Herb to improve the memory


Salvia Officinalis . This is a large genus with over 900 species, distributed throughout the world. Although Sage favours dry, stony or rocky hillsides, they can also be found in temperate and sub-tropical areas as well. Native to Spain is Salvia lavandulifolia – Spanish Sage – an evergreen, woody perennial, with pale lavender blue flowers. As an evergreen Sage can be picked all year round. Most Sages dislike the wet, and need good drainage, thriving in sunny positions.  They can be grown from seed, but cuttings are very easy, taking about 4 weeks to root in the summer. Whilst Sage can be grown in pots, it is more susceptible   to red spider mite.

Sage has been used in the Mediterranean area for centuries. The name is derived from the Latin, salvere, meaning ‘to be well’. The Romans used it to increase fertility and considered it a sacred herb to be gathered with ceremony. The Greeks used it to heal ulcers and snake bites. In the 17th century, Sage was so highly valued that Dutch merchants found that the Chinese would trade 3 chests of China Tea for 1 chest of Sage.

In more modern times, Sage is perhaps best known as a culinary herb going particularly well with pork, veal and liver and as an ingredient in sausages. It’s antiseptic qualities make it an excellent remedy as a tea ( infuse a teaspoon of dried or two of fresh in a mug of hot water , for 10 minutes)  for colds and sore throats. Recent research has indicated that Sage may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s , as it is known that drinking Sage tea can help improve brain function, the senses and memory. It has also proved to be the most popular tea, when I do ‘tea-tastings’ on my herbal walks. However, long term use is not recommended and Sage MUST NOT be taken during pregnancy and by those suffering from epilepsy.

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