How to grow pineapple sage?

Pineapple sage, Salvia elegans

Salvia elegans is one of about 700 species in this genus in the mint family (Lamiaceae). This perennial subshrub native to the edges of pine and oak forests in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains of Mexico and Guatemala was introduced as an ornamental garden plant around 1870. Hardy only in zones 8-11 it is grown as an annual in cooler climates. The common name of pineapple sage comes from the scent of the leaves when crushed, although the strength of the aroma varies depending on weather and moisture levels.

Pineapple sage has an open habit.

This species is a rangy, semi-woody to herbaceous shrub that produces an open-branched clump of erect, square stems covered with yellow-green leaves. Tall stems are susceptible to wind damage, often breaking off at the base.

Pineapple sage leaves have a fuzzy appearance.

The opposite, ovate leaves are 2-4 inches long, with serrated edges. Both leaf surfaces area covered with short, fine hairs, giving them a softly fuzzy appearance. Although the species can grow up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, the cultivars are usually much shorter. The plants die back to the ground after a hard frost, and in mild enough climates will grow back the following spring. Pineapple sage is fairly fast growing, so it can be grown as an annual in colder areas where it will not survive the winter.

Pineapple sage blooms late in the season, so flowers often do not appear before the first frost in the Midwest.

Pineapple sage blooms late in the season, producing tubular scarlet-red flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds – although in the Midwest the plants frequently don’t start blooming until after the rubythroated hummingbirds have already departed the region on their migration back to Central America for the winter. These are short day flowering plants, so will not bloom if grown where artificial lights (such as street lights) extend the day length in fall. Where there are no frosts (or indoors, in a greenhouse), plants may continue flowering until spring. The flowers are produced in whorls with 4 blossoms at each node along the terminal inflorescences, opening sequentially up the flower spike. Each 1-2 inch long flower has a hood-like upper lip and a spreading lower lip typical of salvias. Flowers are followed by small, dark-colored, football-shaped seeds that fall out of the calyx within a few days of fully ripening.

The flowers of pineapple sage start in a recurved inflorescence (L) that straightens up and flowers bloom sequentially from the bottom up (LC). The flowers are produced in whorls (RC) and each flower has a hood-like upper lip and a spreading lower lip typical of salvias (R).

Pineapple sage is often grown for its vibrant foliage rather than the flowers.

Because it blooms so late in the season (and often is killed by frost before flowering) this plant is often grown primarily for its vibrant foliage that contrasts well with so many other annual or perennial plants with typical green leaves. Or combine it with plants with dark-colored foliage or dark purple petunias for maximum contrast. Use it in beds or borders where it can turn into a large, bushy plant in a single season, or add it to the herb garden. It is easily grown in a container, which is more convenient to move inside to keep over the winter than digging and potting up plants in the ground.

Grow pineapple sage in full sun.

Grow pineapple sage in full sun in moist, well-drained soil. Plants will wilt if too dry; leaves will begin to curl up when the plant is dry. Keep evenly moist throughout the season to prevent leaves from dropping. Plants can be pinched when young to produce more branching for denser growth. Old, woody shoots can be removed when new shoots appear (this may only be in spring for overwintered plants). It has few pests outdoors and is not preferred by deer, but is susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites in greenhouses.

Both the leaves and flowers are edible, and when fresh can be used whole as a garnish or chopped to add to salads or desserts. As an herb the leaves – either fresh or dried – are most commonly steeped in water to make herbal tea, either hot or cold; the flowers can be used for this also. Both leaves and flowers can also be used in jellies or for potpourri. Snip young, tender leaves in the morning to use as needed throughout the season.

There are a few cultivars of pineapple sage:

  • ‘Frieda Dixon’ has salmon pink instead of red flowers.
  • Salvia elegans ‘Golden Delicious’.

    ‘Golden Delicious’ is a natural variant with bright chartreuse leaves discovered in 2001 and patented in 2007 (PP 17977). This cultivar grows 1-3 feet tall and has bright red flowers.

