An evergreen plant
Sage is a species belonging to the genus of evergreen shrubby plants. It is native to the Mediterranean basin where it finds its natural habitat and the most favorable climatic conditions. Easily recognizable due to the presence of velvety oval leaves to the touch and characteristic aroma. The typical scent of sage is due to the presence of an aromatic oil contained by glandular structures present on the surface of the leaves and of the stem, which release aroma at the slightest rubbing. The plant produces small purple flowers collected symmetrically on the terminal portion of the stems. The term sage can indicate all the over 1000 species of this herbaceous plant, but the one commonly used as a spice and herbal remedy is Salvia officinalis. Others, such as the Salvia divinorum, have instead a purely ornamental function.
Cultivation of sage
Sage cultivation is simple. This type of aromatic shrub loves heat and sun exposure, it does not tolerate moisture stagnation. Supports the cold very well, but needs protection during frosts. Cultivation on sandy soil near possible frost shelters (trees, walls) will allow it to flourish. The plant is also excellent for growing in pots. This can be repaired at home during the winter season and will ensure the availability of green foliage throughout the year. Cultivation can be started in spring, by sowing or by burying cuttings. Flowering occurs in spring. The seeds are small and black in color and are easily harvested after the inflorescence is dried.
The cultivation of Salvia officinalis allows you to enjoy its many and precious phytotherapeutic properties. These are due to the presence of an essential oil which contains borneol, tujone, camphor and which gives the plant its particular smell and aroma. Sage has properties stimulating, digestive, anti-sweating and aromatic tonic. It can be taken in the form of herbal tea or infusion, to be used as a drink or as a gargle. Sage leaves also have an excellent sanitizing and aesthetic action on teeth and gums. Regularly rubbing a sage leaf on the surface of the teeth you will have a very white enamel and excellent oral hygiene. The presence of potentially toxic substances (tujone and camphor), however, limits their daily consumption to small quantities.
Sage cultivation: Use in the kitchen
Sage can have many different uses even in the kitchen. Fresh leaves can be used to flavor salads or garnishes. Cooked with butter is used as a condiment for pasta. It is also used to flavor meat and sauces for which it can be used fresh or dried. Sage is a common ingredient in the preparation of omelettes, pies and soups. Its use for the aromatization of oil and soft cheeses is also widespread. The leaves can be fried for tasty snacks and eaten like a real second course. The only trick to be implemented in the kitchen is to avoid too prolonged cooking of the leaves. This in fact determines the appearance of an unpleasant bitter aftertaste.