Best Variety Of Lavender For Culinary Use Sage – An Essential Herb for Any Garden

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Sage – An Essential Herb for Any Garden

Sage, or to use its Latin name Salvia Officinalis, is one of the strongest flavoured herbs. It is also an attractive plant, which makes it an ideal herb as well as an attractive addition to any border. The good thing with a Sage plant is that most people will only need one, so it is easy to find a place to position it in any garden. Sage has medicinal as well as culinary uses, as well as being grown for its ornamental looks.

Sage is a member of the Lamiaceae family. This family of plants is otherwise known as the Mint family. This family contains over 7,000 species of plant, most of which have flowers and are aromatic, so it includes plants such as Mint, Lavender and Basil. Sage is also known as ‘Common Sage’, ‘Garden Sage’ and ‘Kitchen Sage’.

Growing Sage

Sage likes being in a sunny, well-drained position in the garden. It prefers an alkaline soil and will need protection from the frosts, if grown in England. It requires a pruning in July, once it has flowered. Keeping it pruned will help encourage young growth and prevent it from going twiggy. Gathering leaves you want to use on a regular basis also helps keep it happy. The leaves are a green-grey colour with a white underside – this is due to the hairs on them, which make them feel quite velvety. If you want to keep using the leaves, you will need to pinch out the flowers before they open.

Sage plants can grow up to over a metre in height, depending on the variety you have chosen, so leave it some room to grow! There are also over 700 varieties of Sage, so you will have plenty of choice – aromatically and visually.

Uses

Sage is predominantly used to flavour fatty meats such as duck and goose, as well as its common use to make sage and onion stuffing to accompany chicken. It is also used in Italian cuisine. However you use it, it is quite strong, so only a couple of leaves are needed.

Medicinal Uses

The name ‘Salvia’ comes from the Latin ‘Salveo’, which means to heal. Sage has healing properties as well as medicinal ones. These benefits include its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, as well as assisting with any digestive problems you may have.

Storage

Sage leaves will keep for up to five days in the fridge, if wrapped in paper towels. If you want to keep them longer, you can cover the leaves in olive oil and they will then keep in the fridge for up to two months. Alternatively, you can freeze the leaves for up to a year.

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