Salvia officinalis

Cur moriatur homo cui salvia crescit in horto? (Why should a man die who has sage growing in his garden?) This much-quoted Latin adage is from the famous medieval didactic poem on maintaining good health, the Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum. (Salerno was the site of the first lay school of medicine in Europe. See the National Library of Medicine website for more about Salerno.) The proverb is one of many examples linking sage and longevity, e.g., the old English saw “He who would live for aye must eat sage in May.” The name salvia is derived from the Latin verb salvere, or “to save,” another tribute to its medicinal virtue.(