What is sage used for?

Sage: The Herb of Wisdom and Well-Being

Sage is a perennial, evergreen herb that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, with records dating back to ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Sage has a distinct, earthy aroma and flavor, making it a popular choice for cooking and seasoning. In addition, sage is rich in essential oils, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that have numerous health benefits. In this article, we will explore the many uses of sage and how you can incorporate this herb into your daily lifestyle.

What Are the Different Types of Sage?

There are over 900 species of sage, but the most commonly used for culinary and medicinal purposes are the following:

  • Common Sage (Salvia Officinalis)
  • Pineapple Sage (Salvia Elegans)
  • Garden Sage (Salvia Icterina)
  • Golden Sage (Salvia Officinalis ‘Icterina’)
  • Culinary Sage (Salvia Officinalis ‘Berggarten’)
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Common sage is the most widely used and easily recognizable variety of sage. It has oblong, gray-green leaves with a velvety texture and a silvery cast. Meanwhile, pineapple sage has bright green leaves with a pineapple scent and flavor, and garden sage has green and yellow variegated leaves. Golden sage has a similar appearance to common sage, but its leaves have a golden yellow hue. Culinary sage has broader and rounder leaves than the common sage, making it ideal for cooking. Lastly, Russian sage is a different species altogether, with narrow, spear-shaped leaves and small, lavender flowers.

What Is Sage Used for?

Culinary Uses of Sage

Sage is a versatile herb that is a staple in many cuisines worldwide. It has a strong and distinctive flavor that complements savory dishes well. Here are some ways you can use sage in your cooking:

  • Add sage leaves to your stuffing or dressing recipes for a robust and aromatic flavor.
  • Toss fresh sage leaves with roasted vegetables, grilled meats, or pizza toppings to add depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Mince sage leaves and combine them with butter or cream cheese for a flavorful spread or sauce.
  • Brew sage leaves into a tea and add honey and lemon for a soothing and antioxidant-rich beverage.

Medicinal Benefits of Sage

In addition to its culinary uses, sage has numerous medicinal benefits. Its essential oils contain compounds such as rosmarinic acid, camphor, and thujone, which have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Here are some health benefits of sage:

  • Relieves sore throat, cough, and colds
  • Reduces inflammation and pain in joints and muscles
  • Boosts brain function and memory
  • Regulates digestion and relieves constipation
  • Stabilizes blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity
  • Strengthens the immune system and prevents infections

These benefits can be obtained by consuming sage in various forms, such as supplements, tea, or essential oil. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using sage for medicinal purposes, especially for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, or individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

Aromatherapy and Relaxation with Sage

Sage has a distinctive scent that is associated with purity, wisdom, and clarity. Many people use sage for aromatherapy and relaxation purposes, such as:

  • Burning sage (also known as smudging) to clear negative energy and promote positive vibes in the room.
  • Adding a few drops of sage essential oil to a diffuser or bathwater to enhance mental clarity and calmness.
  • Using sage as a natural deodorizer or air freshener to eliminate bad odors and purify the air.


Sage is a versatile and beneficial herb that has been used for centuries for its culinary, medicinal, and spiritual properties. Whether you want to add more flavor to your dishes, boost your immunity, or create a relaxing atmosphere at home, sage is an easy and accessible option. As with any herb or supplement, it is important to use sage in moderation and with caution, especially if you have underlying health concerns. However, incorporating sage into your daily lifestyle can provide numerous physical and mental benefits for overall well-being.


1. Sayyah M, et al. Efficacy of Extract of Salvia officinalis in the Management of Mild to Moderate Depression: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2016;22(8):642-647.

2. Tildesley NTJ, et al. Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish Sage) Enhances Memory in Healthy Young Volunteers. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. 2003;75(3):669-674.

3. Saller R, et al. An Updated Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis for the Clinical Evidence of Sage (Salvia spp.) for Obesity and Diabetes Mellitus. Phytotherapy Research. 2018;32(4):586-602.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is sage used for besides cooking?
    • Sage has numerous medicinal and aromatherapy benefits, such as relieving sore throat and cough, reducing inflammation, boosting brain function, and promoting relaxation and clarity.
  • Can sage tea be consumed daily?
    • Yes, sage tea can be consumed daily in moderate amounts (1-2 cups per day). However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using sage tea for medicinal purposes, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
  • What are the side effects of sage?
    • High doses of sage (more than the recommended amount) can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even seizures due to the presence of thujone. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, and individuals with epilepsy or kidney disease should avoid using sage or consult with a healthcare professional before doing so.