Sage herb:Planting, Growing, and Benefits
Have you ever wished for natural flavor adding herbs in your own garden that can add taste to your foods? What if the herb not only adds flavor but also improve and maintain your health. A medicinal and culinary herb at the same time. Sounds cool, right? Sage can be the go-to culinary herb that you can plant either in a small pot or your garden. In this article, we are going to discuss sage, its benefits, and the method to grow them all together.
Sage also commonly called Garden sage or Common sage is one of the most common aromatic herbs used to flavor various kinds of meat and bean dishes and as stuffing in sausages and other dishes as well.
This culinary herb belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae) is native to the Mediterranean region and can be used fresh or dried as flavoring agents in foods and as a herbal tonic
Botanical Name : Salvia officinalis
Sage is a perennial herb that can grow up to 2 feet tall. The oval leaves of this herb are roughed and wrinkled.
The bright beautiful flowers are spiky in nature and the colors generally vary from purple, pink, white, to red. These flowers are an excellent attractant to pollinators including bees butterflies and hummingbirds.
Sage plant Benefits
Sage plants contain over 150 distinct polyphenols including Chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, ellagic acid, and rutin that acts as an antioxidant and helps prevent various kinds of diseases. This can help prevent various skin diseases and lowers the risk of cancer and other lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, etc…
2. Nutritional values
Sage is full of healthy doses of nutrients including vitamins and minerals. Although it is low in calories, sage is packed with plenty of Vitamin K required for the proper functioning of our body. A small amount of sage can fulfill about 10 % of our vitamin K needs.
One teaspoon of a sage plant contains :
- Protein – 0.1 gm
- Fats – 0.1 gm
- Carbohydrates – 0.4 gm
- Iron: about 1.3% of the Required Daily Intake
- Vitamin B6: 1.14 % of the RDI
- Calcium and Magnesium: 1% each of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 10% of the RDI
3. Supports oral health
The essential oils of the sage plant possess antimicrobial properties that can help prevent various infections in your gateway to your life, your mouth.
Several studies have suggested that sage may even treat throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums, and mouth ulcers. Consuming sage herb can prove to be a blessing to your oral health.
4. Ease unnatural Menopause symptoms
Symptoms like excessive sweating, hot flakes, and irritability are among the major symptoms during menopause. This is majorly due to the reduction in the estrogen hormone level in your body.
Sage is believed to contain compounds estrogen-like properties that can bind to various estrogen receptors in the brain and various other parts of the body to help soothe the symptoms.
5. Reduce blood sugar levels
Since ancient times, the leaves of the sage has been used as a remedy against high blood sugar levels.
The extract of Sage has also been found effective to improve insulin sensitivity with a similar effect as rosiglitazone, another anti-diabetes drug.
6. Improve Brain Health and Memory
Sage contains several compounds that can act as an antioxidant and improve brain health. It has also been found to halt the breakdown of acetylcholine which has a role in memory.
A low dosage of sage has been found effective to improve brain health and function in both adults and children while the higher doses have been found effective to improve mood, raise alertness, and increase calmness.
The soil type required for the proper growth of this plant is sandy, loamy, and well-drained soil. If the plant is being grown in clay soil, mix organic matter and sand in the soil for better drainage.
PH of 6.0 to 7.0 is generally considered to be the best pH of the soil for the proper growth of the plant. All-purpose soil mixed with aged compost can be your best go-to for growing sage.
It can be planted both indoors in a pot or outside in the garden bed.
Light and Temperature
Sage can grow in varying light conditions ranging from full sunlight to light shade. However, it is best grown in medium to full sunlight. An average of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight is considered ideal.
A temperature of 60 to 70 °F is generally considered to be suitable for the ideal growth of the plant. Sage is fairly hardy and can withstand frost conditions once it is well-established.
The aromatic essential oils of the sage are strongest when grown in lean soil. So, there is no need for intense fertilization.
If grown in clay soil, it is generally recommended to mix the soil with aged compost and sand. If too much fertilizer is added, the plant may seem to grow fairly quickly but will lose its flavor to a large extent.
Sage is a fairly drought-resistant plant. It is considered best to water the plant only if the soil starts to dry out. Overwatering the plant may cause fungus to grow and hamper the growth and health of the plant.
It is generally suggested that overhead watering may actually promote fungal diseases in the plant. So, prevent overhead watering of the plant.
How to Grow
Sage plant can be grown in basically one of the following ways:
1. From seeds
Growing sage from seeds can be a bit tricky but if you pay enough attention and take care of certain requirements, you will get an excellent harvest within no time.
The seeds need to be sown when fresh. It is generally recommended to sow the seeds about 2 weeks before the last frost date.
The seeds however are not reliable even in fresh conditions and are very slow to germinate.
2. From cuttings
Buy a fresh bunch of sage plants from the market store and clip a three-inch from the tip of the stem. Apply rooting hormone in the exposed part of the stem.
Plant it in the prepared soil and let it grow for 6 weeks. The roots will emerge. Transfer it to a small pot and let the roots grow until root balls form.
Once the root balls form transfer them to a large pot or garden bed and let them grow. Water the plants only when required and you will get the harvest more than you can ever think of!
3. From layerings
Take a long stem and secure it in a long wire along with the soil leaving four inches of the tip free. The pinned portion must touch the soil directly.
New roots will start to emerge within a week or so.
Cut the newly rooted plant from the main plant and transfer it elsewhere within the garden or to a large pot.
Things to remember
Very few pests bother the sage plant. Overwatering and lack of light kill the plant more than the pests do. So watering should be done only and only when required and adequate light must be provided.
If planted in a garden sage must be kept away from cucumbers as it will hamper their growth.
It is wise to prune or harvest the plant very lightly during the first year of harvest and let it grow fully. Once the plant is well established it can be harvested 3 to 4 times a year.
- Rahte S, Evans R, Eugster PJ, Marcourt L, Wolfender JL, Kortenkamp A, Tasdemir D. Salvia officinalis for hot flushes: towards determination of mechanism of activity and active principles. Planta Med. 2013 Jun;79(9):753-60. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1328552. Epub 2013 May 13. PMID: 23670626.
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