Florida Herbs: Sage
Sage is a beautiful, silvery herb that is available here in Florida. It is believed that sage helps to stimulate the brain, increasing memory, concentration and reasoning. This is how the term sage came to mean “wise person”. Sage has also been known to whiten teeth, using it as a mouthwash to kill bacteria. Traditionally, it has been used to treat canker sores, sore throats, bleeding gums and laryngitis. In parts of India, sage is used as an herbal toothbrush. I think we can all appreciate great smelling breath and clean teeth.
This little herb has a sharp, spicy scent that goes well with thyme, lemon and pine. The strong flavor goes a long way, so much that only a leaf is needed for cooking. Another benefit is that it is a digestive aid as well as an antioxidant when ingested because it relaxes muscles in the digestive tract. As sage dries, the flavor intensifies and can act as a preservative. This may be handy for some stomach relief during times of celebration when one tends to eat too much.
Sage has been proven to treat premenstrual cramps and high blood sugar. It has been used in countries like Germany to treat diabetes. Many studies indicate that sage acts as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral application. Sage has been found to be a diuretic, expectorant and an anti-inflammatory. This little plant has many benefits and a wide variety of uses. I find the fragrance associated with sage to bring back wonderful memories of eating with my family. It is definitely an herb you can feel good about.