Wild Greek Sage ( Salvia fruticosa) is a perennial herb which is a native to the eastern Mediterranean from southern Italy, the Canary Islands and North Africa. It is especially abundant in Israel. It looks like Garden sage in appearance but grows a lot taller and is known and prized for its distinctive aroma and flavour which is considered more subtle and desirable than the, perhaps, better known Garden Sage..
Because its leaf shapes vary quite remarkably, several species which were once named separately have now been re-classified as Salvia fruticosa – these are S. libanotica, S. triloba, S. lobryana, and S. cypria
Traditional Uses for Greek Sage:-
The uses and benefits ascribed to it are many and varied, and are often shared with related species. Uses of Greek Sage include: Teas especially and infusions, which are considered to have a calming effect, to soothe a sore throat and as an effective digestive agent.
It is used as a preservative and for flavourings, for instance of cheese and as a herb to add body to hearty braised dishes.
Most of the dried Sage sold in the USA is Greek Sage and it is grown commercially for its essential oil.
It also has a long tradition of use in various Muslim rituals—for newborn children, at weddings, in funerals, and burnt as incense.
A cross between Salvia fruticosa (this Sage) and Salvia officinalis (Garden Sage) which was developed in the Middle East is called Silver Leaf Sage or Salvia” Newe Ya’ar'”, and is also used in cooking
History of Greek Sage:-
a depiction of Greek Sage appears at Knossos, Crete, in a Minoan fresco of around 1400 BCE. It is thought that the Phoenicians and Greeks probably introduced the plant for cultivation to the Iberian peninsula through their merchant adventures and colonial aspirations, and remnant populations of these introduced plants can still be found in some coastal areas.
The uses and benefits ascribed to it are many and varied, and are often shared with related species. Uses of Greek Sage include: Teas and infusions, which are considered to have a calming effect, to soothe a sore throat and as a digestive agent.
It is used as a preservative and for lavourings, for instance of cheese.