  • ‘Honey Melon’ blooms earlier in the summer on a smaller plant than the species, so may be a better choice for northern gardeners that want plants to flower.
  • ‘Scarlet Pineapple’ produces more flowers and bigger flowers than the species and has mid-green foliage.
  • ‘Tangerine’ supposedly has more of a citrus than pineapple scent, with smaller leaves and smaller stature, and darker red flowers. Like ‘Honey Melon’ it will bloom earlier than the species.

Pineapple sage can be grown from seed, but the cultivars are propagated from tip cuttings taken in fall or spring. Soft terminals with just leaves root more readily than those with flowers or flower buds or any with woody stems. Tip cuttings will root in water or most rooting media.

– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Tips On How To Grow Pineapple Sage

The pineapple sage plant is found in gardens to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Salvia elegans is a perennial in USDA zones 8-11 and is often used as an annual in other places. The crushed plant leaves smell like pineapple, hence comes the common name of the pineapple sage plant. The easy care of pineapple sage is one more reason to have it in the garden.

Is Pineapple Sage Edible?

The fragrance may lead one to wonder is pineapple sage edible? Indeed it is. Leaves of the pineapple sage plant may be steeped for teas and the minty-tasting blossoms can be used as an attractive garnish for salads and deserts. Leaves are best used fresh.

Pineapple sage flowers may also be used in jelly and jam concoctions, potpourri, and other uses limited only by the imagination. Pineapple sage has long been used as a medicinal herb with antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

How to Grow Pineapple Sage

Pineapple sage prefers a sunny location with well-draining soil that is consistently moist, although established plants will tolerate drought conditions. Pineapple sage is a semi-woody sub shrub that can get as tall as 4 feet with red flowers that bloom in late summer to early fall.

Pineapple sage grows rapidly in a location with morning sun and afternoon shade. Those in more Northern zones may plant in a protected location, mulch in winter and experience perennial performance from the pineapple sage plant.

The tubular shaped flowers of the pineapple sage plant are a favorite of hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Include these in the butterfly garden or the herb garden or plant in other areas where fragrance is desired. Combine this plant in groupings, with other sages for a plethora of flying friends in the garden.

Pineapple Sage; Growing, Harvesting, and Using

Wondering how to use your Pineapple Sage in your cooking? Eager to add this beautiful, fragrant herb to your garden? Keep reading! I’ve had Pineapple Sage growing in my garden for years. I love the amazing aroma, how enthusiastically it grows, the lovely tropical red flowers it’s produced even in a colder climate!

Growing Pineapple Sage

This fragrant herb is native to Central & Southern America and is considered a tender Perennial here in North America. This meaning that it will happily overwinter in warmer climates, but needs to either be brought inside to overwinter, babied by planting strategically & mulching, or grown as an annual in colder climates. Here in zone 7/6b I have found that it grows very enthusiastically as a perennial with minimum TLC. says, “Pineapple sage grows rapidly in a location with morning sun and afternoon shade. Those in more Northern zones may plant in a protected location, mulch in winter and experience perennial performance from the pineapple sage plant.” Since we live on a cold, windy hill, I have it growing against a concrete wall on the south side of our house. This blocks any wind that might strip the leaves off and provides some extra radiant heat from the concrete wall. Here it reaches 4-5 feet tall, but in less suitable climates or in a pot it will not grow as high. Consider planting this in an area you frequent because it releases a glorious Pineapple scent when you brush against it and produces beautiful tropical red flowers that are also edible. If you just can’t get enough Pineapple Sage, most gardeners say that this is best propagated from cuttings.

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How to harvest Pineapple Sage

I used some scissors to trim back my Pineapple Sage bush a few feet on each side and ended up with a huge armful of sage. I also ended up with an armful of creepy bright green beetles that were covering my plant. I learned my lesson quickly and left the sage out on the porch instead of bringing all the bugs in the house. To harvest, I had my toddlers help me pick the leaves off the branches and put them in a strainer then rinsed them off. I dehydrated the clean pineapple sage leaves in my Excalibur dehydrator overnight and have them stored in Mason Jars in my pantry. Some sites claim that it’s flavor intensifies as it dries and others claim that drying it makes it lose its fruity flavor. I guess I will have to experiment with it.

What to Use Pineapple Sage for?

