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Sage is a herb that comes from a small perennial "Sage 50 Customer Support Number" shrub of the mint family, Lamiaceae, that is native to the Mediterranean region. Common sage, Salvia officinalis, grows two to three feet tall with large, oval-shaped crinkly leaves. The light grayish green leaves are accented with colorful spikes of flowers. Flower colors vary with the type of sage and include white, blue, purple, pink and red. It's often planted as much for its beauty as for its culinary appeal, so common sage is also known as garden sage.

There are over 700 species of Salvia with some being used for their aroma and others grown in gardens for their beautiful flower spikes. For example, Common sage and Clary sage, S. sclarea, are grown for their aromatic flavorings. White sage, S. apiana, is used ceremonially by Native Americans and for cleansing rituals as it imparts a delicate woody scent when burned. Blue sage, S. farinacea, is a desert shrub, flowering with beautiful blue flowers after rains in Southwestern North America. Scarlet sage, S. splendens, is popular with gardeners for its attractive scarlet red flower spikes.

Common sage is cultivated for its leaves that have a characteristic aroma. The leaves are used fresh or dried in stuffings for pork and poultry, with cheeses and in sausages. The slightly peppery flavor balances well with fatty meats. The aroma is so distinct as to be used sparingly and in a limited number of dishes. Sage is particularly liked in Italian and English cooking. In addition to its use in turkey stuffing, especially in the United States at Thanksgiving time, sage is an integral part in the Italian saltimbocca, a dish with fresh sage leaves sandwiched by veal medallions and paper-thin slices of prosciutto that are skewered together and browned in butter.

Fresh sage may be available in some markets, but dried sage is usually found in the spice racks. Dried and ground sage can go musty quickly, so it can be kept in a cool, dry, dark place for only a few months. Alternatively, fresh sage leaves can be washed, dried and layered in a container with salt. The container can then be refrigerated or frozen to keep the salt-preserved sage indefinitely. Wash the salt from the leaves before using.

Sage tea was used as a spring tonic for centuries in the belief that it could awaken one's body after a long winter "Sage 50 Customer Support Phone Number" rest. Sage leaves and the whole herb have been used for its anti-perspiration, antibiotic, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, antioxidant and hypoglycemic properties. The healing effects of sage are due to the essential oils present. Essential oil content of sage, up to 2.5%, primarily contains thujone, cineole and borneol.

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