Sage is an evergreen bush in the mint family, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue-purple flowers. It has been used since antiquity to ward off evil, heal snakebite, increase fertility, and offer other remedies.
When the Black Death came to take its toll, sage was an ingredient in the legendary Four Thieves Vinegar: a blend of vinegar and herbs believed to protect from the plague. Lore has 4 thieves, caught robbing the dead during the plague, given leniency in exchange for the recipe.
Sage in the Middle Ages was considered a cure-all, sometimes called “sage the savior.” Traditional medicines in many cultures prescribe sage to treat disorders in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Modern medicine has shown sage as an antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, and helpful in treating hyperlipidemia and Alzheimer’s.
Sage is one of the few herbs which strengthens as its leaves dry. As a spice, sage is used in salads and cooking meat dishes.