Updated: Aug 16
Sage, an aromatic herb with a rich history in culinary and medicinal use, offers a delightful array of culinary and health benefits. Known for its earthy and slightly peppery flavour, sage is a versatile herb that complements a wide range of dishes, from savoury roasted meats and vegetables to flavourful soups and sauces.
Sage's distinctive taste elevates the overall profile of dishes, particularly in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines. Its robust flavour pairs well with fatty meats like pork and sausages, adding a savoury depth to the dish.
"Sage is commonly paired with meats but goes perfectly well with plant based dishes like pasta or matched with goat's cheese and butternut squash"
Beyond its culinary allure, sage is also a treasure trove of health-promoting polyphenols. One of the key polyphenols found in sage is rosmarinic acid, which is also present in rosemary and oregano. Rosmarinic acid acts as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals and potentially reducing inflammation in the body.
Other bioactive compunds include: α-pinene, β-sitosterol, citral, farnesol, ferulic acid, gallicacid, geraniol, limonene, cineole, perillyl alcohol, β-carotene, catechin, apigenin, luteolin, saponin, ursolic acid, rosemarinic acid, carnosic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid, thymol and eugenol.
Sage contains essential oils, including alpha-thujone and beta-thujone, which exhibit antimicrobial properties. These oils have been used traditionally for their ability to combat certain bacteria and fungi, supporting immune health and contributing to overall well-being.
Additionally, sage is believed to have cognitive benefits and has been studied for its potential role in supporting memory and cognitive function.
"Sage is a strongly flavoured herb, often used with meat. Its flavour profile allows you to cut back on salt if you are trying to be health conscious."
As part of a nutritionally rich, whole health lifestyle, at The Whole Health Practice we advocate enjoying herbs (and spices) as a regular part of one’s diet. While some herbs have shown positive results for specific health outcomes, nutrition science and the interaction of polyphenols from different plant sources is incredibly complex. Enjoy a healthy eating pattern with a variety of herbs, spices and whole foods that work in synergy to promote maximum health. Think fruits, berries, beans, vegetables, and whole grains; add colour to your dishes wherever possible.
Incorporating sage into your culinary creations not only enhances the taste of your meals but also provides a dose of health-boosting polyphenols. So, embrace sage in your cooking, and savour the delightful flavours and potential wellness advantages it brings to your table.
Learn more about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Read on for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...
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Hamidpour M, Hamidpour R, Hamidpour S, Shahlari M. Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Medicinal Property of Sage (Salvia) to Prevent and Cure Illnesses such as Obesity, Diabetes, Depression, Dementia, Lupus, Autism, Heart Disease, and Cancer. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014 Apr;4(2):82-8. doi: 10.4103/2225-4110.130373. PMID: 24860730; PMCID: PMC4003706.