Skip to Content

How to Use Sage: Grow, Cook, Health

My Homestead Life may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking links on this page. Learn More see Privacy Policy.

Other than putting in your stuffing, have you ever wondered how to use sage? Maybe you’ve decided to add it to your garden but don’t have a clue what to do with it? Sage is an amazing herb with so many uses. I will share how to grow sage, how to cook with it and some other pretty cool ways to use it that I know you’ll enjoy.

What Can You Do With Sage?

While sage may be the star of the show around Thanksgiving, there are so many uses for sage all year long. We’ll delve into some more of these categories throughout this article, but this is a great overview to show you how amazing sage can be.

Outside of cooking with sage, it makes a beautiful plant in landscaping. From silver gray, to purple, and even variegated. Sage comes in a wide range of colors and textures and adds beauty to any garden or yard.

In addition to cooking and landscaping, sage has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for many ailments. Including but not limited to, sore throats, coughing, removing bacteria and more.

Sage and other herbs are used to control bugs and act as a natural insect repellent.

Sage is considered a safe herb for pets and livestock as well. Herbs can be used as flea treatments, medicine, and even dewormers.

Hair color- One of the more unique ways you can use sage is for coloring gray hair. Sage has pigments that stain your gray hairs naturally and turn them darker.

Lastly, sage helps to make any floral arrangement stunning. Just clip some sage and add it to a vase with a pop of color like roses or sunflowers.

How to Grow Sage

Fortunately, sage can be grown indoors or outdoors. This means you can pretty much enjoy this herb year round.

I’ve lived in zones 7a-8b and could grow sage outdoors all year long. However, it does slow down it’s growth in winter so you don’t want to over pick it. Meaning, you never want to harvest more than 1/3 of the herb.

We did receive a good bit of snow last year and my sage still came back in the spring. I was pleasantly surprised to see it recover after the snow melted.

Growing Sage

I’ve always experienced good luck in growing sage, from clay soil to sand. Even though it prefers a more neutral soil, don’t be discouraged to try it if you have more acidic or alkaline soil.

Here are some growing tips and information about sage to help you.

  • Average Height: 18-24 inches
  • Width: 24-36 inches
  • Blooms: Late Spring to fall depending on the variety.
  • Sage flourishes in a sunny, sandy, well-drained, neutral spot in soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7
  • Sage is an evergreen perennial shrub in zones 5-8.
  • In zones below 5 and above 8, it is considered an annual because it cannot survive all year in the growing conditions.
  • Encourage air circulation with mulch and pebbles to help keep the area around the leaves dry.
  • Prune plants back in early spring every year, cutting out the oldest growth in order to promote new growth
  • Older sage plants tend to get woody and kind of scraggly so it’s best to replace the plant every 4-5 years.
  • Sage can be grown indoors in a sunny window year round.

What is The Best Type of Sage to Use?

I currently have Pineapple Sage, Common Sage, Purple Sage, and Variegated Sage growing. I’ve chosen these verities because they offer a unique mix of color and texture to my garden as well as my kitchen.

Common Sage or S. officinalis, is the most widely known sage and is commonly used for cooking. With this in mind, it’s fairly easy to find at your local nursery.

How to Cook With Sage

The best way to learn to use your different herbs is to try them raw, cooked, and then use sage in different recipes, from, savory to sweet.

Flavor profile of sage

Sage has a pronounced herbal flavor that is earthy, slightly peppery taste with hints of mint, eucalyptus, and lemon. It works well in heavier dishes with rich ingredients that can hold their own against such a bold flavor.

How Do I Use Fresh Sage?

I enjoy using raw sage in my vitamin water and in compound butters. In all of my the other sage recipes, I generally cook it.

Another way I use fresh sage is in my smudge sticks (link below). You can make a bunch and have them on hand during flu and cold season.

Can You Eat Sage Raw?

You can eat sage raw if you like. Most herbs, including sage, release their flavors best when cooked. However, I’ve found sage is plenty aromatic when consumed raw.

What Taste Good With Sage?

Let your imagination run wild! Sometimes the best recipes are outside of the box. Mixing flavor profiles you never thought would go together.

Sage for Health

How to use sage for health? Sage contains natural anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-spasmodic properties.

Although we can not give medical advice or dosage for treatment, there are ways you can use sage to support your overall health that we can recommend.

Sage Tea for Sore Throats

Sage contains antimicrobial prosperities and can help soothe a sore throat.

In addition to sore throats, according to the US National Library of Medicine, Sage tea has been traditionally used for the treatment of digestive and circulation disturbances, bronchitis, cough, asthma, as well as other aliments.

  • 10 Fresh Sage Leaves
  • 1 Cup of Boiling Water

Pour water over the sage leaves and steep for five minutes. Strain leaves and enjoy the tea.

What Can I Do With Too Much Sage?

Too much sage? What a dilemma! Generally, when I find myself with too much of any herb, I opt to dry and preserve it. Especially if it’s an herb I know I want to use in the winter, such as sage.

Not only will dehydrating your surplus of herbs ensure you’ll have them when your plants are no longer producing, but they make great gifts.

Do you have a way to use sage that I didn’t mention?

I’m always looking for new ways to use my herbs. From personal care products to crafts. If you have an idea to share, I would love to try it. Just shoot me an email or share your idea in the comments.

Sharing is caring!