Sage herb nutrition facts Sharply flavored, sage herb or garden sage is one of the popular pot herbs known since ancient Roman times. This legendary herb with numerous virtues, long held to be the guardian over all other herbs, has been in use in various traditional European and Chinese medicines for its health promoting and disease preventing properties. Herb sage is an evergreen perennial shrub commonly seen all over the Mediterranean and south-eastern Europe (Balkan) regions. Botanically, the plant belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, of the genus: Salvia. Scientific name: Salvia officinalis. The plant flourishes in well-drained alkaline soil under sunny conditions. It grows up to 75 cm height and feature woody, branching stems. Its aromatic leaves are grey-green, soft and pebble-like textured with fine hair-like filaments growing on either side. It bears violet-blue color bunches of flowers in summer. Several cultivars of sage are grown either for medicinal or for culinary purposes. Culinary uses Sage leaves, in general, are harvested just before flowering for culinary purposes. Discard tough stems and fibers before use in recipes. Wash in cold water to remove soil and sand. Gently pat dry using soft cloth. Sage herb is one of the common ingredients in Greek, Italian, and Balkan cuisine. Here are some serving tips: Fresh leaves can be used in stuffing in season sausages, poultry and fish. The herb is also used in many vegetable dishes, especially with beans. It is also used as a garnish in herb salads. Herbal tea. Side Effects Concern has been expressed about the internal use of sage due to the presence of thujone. Even when consumed in small amounts for long periods of time, thujone may cause increased heart rate and mental confusion. Very high amounts (several times greater than one receives if taking sage as instructed above), may lead to convulsions. If one takes sage internally, it is best to limit use to the recommended amounts and to periods of no more than one to two weeks. Extracts of sage made with alcohol are likely to be higher in thujone than those made with water. Sage oil should never be consumed without being first diluted in water. Sage should not be used internally during pregnancy. These concerns do not extend to the use of sage as a gargle or mouth rinse. Sage should be avoided when fever is present. Sage Walnut Pesto 3 cloves of garlic 1/2 cup of roasted walnuts 1 cup of sage leaves 1 cup of flat Italian parsley 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil Directions: Mince the garlic and walnuts in a small food processor. Add sage, parsley, salt, and pepper and blend in short bursts while pouring in the olive oil. Fried Sage Leaves Delicate, crunchy fried sage can be crushed and sprinkled on squash or bean soups, served as an accompaniment to burgers, and even eaten whole as a snack. 1 bunch fresh sage 1/4 cup olive oil Coarse salt 1. Pinch off leaves from sage. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. 2. Fry 6–8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Makes about 30 fried leaves.