Healing by name

Sage is not just irreplaceable for the Ricola 13-herb blend. Numerous recipes achieve that special flavor by containing Sage. Probably the most famous dishes are from Italy, such as ‘Saltimbocca alla romana’ or Gnocchi in Sage butter.


The color of the gray–green leaves is loaded with meaning: gray is a combination of black and white, suggesting two polar opposites, connected with life-giving powers. The color green stands for vitality.
The distinctive leaf veins are associated with the flow of fluids in the human body: blood vessels, lymph channels and urinary passages.
Sage is purifying – in other words, helping body and mind re-balance and achieve harmony again. Basically, the symbolism relates to a feminine power of transformation, healing, salvation, redemption, recollection, wisdom of old age, life in death and eternal life.
In the language of flowers, Sage signifies the sentiment, ‘Do not desert me in my darkest hour.’

In brief

Plant name: Salvia officinalis. Other names: Garden Sage, Common Sage, Salie or Salvia
Plant family: Labiate (Lamiaceae)
Flowering season: July to September
Harvest: For the leaves: ideally collect during a hot spell in May, June or July
Origin: Mediterranean, especially the Adriatic Coast
Grows here: Prefers sunny and chalky cliffs



Sage extracts are contained in numerous products like toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorants and cough candies. Sage’s essential oil has a cleansing action against bacterial infection agents in the mouth and throat. Its tannins prevent overproduction of perspiration and its bitters strengthen the digestive tract, also helping prevent bad breath.
Pharmacological effects are:
  • Stimulates secretion
  • Astringent
  • Antiseptic: effective against bacteria, prevents fungal and viral infection
  • Antiperspirant
  • Boosts circulation
  • Stimulates bile production
  • Helps digestion, warming effect in digestive tract
  • Antiflatulent
  • Helps stop milk production when breastfeeding (sage tea helps mothers weaning babies)

Handy tips: mouthwash recipe

Have a go at making your own mouthwash and try out this recipe: 2 tbsp coarse, freshly plucked Sage as well as 1 tbsp each of Thyme, Lavender and Rosemary infused in 1 L fruit vinegar. Two weeks later, strain off the liquid. You are left with spicy vinegar that can be diluted with a little water. This is a proven gargle for treating sore throats.