I found many relatively similar ideas for using Pineapple Sage when I searched online, so I have distilled the many ideas into some guidelines to give you some inspiration when you are up to your knees in sage leaves. Pineapple Sage is a relatively mild herb, so I would suggest using it larger quantities than you would use other more potent herbs.

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Cooking with Pineapple Sage

– As a general rule, Pineapple Sage is best in light and fruity things. It makes an excellent addition to desserts such as ice cream and fruit salads.

– Pineapple Sage can be used as a flavoring for chicken, pork, and fish. I made a delicious Pineapple Chicken using frozen pineapple, pineapple sage, Turmeric, a bit of maple syrup, and sautéed onions as a counterpoint. My husband was skeptical at first, but the first bite had him convinced! I did not find anyone else using this more delicate herb for red meat, and just can’t picture Pineapple flavored venison, so I believe I will be skipping that and sticking with the white meat when getting my Pineapple fix.

Here are a few seasoning combinations that I have come up with for your enjoyment and mine;

  • Pineapple Sage, garlic, and lemon flavoring (this could include lemongrass, lemon juice, lemon zest, etc.)
  • Pineapple Sage, Pineapple chunks, maple syrup, and onion
  • Pineapple Sage, paprika, and a pinch of salt
  • Pineapple Sage, orange zest, and green onion (you could also add a hint of ginger)

–Pineapple Sage can be added to cream cheese. Let me know if you try this one; I am very allergic to dairy products and will not be doing this myself, but I would love to hear your experience!

– Make herbal sugar; layer leaves in sugar & let them sit to infuse them with the flavor. I did this & it definitely has a fruity aroma. I need to test it on my husband and see if he notices anything different or likes it more than the plain sugar.

– Some sites suggested using Pineapple Sage as an addition to syrups. We make a delicious Goumi berry syrup to use for our special family breakfasts that pineapple sage could be an excellent addition to. Some folks also suggested making it into jelly. Since I am not looking to get more sugar into our diet (the opposite actually!) so I won’t be doing this, but it could be a good option if you enjoy more delicate jellies.

– In Drinks: Pineapple Sage can also be included in herbal teas and summery drinks; it pairs well with mint and lime flavors. As an added benefit, pineapple sage is also cooling to the body ( making it a perfect addition to a cold summertime treat!

Using Pineapple Sage Medicinally

Medicinally, Pineapple Sage has been used to treat indigestion and heartburn. A 2009 study suggests that common sage may assist in the digestion of meat products. Traditional Mexican medicine also uses Pineapple Sage to treat anxiety, depression, and level out blood sugar. ( Ayur Times suggest the following dosage when using Pineapple Sage medicinally:

  • Fresh Pineapple Sage Leaves; 3-5 grams
  • Dried Pineapple Sage Leaves; 1-3 grams
  • Fresh Pineapple Sage Flowers; 2-5 grams
  • Dried Pineapple Sage Flowers; 1-3 grams

And there you have it; some fun and healthy ideas to make your cooking more exciting and your garden more productive & beautiful! If you enjoyed this, check out these other posts as well!

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Leave a comment to share how you have used your Pineapple Sage and please share if you found this interesting or helpful!


Because it’s a tender perennial, the way you grow pineapple sage depends on your climate. In the South, it is treated as a perennial, in the North as an annual. Either way, it develops into a graceful mound of fragrant foliage, equally at home in a formal herb garden or a casual herbaceous border. An established plant in the South needs a space about 41/2 feet in diameter, preferably at the rear of a border or in the center of an island bed where it will not obstruct the view of foreground plants. When placing pineapple sage among other ornamental flowers, consider the colors of its fall-blooming neighbors; for example, white or lavender asters might be a better choice than vivid magenta ones. If you grow pineapple sage as an annual, think of it as a foliage plant, as it must be brought indoors before it flowers. To facilitate the transition, you can grow it in a large container. This guarantees a satisfactory root system for it to carry on indoors and minimizes the shock of moving it when its season in the garden is over.

Pineapple sage is easily propagated from stem cuttings rooted in potting soil or a mixture of sand and peat moss (see “Growing Herbs from Stem Cuttings”, February/March 1993). Even in fairly mild climates, it’s a good idea to root a few cuttings late in the summer to grow inside until the following spring, just in case. Pinching the tops of newly rooted cuttings reaps dual benefits: it promotes a bushier plant, and you can use the tasty young leaves to flavor a fruit salad or dessert.

