As we like to say here in the South, “It’s fall, y’all!!” And for some reason unknown to me, sage is an herb that I have always associated with autumn. Is it that it’s the perennial pairing of choice with those other ubiquitous ingredients of fall, butternut and acorn squash? Is it the appealing mossy-green color or the earthy scent? Who knows. What matters is that sage is a lovely and versatile herb that has been in our food, medicine and perfume throughout history. And this week, I’m going to talk about it.
Sage has basically been in regular medical use for millennia, and what exactly it was used for was dependent upon the culture. The ancient Egyptians applied it in the use of women’s fertility, while the Greeks steeped the leaves to make a kind of tonic-like tea. And let us not forget Four Thieves Vinegar, that 14th-century concoction put together by those wanting to treat the plague.