A silvery green herb that is related to the mint family, sage has a pungent fragrance and its leaves have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for thousands of years. The sage plant is named from the Latin salvare which means to heal or cure. In Arabic, sage is termed salvia, the root word for salvation, and it was believed to bestow longevity and wisdom.
The most common variety of sage was first discovered around the fertile Mediterranean region, and was soon transplanted around the globe. Besides wisdom, sage has been associated with a variety of superstitions both good and bad.
An early English tradition believed that if sage thrived in a garden, an owner’s business would prosper, and if the herb wilted, financial hardships loomed. Another superstition was that it was bad luck to plant your own sage, but that a stranger should be found to plant it. The Romans believed that sage was a sacred plant and drank a sage tea a tonic for the mind and body.