The Latin name for sage is salvina officinalis, coming from the verb salvere, meaning "to save". It has been used as an herbal-tea to save people from a variety of ailments and conditions since the time of the Egyptians. The ancients believed that it increased mental clarity, focus and memory enhancement--hence the nickname "thinker's tea"--but my interest arose when I woke up this morning with a sore throat. Sage is also anti-inflammatory. It is often called upon as a go-to homeopathic remedy for sore throats, tonsillitis, inflamed gums and other such ills of the mouth and beyond. With nothing to lose I decided to give it a shot.
Luckily for me I have a kitchen garden just steps from my stove, so I went straight out onto the lanai and clipped a few leaves, gave them a rinse and steeped them in some boiling water. If you don't have the space for an herb garden or a particularly green thumb you can always get a pack of sage leaves at the local supermarket. Given a choice you should go for organic, but if not just get what's available. I cringe to think that anyone might forego a perfectly good natural remedy like this simply because there is a stigma attached to non-organic products or because of anything that I write. For me it's all about making the best choice available in any given situation, so don't think twice.
After five minutes of steeping I drank the infusion. The affects were almost instantaneous. My throat calmed and was noticeably less irritated, and the congestion in my head dissipated. Success. Mind you, if your symptoms are greater than a slight irritation, it is always best to seek proper advice from a professional (necessary disclaimer in litigious times!) but if not, this herbal-tea might just be your salvation.
1 cup (225g) boiling water
1 sprig (3g) fresh sage
Bring the water to a boil. Place the sage in a tea cup and pour over the boiling water. Allow to steep for five minutes, then remove the sage with a spoon and enjoy!