After the last spring frost, set new plants out in a protected location for a few days to harden off, then transplant them into the garden. They perform best in full sun and a well-drained soil. Allow adequate space for the plant to expand into. To cover the bare ground while the pineapple sage is still small, surround it with a fast-growing annual herb such as basil, cilantro, or dill. The purple leaves of Dark Opal basil will contrast dramatically with the soft green leaves of the sage. Toward the end of summer, as the sage needs more room, you can remove the annuals. Another alternative is to plant the area at the base of the pineapple sage with low-growing creeping thyme or oregano. In this case, you don’t need to pull out the creepers when the sage grows out over them; they make a fine little mound around the base.

If you live where pineapple sage can remain in the ground all year, be patient for it to emerge in the spring; it tends to sleep in until the soil is warm. When a plant becomes too large for its site, you can divide it in either spring or fall; spring is a safer bet where its hardiness is borderline.

The first hard frost of fall turns the leaves black. Overnight, the raving beauty of your autumn garden is transformed into a frostbitten hag. At your convenience, cut the stems back to the ground, leaving just enough stubble to mark the plant’s location. Several inches of mulch will moderate the fluctuations in soil temperature over the cold months. Gradually pull the mulch back when the weather starts to warm up in the spring.


Pineapple sage is worth growing simply for its beauty in the garden, but it has additional virtues. Indoors, the scarlet blossoms add their bright color and subtle fragrance to fresh flower arrangements. Cut them freely; buds on the lateral shoots will develop in abundance to produce a steady supply of flowers for your garden. The dried leaves and flowers impart their delicate, fruity bouquet to potpourri—it is hard to use too much. Entire stems can be dried for use in herbal wreaths.


In the kitchen, fruit salads are enhanced by the fruity, piquant flavor of the fresh flowers and leaves. This flavor is very different from that of garden sage; although there is a sagey element, it’s very subtle, and pineapple sage doesn’t substitute for other culinary sages. The flowers add visual sparkle as well. Even without flowers, a fresh leafy stem of pineapple sage is the perfect garnish for tall summer drinks.

Try mixing the minced leaves and flowers in cream cheese for a delightfully fruity spread, or knead a handful or two of chopped leaves into raisin bread dough. Steeping the leaves in hot apple juice and using the juice to make jelly is an easy way to preserve the pineapple sage flavor. The dried leaves can be brewed for a satisfying winter tea; however, the fruity element is lost in drying.

A Sage For All Seasons

Whether grown as an annual, potted plant, or perennial, pineapple sage is an herb worth growing. Visually appealing throughout the summer, it achieves its full glory in the autumn when it blooms. Bruising a leaf to release its unusual perfume as you stroll through the garden is a simple pleasure that should not be missed. Pineapple sage is a must for those who value fragrance in the garden as well as those who strive to capture it indoors.

Rita Pelczar of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, is a horticulturist and herb gardener by education as well as experience.

Pineapple Sage: Sage With A Hint Of Tropical Fruit

Pineapple sage is known by other various names, including its botanical name Salvia elegans. It is called tangerine sage in some places. It has been cultivated since 1870 and was given the name Salvia rutilansas in 1873, a name which has now been largely forgotten. The herb is native to Central America where it grows wild in the pine-oak forests of Mexico and Guatemala. In Mexico, some refer to it as mirto or yerba del burro. The plant is not related to pineapples despite its common name and distinctive aroma; however, it is related to common sage and is in the mint family.

Pineapple sage is still a popular herb as far as Mexican folk medicine is concerned. Practitioners of traditional Mexican medicine use it as a sedative and to lower blood pressure.

The genus name of pineapple sage is Salvia, which comes from the Latin salvare. Salvare means to save, probably because of the powerful health benefits attributed to the sage family.

Pineapple sage flavor profile

Pineapple sage gets its name from the strong pineapple aroma exuded by the leaves. Some have likened the fragrance to that of canned crushed pineapple, mingled with the scent of common sage (Salvia officinalis). The flowers have a somewhat different flavor profile that includes the citrus and slightly musty mint notes often associated with common sage.

