Sage “Poor Man’s Vanilla”

  ”Have you been to Scarborough Fair? There’s coriander, sage, rosemary, and thyme there. Say hello to a girl there, who used to be my love…” in this song In the beautiful song “Scarborough Fair,” Sarah Brightman sings the names of coriander, sage, rosemary and thyme over and over in an ethereal voice. These four are the most popular herbs in Europe, not only fragrant and delicious, but also endowed with a special meaning full of positive energy. In the above song, thyme means courage, coriander symbolizes victory, and rosemary is synonymous with love; sage, which will be introduced in this article, represents loyalty and love to the family.
intoxicating purple

  Sage is produced in southern Europe and the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea, also known as sage grass, southern salvia, and stone see through. It is an annual herb of the labiatae family sage. As early as the 16th century, this special scented plant has penetrated into the daily life of ordinary people in England. At that time, tea from China and India had not yet spread to the United Kingdom, and people there used sage to brew water as tea, which not only clears heat and quenches thirst, but also is economical. Therefore, sage is called “the poor man’s vanilla”.
  The name “sage” doesn’t sound very good, and it is easy for people to have a relatively humble and grass-roots association, and it is not contrary to the “poor man’s vanilla”. In terms of growth habit and plant morphology, sage is indeed quite ordinary. It does not require high soil, and can grow well on neutral or slightly alkaline soil with loose soil. Wild sage grows along mountain roads, shaded grasses, waterside and under the shade of trees.
  The plant of sage is not tall, it is clustered, the whole plant is covered with pubescence, and the plant height is 30 to 100 cm. The fibrous roots are dense, the stem is erect, quadrangular, the stem has grooves, is sparsely villous, and the lower part is often slightly lignified. The leaves are opposite, with one or more pinnately compound leaves, the leaf shape is oblong, rhomboid or lanceolate, the green veins are obvious, and the glandular points are below. The leaves on the upper part of the stem are mostly pinnately compound leaves, with short stalks, terminal leaflets, lanceolate or rhomboid, up to 10 cm long, apex acuminate or caudate acuminate, base long cuneate , margin obtusely serrate, sparsely pubescent or glabrous on both surfaces; lateral leaflets subsessile, elliptic-lanceolate, apex acute or short acuminate, base obliquely subrounded. The leaves growing on the lower part of the stem are mostly bipinnate, the leaves are 6-10 cm long, 5-9 cm wide, with petioles 7-9 cm long, ventral concave dorsal convex, sparsely villous or absent hair. Obviously, just from the appearance of the leaves, the sage that has not yet reached the flowering stage is indeed unremarkable, and it is not eye-catching when mixed with other herbs.

  But you know what? Whenever the summer from June to September comes, when the unremarkable sage blooms into blooms, it presents a completely different intoxicating and wonderful scene. Like most Lamiaceae plants, sage flowers are exquisite in shape, and full of color and fragrance. Its inflorescence is born at the top of the plant, and consists of many florets to form a round cyme, and then forms an elongated raceme or branch to form a racemoid panicle. When viewed from a distance, it looks like strips of colorful rat tails on the branches. Swaying in the wind, it is really cute and charming.
  On the inflorescence of each sage, there are usually dozens of lip-shaped florets and many small bracts. These bracts are mostly lanceolate, entire, acuminate at the apex, cuneate at the base, and glabrous on both sides. The calyx of the florets is cylindrical, with glandular pilose on the outside, and a bristle ring on the inner throat. The corolla of the florets is bell-shaped, densely villous on the outside and sparsely pubescent rings on the inside.
  It is particularly worth mentioning that the flowers of sage are not only unique in shape, but also have a particularly beautiful color and a strong fragrance. In nature, plants with blue flowers are relatively rare; sage not only has pink, lavender, and pure white colors, but also has varieties that can open pure blue flowers. When the blue sage flowers bloom, the intoxicating blue is unforgettable.
  Therefore, sage is a kind of garden flower and grass that can create an atmosphere. It is especially suitable for planting in parks, forest edge slopes in scenic spots, lawn corners or on the banks of rivers and lakes. It can arrange a very magnificent landscape; or embellish it. On the side of rocks, rockeries and the gaps on both sides of the trail, it will be extraordinarily elegant and quiet. Even if you just put it on the balcony, on the coffee table, or in the courtyard, you can see the flowers and smell the fragrance, which makes people feel happy.
bitter fragrance

  Sage is a very common spice used in Western food, and its strong aroma with a slightly bitter taste is impressive. This unique aroma is formed by mixing a variety of volatile oil components, which not only refreshes the mind, but also stimulates the gastric mucosa just right, promotes gastrointestinal motility, helps digest food, and increases appetite.
  In Western cooking, the first function of sage is to remove the fishy smell and increase the fragrance. Its effect is similar to the onion, ginger, and garlic in Chinese food. It is often used to pickle animal liver, large intestine, mutton and mackerel. The heavy meat and fishy ingredients can effectively eliminate the peculiar smell of animal internal organs, the mutton smell of mutton and the fishy smell of fish, adding a special fragrance to the food. Marinating beef with sage instead of black pepper is also a good option to give the beef the unique aroma of sage. When roasting chicken and duck, many western chefs like to mix sage into the stuffing, so that the roasted product is not only more fragrant, but also conducive to digestion.
  Shredding sage and adding it to other foods is also a good thing in Western cooking. For example, fresh sage leaves are chopped and sprinkled on fried foods to add deliciousness; or, sage can be soaked in olive oil to make spice oil, and cooked with dairy products to make sage cream; Sage is even added to wine, beer, and vinegar for flavoring to create unique flavors of wine, beer, and vinegar.
  Sage can also be used with rosemary and thyme. Chop and mix several herbs and mix them with olive oil. It is a good seasoning for French butterfish or oven-baked dishes. This seasoning oil is mixed with breadcrumbs and it becomes a popular coating for frying or grilling fish and shellfish. Italians also love to use sage to make bread, sausages and soaking oil, which can not only remove fishy smell, but also decompose fat, and also have the effect of sterilization and antiseptic.
  When seasoning, people can not only add fresh branches and leaves of sage directly to food, but also add it to cooking after drying. Since fresh sage is not resistant to high temperature, it is usually added when the dish is about to be cooked. Otherwise, cooking at high temperature for too long will cause the sage to lose its aroma and fail to enhance the flavor. When using sun-dried sage, it should be put in early when cooking, and its fragrance can be fully released after cooking for a longer time. Because the aroma of sage is too strong, whether it is fresh grass or hay, when used as a condiment, the amount should not be too much, so as not to mask the taste of other ingredients or even the main ingredients.
  In addition to being used as a seasoning spice, sage is also a flavorful fresh vegetable. Fresh sage branches and leaves are not only fragrant, but also rich in nutrients, so they can be directly consumed as cold vegetables; the stems, leaves and flowers can also be used to make tea, which can remove oil in the body after drinking, promote body metabolism, and achieve the effect of beauty and beauty. . However, since clary sage contains thujone, it should not be eaten in large quantities for a long time, otherwise it will produce toxins in the body, which is not good for health.

universal medicine

  Sage is also a very ancient medicinal plant, which has been used for thousands of years. As early as the Assyrian period, the ancient Arabs called it “the elixir of life”. In the eyes of the ancient Romans, sage is a magical plant that can cure all intractable diseases. Its scientific name Salvia japonica Thunb comes from the Latin root Salvare, which means “healing” or “saving”. In the Holy Books of Rome, sage is also recorded as a panacea. Therefore, in the Mediterranean coastal areas of southern Europe, there are widespread rumors that “eat sage in May, you can live forever”, “people who grow sage will not die”, “plant sage, poisonous toads will not come near” and so on. statement.
  Sage has long been a highly regarded herb in Europe. Especially sage’s unique antibacterial, anti-epidemic, antiseptic and promoting functions of body softness and tissue contraction have been widely recognized as early as medieval Europe. sage is always preferred.
  Because clary sage is rich in aromatic volatile components, it has obvious sedative effect, can effectively relieve parasympathetic nerves, make people’s reactions speed up, memory is significantly enhanced, and is suitable for healing negative states such as exhaustion, depression and sadness. Therefore, in the Middle Ages, Clary sage has been used as one of the tonic ingredients to improve the nervous system. In addition, this plant is widely used to clean gums and whiten teeth, indicating that sage has been recognized for its efficacy in cleansing the jaw, throat, and gastric mucosa, as well as oral ulcers and inflammation of the gums. Sage tea was the most popular drink in England until the 17th century. It has been found that drinking this herbal tea can not only help digestion and improve appetite, but also promote urination, which is good for liver and kidney, and can effectively improve constipation, obesity, water retention and other diseases.

