Sage is an herb that was once grown in Mediterranean region only, but now is seen being cultivated throughout the world. Using and storing sage is popular because apart from its culinary uses, the herb has medicinal properties as well. For this reason, it is known by a number of names, such as Garden Sage, Kitchen Sage and Dalmatian Sage. According to many modern evidences, it has antihydrotic, antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, hypoglycemic and tonic properties. Moreover, it is found helpful in conditions like indigestion, gas, liver complaints, excessive lactation, excessive perspiration, excessive salivation, anxiety, depression, female sterility, menopausal problems. In addition it can also treat insect bites, throat, mouth, gum, skin infections and vaginal discharge. To know the ways to use and store sage, read on.
How to Use Sage
- Sage leaves can be used by preparing an infusion in boiling water. This potion is supposed to contain medicinal properties.
- For the preparation of the infusion, take 1 tsp dried sage or minced fresh sage leaves and put it in a cup containing boiling water. Cover for 30 minutes. The mixture has a strong flavor and aroma, which might not taste so good. For this reason, you can add honey and make it mellow.
- This infusion can be ingested as a tonic for the treatment of sore throats and other oral irritations. It is said that the oil in sage possesses antiseptic properties, which soothe irritation on contact. You can even use it by dipping a rag into the infusion and applying to cuts, scrapes and bruises.
- Sage can also be added to chicken, turkey or pork stuffing to elevate its taste. For this, add 1 tbsp minced sage to 1 cup of the respective stuffing. Though sage has a slightly bitter flavor, it goes down with a hint of lemon. However, be careful not overuse it.
- You can even use sage to provide flavor to your meat. Place fresh or dried sage leaves in your meat dishes before roasting. It can even be sprinkled over the top of an entire roast, prior to cooking, or one sprig can be placed into individual chicken or turkey breasts.
How to Store Sage
- You can store fresh sage leaves in plastic bags and put them in the refrigerator.
- To retain the maximum flavor of sage, freezing is the best option. It can be done by putting entire branches on cookie sheets and then stripping the leaves from the stems and putting them back into the freezer in plastic containers. The other way can be mixing finely chopped sage leaves with just enough olive oil or butter to bind them together. Now, freeze this mixture in ice cube trays.
- Sage can also be stored by drying its leaves on screens, in a dry spot, away from direct sun. Dried sage leaves can be then stored in an airtight jar to retain its flavor and aroma.