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Herbs and Aroma

Alternative Medicine

Aroma Therapy


This herb is very common in Egypt as it is present in nature abundantly. It is used in many culinary and medicinal uses.

Its botanical name is Saliva Officinalis. Its common name is garden sage, red sage, saurge, Salvia salvatrix. Its Arabic name is Maryamiah, ( Marameeah, Maramiah, Maryamiya).

It is native to the Mediterranean from thousands of years ago. Ancient Herbalists used it externally to treat sprains, swelling, ulcers, and bleeding.

The parts used are mainly the leaves as whole herbs. Sage is a silvery-green shrub with very fragrant leaves. The most commonly cultivated species of sage originally came from the area around the Mediterranean but now also grows in North America. The leaves of this common kitchen herb are used in medicine as well as in cooking.

Sage generally grows about a foot or more high, with wiry stems. The leaves are set in pairs on the stem and are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, stalked, oblong, rounded at the ends, finely wrinkled by a strongly-marked network of veins on both sides, greyish-green in colour, softly hairy and beneath glandular. The flowers are in whorls, purplish and the corollas lipped. They blossom in August.

The aroma of Sage can be very powerful with sometimes a bitter taste. All parts of the plant have a strong, scented odour and a warm, bitter, somewhat astringent taste, due to the volatile oil contained in the tissues.



The main constituent of Sage and its active principle is a yellow or greenish-yellow volatile oil (sp. gr. 0.910 to 0.930) with a penetrating odour. Tannin and resin are also present in the leaves, 0.5 to 1.0 per cent of the oil is yielded from the leaves and twigs when fresh, and about three times this quantity when dry. The volatile oil of sage contains the constituents alpha- and beta-thujone, camphor, and cineole. It also contains rosmarinic acid, tannins, and flavonoids

Sage oil contains a hydrocarbon called Salvene; pinene and cineol are probably present in small amount, together with vorneol, a small quantity of esters, and the ketone thujone, the active principle which confers the power of resisting putrefaction in animal substances. Dextro-camphor is also present in traces. A body has been isolated by certain chemists called Salviol, which is now known to be identical with Thujone.

Sage oil of commerce is obtained from the herb S. officinalis, and distilled to a considerable extent in Dalmatia and recently in Spain, but from a different species of Salvia. A certain amount of oil is also distilled in Germany. The oil distilled in Dalmatia and in Germany is of typically Sage odour, and is used for flavouring purposes.




It has many medicinal and culinary uses.


Medicinal uses

It is an astringent, antibacterial, aromatic, carminative stimulant and tonic.

Sage makes an excellent gargle for relaxed throat and tonsils, bleeding gums, laryngitis and ulcerated throat. In modern European herbal medicine, a gargle of sage tea is commonly recommended to treat sore throat, inflammations in the mouth, and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Test tube studies have found that sage oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity which may partially explain the effectiveness of sage for these indications.

Sage tea is valuable against delirium of fevers, nervous excitement and accompanying brain and nervous diseases. It is also used as a stimulant tonic in stomach and nervous complaints and in weak digestion. It also works as an emmanagogue, in treating typhoid fever, bilious and liver problems, kidney troubles and lung or stomach haemorrhage. The infusion is used in head colds, quinsy, measles, painful joints, lethargy, palsy and nervous headaches.

Fresh leaves are rubbed on the teeth to cleanse them and strengthen gums, even today sage is included in toothpastes and tooth powders.

The oil of sage was used to remove mucus collections from the respiratory organs and is included in embrocations for rheumatism. It was also used by herbalists for rheumatism, excessive menstrual bleeding, and to dry up a mother’s milk when nursing was stopped. It was particularly noted for strengthening the nervous system, improving memory, and sharpening the senses.

The herb is also used and applied warm as a poultice.

Some recent researches are now done to see the effect of sage in Alzheimer’s disease, as it is used to improve memory and nervous conditions.

Sage is also approved in Germany for mild gastrointestinal upset and excessive sweating. An unpublished, preliminary German study with people suffering from excessive perspiration found that either a dry leaf extract or an infusion of the leaf reduced sweating by as much as 50%.



Culinary uses

Sage was used by the Chinese as a tea, instead of their own traditional tea.

 It is also used as a stuffing with onions in ducks and geese. Dried sage goes well with other assertive herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and bay.

It is markedly known for the flavor it provides to Thanksgiving turkeys, sage is not only used for stuffing alone. It works well in dishes featuring cheese, beans, and poultry and is a flavorful addition to herbed biscuits, lima beans, peas, zucchini, and cream soups. Chopped fresh, sage is mild enough to add to salads.

Sautéed fresh sage leaves provide an excellent crisp accent for baked squash and other winter vegetables.

Be sure to not overuse sage—just a touch enlivens a dish, whereas too much can give a bitter effect. Its bold flavor and scent become more powerful when dried.


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