Sage in Latin means "to be healthy." Even in antiquity they knew about the healing properties of this plant and used it as a disinfectant and anti-inflammatory agent. In the kitchens of many peoples sage leaves are used to prepare national dishes.
Sage leaves contain tannins, organic acids, vitamins P and PP. They are very fragrant, have a spicy bitter-astringent taste. As a medicine, not only sage leaves are used, but also essential oil.
Description of salvia (sage)
Salvia officinalis - a perennial shrub with a powerful woody stem and a strongly developed fibrous root system. In height reaches 80cm. The leaves are petioled, oblong-ovoid, pubescent, wrinkled. Flowers (from light pink to purple) are collected in inflorescences - false whorls. Blooms in the second year. Flowering usually begins in May or June. The fruit is a dry nut. Rounded, smooth, black seeds ripen in August. Sage is a great honey plant.
Sage refers to light-loving, heat-loving and drought-resistant plants. In the cold, snowless winter, sage freezes out, as it does not have high frost resistance. In the south, sage is grown as a perennial crop (from 4 to 6 years in one place), in the north - as a one-year crop, but with a shelter it can grow two to three years.
From the second year on the sage appears about a hundred well-developed shoots. The older the plant, the stronger they woody. Good rejuvenate sage. Usually this is done once every three years and after that its productivity increases. Excess moisture sage can not stand. The soil on which it grows should be light and fertile.
- Sage needs primarily nitrogen nutrition, then in potash and phosphorus. The first feeding is carried out in the spring of the second year of life (nitrogen).
- Reproduces sage seeds. It is best to sow them already sprouted in the early spring in the beds.
- As the seedlings grow, the soil needs to be loosened, watered, weeded and fed.
- Harvest usually during the formation of seeds. But in the first year of life it is better to collect the leaves in September. Dry the collected leaves in a dark, well-ventilated area.
Pests and diseases of sage
On sage leaves can be parasitic caterpillars of butterflies, aphids, tsikadki, weevils, bugs, sage scoop. Inflorescences and buds also damage aphids, weevils, bugs, caterpillars scoops, and in addition to them grasshoppers, thrips, caterpillars of the meadow moth. The root system is prone to the wireworms, the larvae of the bruises and the common bear.
Usually, with proper care for sage, there are no problems with these pests.
All parts of sage have an extremely pleasant smell. This special smell, as well as the bitter taste, gives a delicate and exquisite taste to any meat, especially lamb. Incredibly delicious and chicken liver with sage, it is considered a delicacy. Of course, as a spice sage should be added to food a little, because it has a strong smell.
In addition to cooking, sage is used in medicine. Its leaves have good disinfecting properties. Therefore, decoctions and tinctures of sage are used in the treatment of mucous membranes of the nose and throat, as well as in gynecology. Sage leaves contain up to three percent essential oil. Essential oil is used in perfumery and cosmetic production.
See also:How to grow foxglove?
Unusual smells of sage, and each kind does not smell like the other. There are species that smell camphor, black currant, mango and pineapple, lavender and eucalyptus.
Sage is also used to decorate garden plots. Thanks to the breeders sage turned into a very beautiful leafy bush. In addition to the red color of the inflorescences, there are varieties with white, pink and purple color. Even bicolor sage has been bred. From sage make extraordinary beauty flower beds that live all summer.