While you might not want to drink sage tea, or Salvia officinalis, as an everyday beverage, a sage infusion has a wealth of medicinal uses.  Whether you have a cold, a sore throat, or pains in your joints, sage tea may be the key to making you feel better. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/briweldon/5229364672/Sage tea is antibacterial and antifungal and is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent.  In fact, sage tea is used to address any number of problems, including dental abscesses, gingivitis, indigestion, night sweats, nervous headaches, asthma, bites, dysmenorrhoea, lethargy, lack of appetite, oral inflammation, and kidney problems. 

As far back as the first century C.E., the Greek Doctor Dioscorides recommended that a decoction of sage could be used externally to clean ulcers and sores.  In another part of the world, Native Americans used sage tea both topically and internally.  It was desired so much by so many different groups that the Dutch used to trade it to the Chinese, despite the fact that the latter had their own native teas.  The Chinese offered the Dutch three times the amount of their own most expensive teas in exchange.      

To make this versatile infusion, put one ounce of dried sage in a pint of boiling water.  You may also combine sage with lemon for a more refreshing – and less medicinal – experience.  Not everyone likes sage tea, but adding a little lemon can help, especially if you really want to give it a try.   

Use half an ounce of fresh sage leaves, one ounce of fine sugar, and quarter of an ounce of grated lemon rinds.  Also include the juice from one lemon and a quart of boiling water.  To prepare, stir all of the ingredients in the simmering water and steep for half an hour.  You can choose to prepare it hot or cold – just be sure to strain out the sage and the rinds.   

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