Health benefits of pineapple sage

Pineapple sage gets its powerful health benefits from the fact that it contains:

  • Vitamins: Pineapple sage is an excellent source of vitamin K but also provides vitamins A and B6 in smaller amounts.
  • Minerals: Both potassium and manganese are present in pineapple sage.
  • Fiber: If you consume the whole leaves, pineapple sage can be a good source of dietary fiber.

You can use pineapple sage as treatment or preventative for conditions like:

  • Anxiety: Pineapple sage has long been used in Mexican traditional medicine for relieving stress and anxiety.
  • Poor digestion: Pineapple sage leaves can improve digestion of animal products including meat and dairy. Tea made from pineapple sage leaves is also widely considered to be effective for use as an antacid.
  • Dementia: Pineapple sage and other relatives of common sage contain compounds that can help to protect against dementia and different types of neurodegenerative disease.

Common uses

Pineapple sage is a valuable herb because of its versatility. Both the leaves and flowers of the pineapple sage plant are edible and may be used for seasoning poultry and other meats. While it will not make a perfect substitute for common sage, you can still use it in some of the same applications to get a fruity twist on the sage flavor. Alternatively, you can use the leaves raw in salads and desserts. The pineapple fragrance goes particularly well with fruit salads.

Most people prefer to use pineapple sage as a tea herb. Both dried and fresh pineapple sage can be used for this purpose. Pineapple sage tea is commonly sweetened with honey to enhance its flavor. The leaves are also popular for garnishing cold drinks such as iced teas and for muddling in cocktails like mojitos. Another way to use pineapple sage is for making simple syrups that you can add to your drinks. The flowers are sometimes combined with cream cheese in an attractive and flavorful spread.

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Pineapple Sage on Your Plate

I love my hedge of pineapple sage.

It blooms in December and brings the beautiful red throated hummingbirds to my porch each day.

The deep healing red that fills my yard is so nurturing and inspiring. I love having these vibrant red flowers greet me each day as I open the front door.

I leave lots of flowers on the plant for the hummingbirds, and I also love to pick the flowers to decorate my food with. I put the flowers in my water pitcher and drink them. I love having edible flowers floating in my water.

I sprinkle fresh pineapple sage flowers all over salads. Put the salad dressing on your salad first and then put several tablespoons of pineapple sage flowers on your salad just before eating it. If you put the flowers into the salad before the salad dressing, they become mush. The one and only time I did this, I was so upset, they turned into little globby red balls.

When added fresh to your food just before eating, these flowers have a mild fruity flavor and add an explosion of color to your food.

I put them on rice, tacos, salads, vegetables and yogurt. It is also really nice to have a bowl of fresh pineapple sage flowers on the table and once you have all the food on your plate then sprinkle the flowers like confetti all over your plate.

People are always so enamored when their food is decorated with flowers. Pineapple sage flowers also go really well with desserts and smoothies. Decorate your food!

Not all sage flowers are edible, so as always with eating plants, make sure you have 100% accurate identification.

Growing Conditions for Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)

This is a hardy perennial that likes well drained soil and moderate light. It will crumble in full sun, but 4 hours of sun a day and partial shade and you are doing well. This plant spreads, so give it some room when you plant it! It likes water on hot days but other than that moderate watering is fine.

Where to Get Pineapple Sage Plants
Herb Cottage
Sage Seeds

Pineapple sage, also known as Salvia Elegans, is a medicinal remedy used for anxiety and high blood pressure. It is native to Guatemala and Mexico. It is an easily grown perennial shrub and it is also named as tangerine sage.

Leaves have a flavor of pineapple and tangy fragrance. The edible flowers of pineapple sage are bright red in color and have slightly sweet taste and somewhat similar to mint and lemon.

Flowers are used in vegetable salads and as a garnish for drinks and ice cream. Leaves are used in summer beverages.

Botanical Classification

Division Angiospermae
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Eudicots
Super Order Asterids
Order Lamiales
Family Lamiaceae
Genus Salvia
Species S. elegans
Botanical Name Salvia elegans

Medicinal Parts

  1. Leaves
  2. Flowers


Pineapple sage is used in following medical conditions in traditional and folk medicines.