  Although sage is an imported species, the Chinese have a deep understanding of its medicinal value and are very good at using this herb. Chinese medicine believes that sage is bitter, slightly cold, and non-toxic. Its flowers and leaves can be used as medicine, and it is mainly used to treat the cold and heat of rat fistula, persistent diarrhea with pus and blood, and infertility. Tao Hongjing’s “Bie Lu of Famous Doctors” in the Han Dynasty not only recorded that sage was “plentiful in the fields, and people picked it for nourishing soap”, but also claimed that this herb had a certain effect in the treatment of gynecological diseases. Tailweed has been studied in depth. Li Shizhen, a medical scientist in the Ming Dynasty, gave a more detailed introduction to sage in the “Compendium of Materia Medica”, and also recorded in detail the use of sage to treat various diseases.
  Modern medicine has proved that sage is indeed very beneficial to the female reproductive system. Its effect is similar to that of estrogen. It can regulate the menstrual cycle, help conception, and is also extremely helpful for menopause, especially the problem of frequent sweating. At the same time, because clary sage has the functions of sterilization, antitoxin and detoxification, and expelling plague, it is also effective in the treatment of vaginal Candida infection and other various edema and dysentery. In my country, many varieties of sage, such as Yunnan sage and Ganxi sage, are widely used Chinese herbal medicines for a long time. It should be noted that because sage has strong menstrual and breast-removing effects, it should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding to avoid harm.
  Sage essential oil extracted from dried sage leaves is a pale yellow-green nearly colorless liquid with a strong vanilla odor. Colds, mucous membrane inflammation, bronchitis and bacterial infections.
  Drop an appropriate amount of sage essential oil into warm water, soak it with a towel and wring it out, apply it to the face, and press the facial acupoints to make the facial skin absorb the molecules of the essential oil, which can effectively balance oil secretion, improve large pores and dry skin. Ringworm, eczema, ulcers, sores and other problems. Clary sage oil also helps stop bleeding and scabs on wounds and promotes lightening and lightening of dull skin. Mix an appropriate amount of sage essential oil with grapeseed oil and rosemary essential oil, apply on the affected area and massage gently to remove the blood marks and congestion in other areas after the acne is healed.
  Clary sage essential oil also has the functions of clearing menstruation, promoting blood circulation and relieving pain. Drop a few drops of sage essential oil into the hot water of the feet, which can not only remove athlete’s foot and foot odor, but also achieve the purpose of relaxing the meridians and activating the collaterals. For muscle strain caused by excessive exercise, sage oil can also help restore. In addition, clary sage oil can also treat muscle fibroids and torticollis caused by stiff necks.

strong love

  Although the name of sage does not seem to be very noble and elegant; but in ancient Roman times, sage was regarded as a noble and sacred plant. When picking sage, the harvester must follow certain etiquette: first prepare tributes such as bread and wine, then bathe and cleanse, and then put on a white short-sleeved robe before picking barefoot. When ancient Roman soldiers stationed in England, they often carried sage seeds and sowed them on the way. In the coming year, sage will grow in patches along the way, which can be used as a glorious sign of the Roman army’s marching route.
  This may be related to the myths and legends about sage recorded in the Bible. According to legend, after Jesus was born, he was hunted down by King Herod. Mary fled with baby Jesus in her arms. As the pursuers approached, Mary hurriedly sought shelter, but there were only roses, lilacs, and sage all around.
  Mary came to the rose and pleaded: “O rose, please save our poor mother and child, bloom all your beautiful petals, and hide me and the child!” The rose replied in disgust: “Leave quickly, and don’t let those The butcher hurts and defiles me.”
  Mary came to the clove again and begged for blessing, the clove shook her head and said indifferently: “My whole body is busy with flowers, and I don’t even have time to listen to you!”
  Finally, Mary came to Rat’s Tail. before the grass. Just after she finished her request, the sage immediately grew lush branches and leaves, hiding Mary and baby Jesus tightly.
  The pursuers didn’t find Mary and left in anger. Mary said gratefully to the sage: “O sage, I pray for your good deeds, and let everyone remember you.”
  Since then, the nasty thorns have grown on the rose branches, the cloves have begun to emit a strong stench, and the sage has become colorful, fragrant and pleasant, and has a variety of curative effects, which is deeply loved by humans. Become a sacred herb full of love in people’s eyes. People have given all kinds of beautiful meanings, such as kindness and cuteness, firm ideals, and caring for the family, to sage to express their strong love. Giving sage to your sweetheart means: “I am deeply fascinated by your kindness and cuteness. I hope you can always maintain this kind, cute and beautiful character.” Give sage to Zheng Those who strive to pursue their ideals express their blessings and admiration to them, and encourage the other party to strengthen their ideals and not give up halfway. At the same time, different colors and varieties of sage are also given different meanings of flower language. For example, the flower language of purple sage is “wisdom”, the flower language of blue sage is “reason”, and the flower language of red sage is “reason”. The flower language of pineapple and sage is “the heart is burning”, and the flower language of pineapple sage is “warm thoughts”.
  Among the various flower languages ​​of sage, the most moving implication is loyalty and love to the family. Sending a beautiful bouquet of sage to parents, wives, and husbands is not only to praise the other party’s loyalty to the family, but also to thank the other party for their dedication to the family. Therefore, people who like sage are considered to be upright gentlemen who value family values ​​and are upright.