Sage, Salvia officinalis, is also used as a supplement, essential oil, incense, and even as an ingredient for personal care products. Sage has numerous common names, including common sage, garden sage, kitchen sage, true sage, culinary sage, dalmatian sage, and broadleaf sage.
Sage contains phenolic glycosides, a powerful antioxidant compound that plays a role in fighting free radicals. Studies have shown that oxidative stress caused by free radicals may contribute to aging. Many European countries use sage medicinally as a gargle for sore throat and inflammation of the mouth and gums. Clinical studies also indicate that the substance found in sage oil may also offer antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects, explaining much of its medicinal activity.
With a long history of medicinal and culinary uses, Sage has been grown for centuries for its food and healing properties, some of them ranging from funny to interesting. Sage leaves had been used since ancient times for warding off evil, snakebites, and increasing women’s fertility. The Romans likely introduced it to Europe from Egypt as a medicinal herb, when it was called salvia and used as a diuretic, a local anesthetic for the skin, a styptic, among other uses.
As a kitchen herb, sage has a slight peppery flavor and is commonly used in British and Italian cooking. Moreover, it is one of the major herbs used in the traditional turkey stuffing for the Thanksgiving Day dinner in the United States.
Studies have shown that sage has antibiotic, antifungal, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and tonic properties. Sage leaf contains tannic acid, oleic acid, caffeic acid, niacin, nicotinamide, flavones, flavonoid glycosides, estrogenic and other substances.