It’s late summer, the light is amber gold, and every green thing pulses with life. I keep the Kale & Caramel cookbook herbal chart close at hand, deciphering the healing properties and flavor profiles of every herb and flower I meet. As summer transitions to fall, I lean into richer flavors and herbs that carry deep healing properties—and sage, with its deceptively powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, comes into focus.
Whether in fresh leaves or dried, oil or extract, sage's pungent aroma and phytochemical makeup are as powerful in culinary uses as they are in anti-inflammatory applications. From the Latin salvare—"to save"—sage has been used for centuries to strengthen the respiratory system, ease congestion, and support overall well-being. While the mere mention of sage may conjure visions of Thanksgiving stuffing and pseudo-shamanic space-clearing rituals, the herb’s applications are wide-ranging. Let’s look at sage in the kitchen, in its aromatherapeutic applications, and in its full glory as an anti-inflammatory healer.