What is Sage? 

What is sage? As a versatile plant used for both culinary and medicinal purposes, sage is a perennial shrub native to Europe and the Mediterranean region which has leaves, roots and flowers that are used in cooking as a flavorful herb as well as healing potions. Sage grows naturally in just about any place in the world and is also widely cultivated in herb gardens or in outdoors vegetable gardens.

Seeds should be planted in clay loam that is well-drained and full of nitrogen, preferably in bright sunshine, although sage can withstand a bit of shade now and then. Over-watering the sage shrub will impede its growth and deteriorate the plant's roots, so watering should only be done when the loam is dry. Around three weeks after planting sage seeds, sprouts will begin to break through the topsoil and should be thinned to no less than two feet apart.

What is Sage Used for in Cooking?

Sage has a unique flavor and aroma that can be used in just about any dish but needs to be used carefully. Sage is often sprinkled on chicken, soups, vegetables and stews to give the dish a hearty, zesty flavor. Because it is such a potent herb, it should be sparingly added to food since it can easily overwhelm the original taste of the food.

When integrating sage with a food, rub a small amount of dried sage leaves between your fingertips in order to crush them before sprinkling them on foods. Sage can also be mixed with other herbs such as bay leaf, thyme and oregano to create a less powerful taste. One tip to follow when cooking with sage is to remember to add sage early in the cooking process for a quieter flavor, or put it in the dish during the last several minutes of cooking for a more robust taste.

What is Sage?What is Sage? Dried Sage and Ground Sage

Turkey Loaf

What is sage flavor in this loaf recipe. It is a light sage flavor that blends well with the thyme.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup minced celery
  • 1/2 Cup minced onion
  • 1/4 Cup minced bell pepper
  • 1 Pound ground turkey
  • 1 Cup oats
  • 1/2 Cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 Cup thinly sliced spinach leaves
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion, bell pepper and celery.

Sauté these ingredients until they are soft.

Mix the rest of the ingredients with vegetables and shape into a loaf.

Place the loaf on a greased cookie sheet and bake for around 35 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit.


  • 1 ½ Cups dried cannellini beans soaked overnight
  • 12 Cups fresh water
  • 12 Large sage leaves
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • ½ Cup olive oil

Drain and rinse beans; in a large pot combine the beans with fresh water.

Add sage, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil; over medium heat bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer about 1 ½ hours until beans are tender.

Season with salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; serve hot.

Serves 8.


  • 1 Pound shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ Pound crimini mushrooms
  • ½ Pound oyster mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • ½ Ounce chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ Ounce chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ Ounce chopped fresh sage
  • 3 Minced shallots
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts (drain and quarter)
  • 1 Package frozen phyllo dough thawed
  • 1 Cup melted butter

Clean mushrooms and remove stems.

Sauté mushrooms separately until tender seasoning each with salt and pepper; remove from skillet.

Sauté oregano, rosemary, sage, shallots, garlic and onion powder until wilted; add to mushrooms.

Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on work space; keep remaining sheets covered with damp towel.

Brush sheet with melted butter; top with second sheet.

Brush sheet with melted butter; top with third sheet and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Spread a portion of the mushroom mixture along the bottom third of dough.

Gently roll into logs pinching ends to enclose vegetables.

REPEAT with remaining dough and mushroom mixture until all ingredients have been used.

Chill logs for about 1 hour; PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Cut logs into ¾ inch pieces and place on baking sheets.

Bake until golden brown; serve immediately.

Serve 12.


  • 1 Package frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ¼ Cups herb stuffing mix
  • ½ Large grated onion
  • 6 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • ¼ Teaspoon sage
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cook spinach and drain well; lightly sauté onion and garlic.

Beat eggs in a large bowl; add spinach and remaining ingredients.

Blend together and shape into 1 inch balls; place on baking sheet.

Bake in oven about 25 minutes until firm.

What is Sage Medicine?

Sage has been used to cure a wide-ranging assortment of illnesses for centuries. Some common ailments that can be relieved by using sage are:

  • insect bites - rub sage leaves on the irritated area

  • hot sage tea - for sore throats, congestion and tonsillitis add one cup boiling water to two teaspoons dried sage leaves

  • psoriasis, eczema, poison ivy - chew some sage leaves and use the mixture as a poultice

  • canker sores

  • alleviates symptoms of menopause - hot flashes, anxiety and insomnia

  • boosts immune system response to infections

  • colic, nausea and indigestion

What is Sage Oil?

Sage oil is what contributes to sage's antiseptic and digestion aiding qualities, while a chemical called thujone provides much of its curative properties. In addition, sage actually possesses estrogenic elements that may reinforce its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms. Rosmarinic acid has also been discovered in sage which is an anti-inflammatory component that lessens the pain of muscle spasms.

Knowing what is sage and the useful abilities it contains to beneficially affect both food and health issues can be of help when you need to make a special dish or are suffering from a health problem.