Species: Salvia officinalis L.
Other common names: Sacred herb
Sage is a plant native to southern Europe, it is present in all Italian regions, cultivated and sometimes wild.
Sage - Salvia officinalis L. (photo website)
Perennial suffruticose plant, up to 70 cm tall, with branchy stem; the leaves are gray-tomentose, long-lanceolate and persistent in winter. The blue-violet flowers are gathered in apical verticillastres.
Sow in early spring, covered, at 18 ° C; germination occurs after 1-2 weeks. Or sow in the late spring in an open field, when the temperature remains above 7 ° C. germination takes 2-3 weeks. Thin out the shoots later. Generally, however, reproduction occurs by herbaceous cutting rooted in sandy loam. When they are sufficiently developed, transplant into pots or full earth, in a sunny position, in slightly calcareous and well-drained substratum.
There are many cultivated varieties, some particularly decorative, such as the "Purpurascens" with red-gray-purple colored leaves, and the "Interina" with yellow margined leaves.
Collection and conservation
The leaves can be harvested all year round. It is also possible to dry them in a shady and ventilated place.
Use in the kitchen and therapeutic properties
Sage leaves are widely used in cooking, to flavor foods and facilitate digestion.
They are commonly used to season pasta and gnocchi with butter, to prepare sauces, roasted and stewed meats, fish, legumes, oils and aromatic vinegars. The leaves can be fried in batter.
Therapeutic properties: digestive, cholagogues, bechics, expectorants, tonic-stimulants, antiseptics. For external use, as an anti-inflammatory in inflammation of the oral cavity.