8 Household Uses for Sage

From making homemade bath salts to natural medicine for coughs, discover the many versatile applications of sage.

By Mother Earth Living Staff


January/February 2017

Household Cleaner

This four ingredient household cleaner smells great.

Photo by Kyle Melo

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Sage was considered a sacred herb by indigenous North and South American tribes, who valued its healing properties and believed it warded off bad spirits. Today, sage’s useful properties range from warding off illnesses to facial masks and hair rinses — all this in addition to its tasty role in the kitchen! 

Explore the wonders of this versatile herb with these ideas. Note that those who suffer from epilepsy should avoid sage, as it may trigger a seizure.

1. Household Cleaner: 

Sage, vinegar and alcohol, plus a drop of dish soap, are all you need to create this great-smelling all-purpose cleaner from the blog Melodrama. Learn how to make it here.

2. For the Breakfast Club:

Chef and author Jerry Traunfeld offers a savory twist on the classic that’s perfect for breakfast or brunch: Sage, Apple and Cheddar Cheese Pancakes. It’s a variation on a Dutch Baby, a giant popover-like pancake. Find the recipe here.

3. Immunity Tincture:

Gargle with this tincture at the first sign of a cold. Chop up a few handfuls of fresh sage and place in a glass pint jar. Cover the herbs with 190-proof alcohol. Cover with a lid, and keep in a cool, dark place for two weeks, shaking thoroughly every day. Strain the finished tincture into a colored glass container, with a bottle dropper attached to the lid.

4. Soothing Bath Salts: 

This calming DIY bath salt blend with sage essential oil and lavender makes a great gift for a friend — or a relaxing treat for yourself at the end of a long day. Get instructions here

5. Grays-Be-Gone:

Sage leaves can help darken gray hairs when used in a simple rinse. Pour 2 cups boiling water over 1⁄4 cup fresh or dried sage leaves in a heat-proof bowl. Let the mixture cool, strain out the solids, and pour over hair as a final, leave-in rinse in the shower.

6. Pickles in a Jiffy:

Herby Rosemary and Sage Quick Pickles come together after just an hour in the fridge, and can be made with either cucumbers or zucchini. Get the recipe here.  

7. Put the Kibosh on your Cough:

For tickly throats and persistent coughs, combine 3⁄4 cup wildflower honey, 1⁄4 cup water, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage in a pot over medium heat until simmering. Remove the mixture from heat and let steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain the cough syrup into a sealed glass jar, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three months.

8. Throat-Soothing Tea:

If you are suffering from a sore throat or swollen lymph glands from a flu, try this tea. Combine 2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage), and 1 teaspoon dried astragalus root in a mug. Add boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. For best results, drink one cup twice a day for one week.