Sage is an herb that is prized for its strong herbal aroma and earthy flavor. The herb is sold both fresh and dried and is available year-round. In addition to culinary use, it is used medicinally and as an ornamental plant.Sage is an herb that retains much of its flavor once it is dried. However, it will not have the same brightness that is found in fresh sage.
Sage is an evergreen shrub part of the mint family. It has oval, dusty gray-green leaves with woody stems. Because of the fine, velveteen hair-like projections on sage leaves, they have a slightly fuzzy or fluffy appearance and cottony texture, which can make it unpleasant to eat raw. There are many varieties of sage, but the species used for culinary purposes is known as common sage, garden sage, kitchen sage, or Salvia officinalis.
Sage has a unique flavor that brings warmth and complexity to dishes. It works well when combined with other herbs and complements a variety of foods, from meat and seafood to lemon and butter. Both the leaves, fresh and dried, as well as rubbed and powdered versions are used in recipes.
Health Benefits - This herb not only has a distinctive taste but also several nutritional benefits. Sage is high in vitamin K and is a good source of vitamin A, fiber, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and manganese. It also boasts high doses of B vitamins, vitamins C and E, and copper and thiamin. Sage conatins high amounts of volatile oils with antioxidant properties. The rosmarinic acid in sage functions with antioxidant properties. The leaves and stems of the sage plant also contain antioxidant enzymes, including SOD (superoxide dismutase) and peroxidase. The ability of sage to protect oils from oxidation has also led some companies to experiment with sage as a natural antioxidant additive to cooking oils that can extend shelf life and help avoid rancidity. Polysaccharides naturally found in Sage, have immune supportive characteristics that help the membranes of the throat support a normal inflammatory response. It is also helpful in supporting normal transition in women through the cooling properties it provides. Research indicates that it may also support healthy prostate function.