Sage and Chickpea Chips

Food is Medicine

Salvia officinalis Common/European sage

Put the milk, butter and garlic in a pan over a high heat and bring to a simmer and butter has melted. Reduce the heat, stir in the chickpea flour and turmeric and keep stirring until it thickens – about 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste and plenty of black pepper.

Scrape mixture into a 23x33cm (9″x13″) oiled baking tray and spread evenly. Cover with parchment and refrigerate until firm – 2-3 hours. Turn out the set paste and cut into 5cm (2″) squares.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry squares until golden – about 1 minute on each side. Drain on kitchen paper.

Mix the parmesan and sage in a bowl. Toss the warm squares in this mixture.

Serve warm.

Recipe supplied by Margot, head tea taster at the physic garden.

Sage Advice

European sage, turmeric, garlic and black pepper are foodstuff medicinal plants.

Taken regularly European sage may support our cognitive function as we age. At a medicinal level it has gold standard clinical evidence to verify its use to improve memory and attention in the young, the old and those with Alzheimer’s.

Enjoy using sage’s herbacious flavour in teas, soups, stews, pasta, sauces, roasts and bakes, knowing that compounds in sage are shown to increase our brain’s memory & attention neurotransmitter, to lower oxidation, inflammation and cholesterol, and to be antimicrobial and oestrogenic. All these actions are thought to help maintain cognitive function and support brain cell health.

A medicinal dose of turmeric is 1.5g per day (equivalent to 1000mg/day of the active ingredient curcumin). Turmeric lowers inflammation, and a review of studies supports it use in the treatment of arthritis. Turmeric is shown to improve memory and also mood (in major depression) in several gold standard trials, and it is considered to be as effective as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine for treating depression. Taking turmeric with black pepper has been shown clinically to increase the absorption of turmeric’s active chemical ingredient – curcumin, by 1,000%. Black pepper is also an strong antioxidant.

Garlic lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and a review of studies concluded that garlic should be considers as an alternative option with a higher safety profile than conventional cholesterol-lowering medications in people with slightly elevated cholesterol. Garlic may help prevent thrombosis – it inhibits platelet adhesion and aggregation in human studies. Garlic is also a powerful antimicrobial. Read more on garlic’s other actions in our next Botanical Close Up.

The Physic Shop

Items from The Physic Shop that contain European sage are Memory Tea, Memory TinctureRespiratory TeaProtect Atomiser and Alert Pulse-Point.

Read more about how to grow sage and other medicinal plants for the mind in Grow Your Own Physic Garden.


Before taking any plant at a medicinal level, always consult a NIMH (National Institute of Medical Herbalists) medical herbalist and inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, have any medical condition, allergy or are taking any medication.

Always be sure of the identity of your plant, and grow, harvest, prepare and store your plant material following the exact guidelines – this ensures that the bioactive phytochemicals are present and stable.

Source plant medicine products from an established reputable source. Read any caution and do not exceed the recommended dose & duration – but note that there is an effective medicinal dose & duration to reach clinical efficacy.

Effective plant medicine is about individual prescription to your whole condition in order to get to the root of the problem, and it can take time to treat long-term conditions. When using plant medicine for the first time we recommend consulting a medical herbalist from the NIMH to find out what benefits you most.

Scientific Research

Lopresti AL. Salvia (Sage): A Review of its Potential Cognitive-Enhancing and Protective Effects. Drugs R D. 2017 Mar;17(1):53-64. doi: 10.1007/s40268-016-0157-5. PMID: 27888449; PMCID: PMC5318325.

Wightman EL, Jackson PA, Spittlehouse B, Heffernan T, Guillemet D, Kennedy DO. The Acute and Chronic Cognitive Effects of a Sage Extract: A Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study in Healthy Humans. Nutrients. 2021 Jan 14;13(1):218. doi: 10.3390/nu13010218. PMID: 33466627; PMCID: PMC7828691.

Tildesley NT, Kennedy DO, Perry EK, Ballard CG, Savelev S, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) enhances memory in healthy young volunteers. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jun;75(3):669-74. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00122-9. PMID: 12895685.

Perry NSL, Menzies R, Hodgson F, Wedgewood P, Howes MR, Brooker HJ, Wesnes KA, Perry EK. A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial of a combined extract of sage, rosemary and melissa, traditional herbal medicines, on the enhancement of memory in normal healthy subjects, including influence of age. Phytomedicine. 2018 Jan 15;39:42-48. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2017.08.015. Epub 2017 Aug 18. PMID: 29433682.

Tildesley NT, Kennedy DO, Perry EK, Ballard CG, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Positive modulation of mood and cognitive performance following administration of acute doses of Salvia lavandulaefolia essential oil to healthy young volunteers. Physiol Behav. 2005 Jan 17;83(5):699-709. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2004.09.010. PMID: 15639154.

Perry NS, Houghton PJ, Sampson J, Theobald AE, Hart S, Lis-Balchin M, Hoult JR, Evans P, Jenner P, Milligan S, Perry EK. In-vitro activity of S. lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) relevant to treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2001 Oct;53(10):1347-56. doi: 10.1211/0022357011777846. PMID: 11697542.

Cox KHM, White DJ, Pipingas A, Poorun K, Scholey A. Further Evidence of Benefits to Mood and Working Memory from Lipidated Curcumin in Healthy Older People: A 12-Week, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Partial Replication Study. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 4;12(6):1678. doi: 10.3390/nu12061678. PMID: 32512782; PMCID: PMC7352411.

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