It seems we're smack in the middle of cold and flu season, and with that comes the dreaded sore throat. Alongside kitchen staples like honey and lemon, we like to reach for sage, which can be used to make a comforting tea. Sage (Salvia officinalis) has astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial qualities, and this herb has a long history of use for sore throats, coughs, and mouth inflammations. Fresh or dried sage makes an aromatic tea, which we've found to be quite soothing to sore throats.
To make sage tea, pour 1 cup of almost-boiling water over 2 tablespoons of fresh or 1 tablespoon of dried sage leaves. Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes and strain. Add honey and/or lemon, if desired. Sage tea may also be used as a throat gargle.
Note: sage tea is generally not recommended for use during pregnancy and lactation.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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