When fall rolls around I always find myself wondering what to do with the excess of sage that’s been dutifully growing all summer. I have a plant in my yard that just seems to get bigger and bigger every year so the problem is literally growing.
The herb sage, or Salvia officinalis if you like to be a little nerdy, has actually been revered as a medicinal and culinary plant dating back to ancient times. In the past it was used to ward off evil, for snakebites, increasing women’s fertility and more but recent studies have suggested it has positive effects on brain function. It has antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic qualities and is effective against staph and candida. Other past uses have been for hair care, insect bites, and nervous conditions, as a poultice, oral conditions, inflammation and fevers. Its many uses might have you smearing it or tossing it into everything but don’t go too crazy as it can contain a neurotoxin that should not be consumed it great quantities. So don’t eat your whole bush in one sitting.
What I normally like to do with my sage plant is cut off the branches at the woody stock and tie them together as bundles and hang them upside down to dry. In a few days or weeks depending on how dry the location, you can crumble it up and store it in an air tight container.
This year I tried something a little different with some of my sage by using one of the handy dehydrating features of my new stove. I was already drying other herbs harvested from my garden so I just threw some sage in with the rest. I like to dehydrate my herbs at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4-6 hours. Then I just crumble and store as usual.
There are lots of things you can do with sage but my favorite thing to do with my stash is make tea. I simply toss about a tsp of dried sage in a handy lose leaf tea infuser then boil water in an electric kettle, then pour together in a mug and steep for a few minutes. I like to add honey to mine but it’s optional.
What do you like to do with your sage herb? If you don’t have any sage in your garden get some here and since it’s a perennial it will come back year after year.