  1. Anxiety
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Mental fatigue
  4. Stress
  5. Depression

Medicinal Properties

Pineapple sage has following medicinal properties.

  • Anti-depressant
  • Anxiolytic (Anti-anxiety agent)
  • Anti-hypertensive (lowers blood pressure)
  • Adaptogen (helps coping with stress)

Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses

Folks are using pineapple sage as general brain tonic and relieving mental fatigue and stress. Therapeutically, it is used in anxiety, depression and high blood pressure.

Anxiety & Depression

Pineapple sage is Mexican traditional remedy and well known in Mexico & Guatemala for its Anxiolytic effects. It relieves stress and anxiety. It can help people with mild depression and anxiety disorders. A scientific study on mince also demonstrates antidepressant effects of Salvia elegans. (1)

High blood pressure (Hypertension)

Pineapple sage is also beneficial in lowering blood pressure, so it is used in Mexico for high blood pressure. It exhibits anti-hypertensive action like ACE inhibitors. The study on anti-hypertensive action of Salvia elegans is published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology. (2, 3)

Also Read: Ayurvedic Treatment of High Blood Pressure


Leaves of pineapple sage are used in salad for constipation. Its action might be due to fiber content in the leaves of pineapple sage. In constipation, it is used along with raisins.

Body heat

Pineapple sage has cooling effects in the body, so it is used in summer to garnish for summer drinks and as a fruity spread.


Pineapple sage leaves relieve indigestion. Pineapple sage is usually used to digest meat and to cure indigestion that occurs after ingestion of animal foods or diary foods.


Pineapple sage tea is used for heartburn and acidity. Pineapple sage leaves have antacid properties, so leaves are helpful in gastritis, acidity, burning sensation and other digestive ailments.

How to make pineapple sage tea

  1. Take a handful of pineapple sage leaves and a cup of water.
  2. Add leaves in water and boil the water with leaves.
  3. Leave it for 5 minutes and let it cool down, so its temperature comes down to drink comfortably.
  4. You can also add a teaspoon of sugar or honey to enhance taste of pineapple sage tea.

It is also helpful for improving digestion and liver functions. Honey is much better than sugar for therapeutic purposes, but remember not adding honey when tea is too hot, let it become warm and then add honey in the tea.


Pineapple sage leaves

Fresh: 3 to 5 grams

Dried: 1 to 3 grams

Pineapple sage flowers

Fresh: 2 to 5 grams

Dried: 1 to 3 grams

Pineapple sage tea

100ml to 250 ml

Side effects or cautions

Pineapple sage is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken orally for a few days. The side effects with pineapple sage are yet unknown, so you should not use it regularly for more than a month.

You should also not consume pineapple sage tea more than 10 days continuously.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There is no evidence for the safety of pineapple sage in pregnancy and breastfeeding, so stay on SAFE SIDE and avoid its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Possible Interactions

Interactions of pineapple sage with modern medicines are unknown. It might interact with sedative medications and might cause sleepiness.

Health Benefits of Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage Quick Facts
Name: Pineapple Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia elegans
Origin Mexico and Guatemala. It reside Madrean and Mesoamerican pine oak forest between 6,000 and 9,000 ft. (1,800 and 2,700 m).
Colors Ruby red (Flower)
Shapes Hermaphrodite, Length:2.5-5 cm (Flower)
Health benefits Depression, Hypertension, Constipation, Body heat, Assist digestion
More facts about Pineapple Sage

Salvia elegans (Pineapple Sage) is a perennial plant that is native to Mexico and Guatemala. The flowers are usually ruby red, hermaphrodite and 2.5-5 cm long. It grows upto 1-1.5 m in height. The leaves are opposite, simple, pale green, elliptic, grey-green and 5-10 cm long. The stems are pubescent and squarish. The seeds are small, football shaped and dark colored. This plant prefers mild climate with fertile, moist and well-drained soil.

