Common Sage (salvia officinalis)

The common or garden sage is one of the best-known aromatic herbs with a multitude of uses. It's strong, fresh scent and large, silvery green leaves make it a really beautiful addition to any witch's kitchen, and its properties - a valuable one. Sage has been known for its properties, both medicinal and culinary, since Antiquity at least, and in the Carolingian Empire, its cultivation was pretty much mandatory in monasteries, because of the king Charlemagne's fondness for the plant.

Sage needs a sunny spot to flourish, and the seeds should not be put too close to one another, since the plant likes to spread outwards. Healthy leaves of sage have a pale green colour with a silvery grey patina that makes it look a bit like velvet. They are elongated and quite firm to the touch.
  • Culinary uses
Sage is well established in many countries as a savoury condiment: indispensable to roast chicken in Britain, often added to bouquet garni in France, used to spice up many varieties of cheeses, pasta, meats and soups all over Europe. It should be used sparingly, however, or the strong, minty aroma dominates others.
I'm pretty sure my Mother's recipe, roast chicken in garlic and sage, could bring people back from the dead just for the taste. It's stunningly simple: mash fresh sage leaves and a garlic clove in oil, rub all over a chicken, roast. Proceed to fight with the rest of the family for a bigger portion.
  • Medicinal uses
Sage is an effective antiseptic, especially good as external disinfectant: sage infusion is often prescribed by doctors in my country as mouthwash for throat or gum infections, since it works and accidental swallowing is not a hazard. It can be used in the same manner on cuts and various lesions in need of disinfecting.
Internally, common sage is effective in gastric problems - aiding digestion and facilitating bowel movements or stomach ache, helpful in diarrhea. Sage infusion can also help lower blood sugar, as well as mitigate excessive sweating. That last effect needs prolonged use to kick in, so the best idea is to switch "normal" tea for sage for at least a few months.
  • Magic uses
Do they even need introduction? Honestly, sage is probably the most renown magical herb of the world, and that's even without counting her cousin, salvia divinorum. Common sage is one of the best protection herbs there are, shielding You from evil and harm, banishing negative influences, strengthening desirable effects, aiding in divination work. Honestly, if there's anything in kitchen witchcraft close to an universal ingredient, a joker card, it's sage. On its own, it stands for knowledge and wisdom (duh), power, and pretty much magic as a whole. There is no spell that will be worse for the addition of sage.