Sage, much like rosemary, is a garden herb I don’t use in the kitchen nearly as much as I mean to. My favourite use for this fragrant herb is a Pumpkin and Sage Risotto I make throughout autumn and winter; the two flavours are a match made in heaven and it’s one of Ade’s favourite suppers when the nights are drawing in and a bowl of colourful, warming rice is just what the doctor ordered.
Annoyingly, I started the week with a sore throat which has only worsened over the last couple of days. But with a healthy crop of sage growing in the garden, this morning I thought I’d try making sage tea, something I’d heard was a good natural remedy for sore throats.
It was astonishingly effective, far more so than the hot honey and lemon drinks I’d been brewing up until now; my sore throat vanished almost instantly. I’ve tried it both with whole leaves and with chopped leaves. Using whole leaves give a much more subtle-flavoured tea, but as I want to fully benefit from the medicinal oils inside the leaves, I’ve mostly been making it with chopped leaves. The result is a very potent tea, an acquired taste perhaps.
Sage or Salvia comes from the latin salvare, meaning ‘to save’ or ‘to be well’, which hints at the extensive medicinal benefits of this perennial garden herb. With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, sage has been widely used in remedies since ancient times to combat colds, fevers, sore throats and for controlling inflammation. Studies have shown it can improve memory, can lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels and it also happens to be rich in antioxidants.
I’m just a teensy bit excited to have discovered this cure-all flourishing outside our back door, and will be brewing up sage tea daily until my throat has fully recovered. It’s a brilliant recipe to have tucked up one’s sleeve!
1 cup of nearly boiling water
1 tbsp of fresh sage leaves (whole or chopped, up to you!)
Honey to sweeten
Add the sage leaves to a teapot (or an infuser placed in a cup).
Heat the water in a kettle, turning it off just before it boils, and pour over the teapot or infuser.
Leave to stand for ten minutes before straining.
Sweeten with honey.
Sage tea is not recommended if pregnant or taking diabetes, sedative or anticonvulsant medications.
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