Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sage- Salvia Officinalis
"How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden?" is a much quoted ancient proverb. The name "salvia" is from the Latin salvere, to be in good health, to save or to cure. It was so valued by the Chinese, that the Dutch would trade one chest of sage for 3 chests of tea!
Sage is a long lived perennial shrub that requires little more than light, dry, well drained soil to thrive. It is a good addition to your perennial border as it is well behaved and adds a nice silver-gray leaf and pretty purple flower.
To harvest, pick the leaves when they are young and just before the plant flowers. You can use the dried leaves in sachets to put in your linens to discourage insects and make them smell wonderful.
I like to make an infusion in vinegar along with rosemary to use as a hair rinse. It really makes dark hair shine! Simply put the herbs in a glass jar (a good handful for each cup of vinegar), cover with a good vinegar and let steep in a warm place for a couple of weeks then strain off the now dark vinegar. To use, add a couple of tablespoons to a glass of warm water and pour over freshly washed hair. Rinse thoroughly . This fragrant rinse removes excess shampoo film and really makes your hair shine!