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Ben Sorensen's Druid's Garden

 

Ben Sorensen’s Druid’s Garden
A history of herbs and their uses

Ben Sorensen, OBOD member and host of the popular radio segments, Ben Sorensen’s “REAL Country” & Ben Sorensen’s “Druid’s Garden,” which are heard all over Australia, writes a regular column on the history, medicinal, and culinary uses of a herb, plus how to grow it. Here's what Ben says about the Druid's Garden:

"Each Druids Garden Column explores the history, medicinal, and culinary uses of a herb, not to mention how to grow it! There is even a competition for readers to win some great prizes--namely my award winning forest meditation CDs.

"Druids garden was designed to re-awaken people from their often anti-social, concrete jungle, not enough time life, and most importantly get them outside and interacting in the world in which we live. To experience fresh produce, to grow your own herbs and to understand about what your growing so you can better integrate this more natural experience in more ways in your life, to encourage fun, education, awareness, and dollar savings!"

He included a recent column on sage:

In the Druids Garden this week is Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis).  

This is my favourite herb of all time, there is just something about its smell, flavour, and it’s easy enough to grow right round Australia too. 

Sage was once considered a cure-all herb, so much so that the Romans and Arab physicians in the 10th century thought that this herb could “impart immortality.” All throughout history one thing has remained--sage has always been associated with wisdom, skill and long life. 

On the complimentary medicine front, sage can help with many ailments and conditions. It was said by sniffing a fresh sprig of sage and placing it under your pillow it would relieve insomnia. Sage tea (made by the infusion of the leaves) is said to be full of antioxidants and prevents strokes, strengthens the body, and helps with disorders of the glands. Add a little lemon juice and honey to the tea and it becomes a gargle said to help sore throats, tonsillitis or laryngitis--it even helps with those pesky tickling night coughs. 

As far as its culinary uses go, sage was always the staple herb in many traditional stuffings. As a rule sage compliments and enhances the flavour of more fatty meats best, like pork, goose, lamb and even sausages. It works well with many other herbs and flavours including onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano and rosemary to name a few. When using sage remember fresh sage has a more mild flavour than the dried herb, and that cooking it mellows its flavour, so for the fuller sage experience add towards the end of the cooking process.

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that produce the best results. One of my favourites is sage and rosemary roast lamb, with sage potatoes--who am I kidding--roast sage potatoes are great anytime! Simply get a good quality olive oil, chop up some sage leaves and mix in a bowl. Add your chopped potatoes, coat with the oil and sage, then roast in the oven. You will find the softer sage flavour will spread through the potatoes offering a pleasant twist on an old favourite. You can even try smoking you meat on the BBQ with some fresh sage leaves placed on the hot coals. 

You really can’t go to far wrong with planting sage. It’s a hardy plant that prefers full sun and well drained soil. For best results be sure to dig in lots of compost. Sage will grow well in pots, but remember to use a little soluble organic fertiliser every 2-3 weeks to keep it bushy, happy and growing fast!

We have just scratched the surface of the medicinal and culinary benefits of this truly magnificent ancient herb. So why not get some sage and really make good use of your herb garden to help in everyday life!

Visit the Druid's Garden online at http://www.bensorensen.com/DruidsGarden/.