We expand the catalog of medicinals in our garden or medicinal and aromatic garden. Today we present sage. A very grateful plant. Give more than you ask for. This plant has great properties and the cultivation and care needs are moderate so it is really worth it.
A PLANT WITH GREAT PROPERTIES AND EASY TO GROW
First of all we need to narrow down the name. When salvia is commonly said we are referring to Salvia officinalis which is the one we cultivate on a regular basis. Salvia is also a very extensive genus of herbs belonging to the lamiaceae family that is made up of hundreds, almost a thousand different species, among which the one that we have extracted and have obtained since Roman times is the one we are talking about today, Salvia officinalis.
Salvia officinalis has its origin in Mediterranean lands, although it has adapted to more temperate places over time and is currently very widespread. It has adapted to many climates and soils and therefore its cultivation is not complicated as we will see later. The first written mention of sage is by Pliny the Elder (1st century AD), although it was botanically described by Linnaeus in the 18th century. Even so, the healing properties attributed to this plant have been innumerable, sometimes giving it the qualification of a miracle plant. Among its uses, it has stood out as an antiseptic, astringent, antioxidant, to combat fever, inflammation of the throat, mouth and digestive tract, acidity … We can go on and not stop. There are numerous sayings that allude to its healing properties:
- If you catch sage in the field, you will not be left lame one-armed.
- Why does a man who has sage die in the garden? This one is attributed to Martin Luther
- Do you have sage in the garden and your son dead?
With these three sayings and sayings, the fame of this fabulous plant is evident. From a chemical point of view, numerous active principles have been found in its essential oil from the group of terpenes as well as flavonoids among many others.
Of course, thanks to its very powerful aroma, it is an excellent aromatic for dishes although the flavor it gives is so strong that it is recommended not to mix with other herbs and it depends on which dishes. There are sausages, meats and cheeses made with sage to flavor them. Italy is a big consumer in its cuisine, in addition to basil. A recommendation that is usually given is to use the wide-leaf varieties for drying and the narrow-leaf varieties for the kitchen, but it is not a maxim that must be followed literally. In the garden it has a lot of decorative presence due to its flowers and helps pollination. If you have sage near the garden, you will see numerous bees and other libators hovering nearby.
SAGE CARE IN THE GARDEN
Climate and exposure
Although it has been adapting, its natural resistance drifts more towards drought than towards frost. Let us remember that its origin is from the Mediterranean. Therefore, warm and temperate climates . In the northern zone with strong frosts, its development will be more complicated without the proper protections. Although it can grow in semi-shade, it is undoubtedly a plant with a preference for full sun exposure .
It supports many types of soil very well but if we talk about preferences, it likes more soils pulling towards alkalinity . If the soil is acidic, limestone amendments will be convenient if we want it to develop well. The type of soil you prefer is a drained soil and therefore the sandy fraction should be present. Very heavy or clayey soils do not support them well.
It supports drought but it does not hurt to water once, twice and up to 3 times a week depending on the climate and the season of the year for its optimal development.
- A very recommendation to keep in mind is not to collect sage until the second year after planting. It is important if you want good concentrations of aromatic essences.
- The leaves can be used fresh. If you decide to dry them, making bouquets and hanging them in a warm and dry airy place will be enough.
- It is important to control the kills. It can be invasive. For this reason, it is advisable to plant it slightly away from the main garden for better control.