Organic Emily

Growing and Using Herbs: Sage

Sage Plant

Sage is one of those safe and simple herbs to use and grow!  For years I only used it with Thanksgiving Turkey and stuffing and although the herb is the essence of fall to me I recently learned there a lot more purposes to this wonderful herb!  Sage tea has been known to help “dry” up mother’s milk for weening babies.  It has been used for many years to calm and soothe a sore throat and even help with hot flashes!

Growing Sage

Sage is very easy to grow in zones 4-8.  It loves full sun, well draining soil and hot conditions, so it does well here in Utah.  It’s best to get starts from your local nursery or propagate from root division.  Older plants can get woody and leggy, just cut back the old growth in the spring before the new growth comes out.

Using Sage

Outside of using sage on poultry, we can also use it for medicinal purposes too.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes to aid your family during the cold and flu season.

Sage Throat Spray or Gargle

Ingredients to make Sore Throat Spray or Gargle

This throat spray is very simple to make.  Harvest about 1 cup fresh sage leaves.  Place in bowl and pour 1 cup boiling hot water over the top of the leaves.  Cover with a plate to keep the essential oils inside.   Let steep for 30 minutes.


Strained Fresh Sage Tea

Strain the sage tea into another bowl and add the following:

1-2 tablespoons raw honey

1-2 tablespoons echinacea tincture (optional, but does extend the shelf life)

1-2 drops peppermint essential oil


Sage Throat Spray or Gargle 2

Pour into a clean glass jar through a funnel.


Sage Throat Spray or Gargle

Label the spray/gargle and use as needed.  Store in refrigerator.


Homemade Cough Syrup

Fresh Herbs for Sore Throat Spray or Gargle

In a large pot place 4 ounces each fresh sage, thyme and horehound (optional, but strongly recommended).  If using dried herbs, use half the amount.  Pour 12 cups water over the herbs and simmer low for a few hours until the water has decreased to 6 cups and you have made a very strong tea.  (this recipe can be made in smaller batches too.)


Horehound, Sage and Thyme Tea

The herbs have been cooked down to half and a strong tea remains.   Strain through cheese cloth or muslin and add 3 cups raw honey.


Sage, thyme and Horehound Cough Syrup

This recipe made about 8 (12 ounce) bottles of cough syrup.  To make the syrup stronger I also added 1 T. echinacea tincture and 1 drop OnGuard essential oil to each bottle.  This will keep the syrup for a longer period of time and increase its effectiveness.  Keep in fridge and take 1 teaspoon every few hours until cough or cold subsides.



Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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