Allergy to Sage: Substitute for Sage in Stuffing
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay and Conrad Richter
Question from: Pauline
Posted on: July 09, 2005

I haven’t been able to eat anything cooked with sage for over 35 years. When I don’t know there is sage in something, I soon find out. I get violent gastritis attacks several hours later. Is this common? Also, is there some other herb that tastes like sage? I love its taste. I have a recipe that my brother sent me that calls for rosemary, thyme and marjoram in place of sage for turkey stuffing. This is the best substitute so far, but not quite as good as sage.

Savory is the best substitute in stuffing... it tastes like a combination of sage and thyme.

Allergies to herbs are not uncommon. People with a history of allergies and food sensitivities should take care when using a new herb. Even if no reaction occurs on first use, allergies and sensitivities can develop over time, so continued vigilance is wise until one is sure that the new herb does not cause a reaction.

Herbalist Ernestina Parziale has some good advice on how to test for allergies to herbs. Writing about herbal tinctures (, she suggests mixing a drop with water and drinking. If nothing happens try two drops the next day, adding one more each day until a full dose is reached. The same idea can be applied to dried herbs that are used in food, mixing a pinch of herb with water, and adding a pinch to the dose each day until you reach what would be the normal amount added to food.

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