Pineapple sage is native to Mexico and Guatemala. It reside Madrean and Mesoamerican pine oak forest between 6,000 and 9,000 ft. (1,800 and 2,700 m). Other common names are: Pineapple Sage, Honey Melon Sage, Pineapple Scented Sage and Tangerine Sage. The fragrant flower attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Salvia elegans belongs to one of the 700 species in the genus in the mint family Lamiaceae.

Pineapple-sage-buds Pineapple-sage-close-up-flowers Pineapple-sage-foliage-and-flowers
Pineapple-sage-plants Pineapple-sage-seeds Pineapple-sage-stem-and-leaves

Pineapple sage is used as a tonic for brain and provides relief from mental fatigue as well as stress. It also treats depression, anxiety and high blood pressure. Some benefits provided by Pineapple sage are described below:

  1. Depression

Research shows that New flavanone, 5-O-(6-rhamnosylglucoside)-7-hydroxy-4′-methoxyflavanone (2), was extracted from leaves that showed antidepressant properties. The research also shows antihypertensive properties of plant which was due to the presence of AG II antagonism and restriction of angiotensin converting enzyme. In Mexico, it is called mirto which is broadly used in the traditional medicine for curing various diseases. (1) (2) (3) (4)

  1. Hypertension

Pineapple sage effectively lowers the blood pressure. In Mexico, it is used to treat high blood pressure. It displays anti-hypertensive activities such as ACE inhibitors. The activities of anti-hypetensive properties are disclosed in Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

  1. Constipation

The leaves are added to the salads for the treatment of constipation. It is due to the presence of fiber in the leaves. It is also used with raisins for the constipation.

  1. Body heat

Pineapple sage provides the cooling properties in the body. It is also used to garnish the summer drinks and also as a fruity spread.

  1. Assist digestion

The leaves of Pineapple sage helps to provide relief from indigestion. It is used to digest meat and also cures the indigestion problems which are caused due to the consumption of daily foods or animal foods.

  1. Heart burn

The tea of Pineapple sage helps to provide relief from acidity and heart burn. The leaves of Pineapple sage possess antacid properties which help to treat acidity, gastritis, digestive problems and burning sensation.

Traditional uses

  • Mexican traditional medicine uses it to provide relief from the ailments of central nervous system such as anxiety.
  • In Mexico, the plant is used for healing purposes and lowers blood pressure.
  • This herb calms the nervous system, serves as a tonic, improves digestive system and treats heartburn.
  • It is also used to treat depression.
  • This herb is used to treat snake bites, infection, eye problems, epilepsy, memory loss, intoxication, intestinal problems and worms.
  • In ancient Greece, it is also used as an aphrodisiac.
  • Herbalists believe that it possess an adaptogenic properties.


  • Pineapple sage should not be used regularly for more than one month.
  • The tea of Pineapple sage should not be consumed for more than 10 days of continuous use.
  • The pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid the use of Pineapple sage.
  • It may interact with the sedative medications and also cause sleepiness.
  • The people who are ill or having any health concerns should consult the health practitioner.
  • One cup of herbal infusion is recommended in a day, except during cold or flu, one could have it thrice a day only for 4 days.
  • While using herbal remedies one should be aware of the side effects while taking infusions.
  • It may cause convulsions when taken in excessive amounts as it has a-thujone which is a toxic substance.

How to Eat

  • The red flowers are used in salads.
  • The fresh or dried leaves are added to savory dishes which provide a great flavor.
  • The leaves and flowers are added to the salads or desserts.
  • The flowers are be used in jam and jelly concoctions and potpourri.
  • It is added to pork or chicken recipes.
  • Chopped Pineapple sages are used in sponge cakes for a flavor and scent.
  • Pineapple sage syrup could be made and used on waffles, pancakes, ice cream and fruit salads.
  • It could be used to make Pineapple sage flavored jelly.
  • Pineapple sage adds fragrance to the food.
  • The flowers are added to the salads, fruit puddings, fruit cocktails, garnish and dessert.
  • The flowers are scattered with green or yellow bell pepper.
  • The sugared Pineapple sage is used to garnish cookie platter, cakes and infused for making tea.
  • The minced flowers and leaves are mixed in the cream cheese which makes an alluring fruity spread.
  • The leaves are kneaded to raisin dough bread.
  • The leaves are layered in sugar and infused for about a week which makes a Pineapple Sage herbal sugar.
  • The fresh leaves are steeped in a hot apple juice.
  • Leaves are used to brew tea or make a summer drink.
  • The flowers and leaves are added to the recipes such as sweet banana smoothie, salsa, fritters, ginger chicken and cakes.

