Sage is native to countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and has been consumed in these regions for thousands of years. In medicinal lore, sage has one of the longest histories of use of any medicinal herb.
The Greeks and Romans were said to have highly prized the many healing properties of sage. Both civilizations used it as a preservative for meat, a tradition that continued until the beginning of refrigeration. What these cultures knew from experience, that sage could help to reduce spoilage, is now being confirmed by science, which has isolated the herb’s numerous terpene antioxidants.
Fresh, dried whole or powdered, sage is available throughout the year. Whenever possible, choose fresh sage over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh sage should look fresh and be a vibrant green-gray in color. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing.