Sage has been highly regarded for most of the past centuries for its medicinal as well as culinary uses, hence it was named for that quality. The botanical name comes from the Latin word "salvere," which means "to be saved." It is a member of the mint family of plants and closely related to rosemary, its warm and musky essence is essential for making the fragrant dressing that goes so well with turkey.
There are actually many names for Sage. Some of the best known are sage, common sage, garden sage, golden sage, kitchen sage, true sage, culinary sage, Dalmatian sage, and broad leaf sage. Cultivated forms include purple sage and red sage. Sage is known for its natural antiseptic, preservative and bacteria-killing abilities in meat.
It is a perennial plant growing up to two feet high. Sage produces small, grey green, deeply veined leaves and comes in a wide variety of "flavors," although some are ornamental only. Russian sage originated in Afghanistan and spread throughout Tibet, while the common culinary sages first grew in the Mediterranean and the Balkan regions.
A little trivia that might get in handy. Sage pairs well with cheese. Sprinkling roughly chopped sage leaves near the end of caramelizing onions or mushrooms, egg bakes, omelets, and even tea are other delicious ways to use this herb.