How to make pineapple sage tea

  • Boil pineapple leaves in a cup of water.
  • Boil it for 5 minutes and then it should be cooled.
  • Honey or sugar could be added to enhance the taste of tea.
  • It helps to promote the liver function and enhance digestion.

Pineapple sage leaves

  • Fresh: 3 to 5 grams
  • Dried: 1 to 3 grams

Pineapple sage flowers

  • Fresh: 2 to 5 grams
  • Dried: 1 to 3 grams

Pineapple sage tea

  • 100 ml to 250 ml


Pineapple Sage Pound Cake

  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple sage leaves, cut
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple sage flowers, indelicately sliced
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 4 tablespoons crumpled pineapple, drained
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 3250.
  2. The butter and sugar should be creamed until it is light and fuzzy.
  3. Beat the honey. One egg should be included at a time. Beat it for one minute after each addition.
  4. Beat sage flowers, leaves, lemon peel and crushed pineapple. Stir dry ingredients and add the butter mixture.
  5. Gently fold it together till blended. Then pour it into loaf pans.
  6. Bake it for about 45 minutes or till golden brown.
  7. Then let it cool for about 10 minutes.

Pineapple Sage and Ginger chicken


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (pounded to 1/3 inch uniform thickness)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup flour
  • grapeseed oil
  • butter
  • 1 bunch of chopped pineapple sage leaves
  • 2 tbls. of ginger puree
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 lb pasta
  • whole pineapple sage leaves for garnish

Preparing the chicken

  1. Add half teaspoon of salt with a little pepper and flour.
  2. Both sides of chicken should be dredge in a flour lightly.
  3. Heat the large heavy skillet in a medium high heat along with a little grape seed oil and half tablespoon of butter.
  4. Sear both sides of the chicken till it is faintly golden.
  5. Turn down the heat by covering lightly.
  6. Cook it covering the lid for about ten minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and let it remain for another ten minutes by covering.
  8. Transfer it in a warming plate by tenting with foil.
  9. Whisk the ginger puree into wine.
  10. Heat the skillet with the fat and pan juices. The sage leaves should be saute till it is wilted.
  11. Deglaze the pan with mixture of wine and ginger by letting it bubble until it is slightly reduced.
  12. Add the broth and cook it is reduced up to half. Till that, cook the pasta in a salted boiling water.
  13. Drain and toss it with a ginger sauce. A little ginger sauce should be poured over a chicken.
  14. Then serve chicken chicken by placing it over pasta. Then garnish it with few pineapple sage leaves. /

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Pineapple Sage

Scientific Name: Salvia elegans

Pineapple sage is a shrubby perennial with bright green, ovate pointed leaves that smell like fresh pineapple when crushed. It is very showy and bears whorls of vibrant red flowers in summer.

Pineapple sage is frost tender and in cold climates, will die back in winter. Prune it back at the beginning of spring. It needs full sun, well-drained soil and is a good container plant. The red flowers are attractive to Sugar birds. Use pineapple sage in the center of beds and at the back of beds, where it will not hide other plants.

Pineapple sage is a popular plant all over the world – it is native to the oak and pine scrub forests in the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala.

Harvest and parts used

The leaves and flowers.


Pineapple sage leaves are edible and can be steeped in hot water to make a herbal tea.

The flowers are reminiscent of Honeysuckle and make a colourful addition to salads, fruit cocktails or any garnish. Their vibrant red colour compliments many dishes. They can be sugared and used to garnish cakes or cookie platters.
Fresh sprigs of pineapple sage can be added to cold drinks and fruit salads. The fresh or dried leaves will give a sage-like aroma to pork dishes.


Pineapple sage has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties and will balance the nervous system. It is used extensively in Mexican traditional medicine, especially for the treatment of anxiety.

Pineapple sage can also benefit digestion, heartburn and is a general tonic.

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