs to your favorite soups and stews.

Herbal Recipes for Beauty and Health

Look to your garden, author Amy Jirsa says, to find plants to improve your body, mind and spirit.

Q&A: Overwintering Thyme

Learn how to help thyme survive the winter months.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

House Hunters Family

6:30am | 5:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

8:30am | 7:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

9:30am | 8:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

10:30am | 9:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

Flip or Flop

10pm | 9c

Flip or Flop

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.