A hardy perennial herb or small shrub with woody stems covered with downy hairs. A variable species, the tubular flowers and square stems of all the many varieties are typical of the mint family, Labiatae. The variety Ictarina has a variegated leaf, and is used mainly as an ornamental.
Sage is most commonly used with pork, sausage, duck, goose and rabbit. Drying sage significantly alters its character--it contains three main volatile oils: terpene, salvene and camphor. The terpene is considered the best tasting of these oils, but it is also the one lost earliest in the drying process.
History and Lore
Sage has been used for a wide variety of medicinal uses from snake-bite to wart removal, but has been most consistently used as an anti-perspirant.