Sage is an evergreen herb with woody stems, grayish leaves, and purplish flowers. It is an herb native to the Mediterranean and belongs to the same family as oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil.
Sage is also known as garden sage, common sage, culinary sage, or by its scientific name Salvia Officinalis. Sage is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that contribute to its health benefits.
Is sage good for your health?
The use of sage dates back to the ancient times where it was used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
In ancient Rome, sage was used to heal ulcers, stop bleeding wounds, aid digestion, treat colds, and to soothe sore throats.
Today, a lot of research has been made on sage to bring out science-backed health benefits.
Research shows that sage is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and nutrients that improve overall body health.
What are the health benefits of sage?
Sage has got many health benefits and they include;
1. Sage is highly nutritious.
Sage is packed with many essential nutrients and vitamins for the body. These include; potassium, phosphorous, folate, vitamin K, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. Sage also contains smaller amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, C, and E.
2. Sage is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Sage is packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. This improves the body’s immunity against chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
In a study conducted by the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, it was discovered that sage and other herbs in the same family contained Rosmarinic acid which is a major antioxidant that neutralized superoxide radicals from xanthine oxidase and inhibited cyclooxygenase I and II enzymes.
Compounds in sage also have anti-inflammatory properties that help the body fight against inflammatory responses.
3. Sage may help diabetes.
The use of sage has also been known for improving insulin sensitivity. From a study conducted on mice, it was established that sage had a compound similar to metformin a drug used in the treatment of diabetes. The mice that drunk sage tea had a high glucose uptake capacity and decreased gluconeogenesis in response to glucagon.
However, on humans, further research is needed on the relationship of Sage with diabetes.
4. Sage improves brain and memory health.
Sage is loaded with antioxidants that improve brain health and immunity against various attacks.
One study, found out that sage contains many active compounds that protect the body against neurodegenerative disease. Sage also showed that it could protect mice from Alzheimer’s disease-causing compounds.
In the same study, it was discovered that sage could improve cognitive skills including memory, attention, and learning.
5. It has cancer-fighting properties.
Test-tube studies show that sage may help certain cancers of for example the colon, liver, mouth, cervix, breast, and skin. Sage contains carnosol, rosmarinic acid, and ursolic acid that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
However, further research is needed to prove the effect of sage on cancer cell death and prevention
6. Sage is good for oral health.
Taking sage orally can fight disease-causing bacteria. The presence of rosmarinic acid in sage makes it effective for oral health. Rinsing the mouth with a solution containing sage is said to cure mouth canker sores and sore throats.
7. Sage may improve cholesterol.
Our bodies need cholesterol to build healthy cells, however, high levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease. Sage can however help to normalize cholesterol levels in the body.
In one study, 67 participants were randomly selected and some group took 500 mg of Sage extract every 8 hours for 2 months. The cholesterol levels of the group that took sage extract decreased while those that didn’t take the sage extract, their cholesterol levels remained the same.
Sage also prevents the development of fat in the arteries and veins leading to the heart. This ensures steady blood flow around the body.
8. Calms menopause symptoms.
Menopause usually cones with unwanted symptoms such as vaginal dryness, fatigue, dry skin, emotional changes, and others all caused by a decline in estrogen hormones.
In one study, women who had menopause for at least a year were given a tablet of fresh sage leaves for 2 months. The hot flushes decreased throughout the course of using sage tablets.
9. Sage may support bone health.
The presence of vitamin K in sage makes it a potential remedy to bone diseases and conditions. A deficiency of this vitamin is usually linked to thinning and fracturing of the bones.
Is sage good for tea?
Sage can be used to make an aromatic tea by boiling leaves of the common sage. Alternatively, dry sage leaves can also be used to make tea. This tea has an amazing aroma, taste, and is packed with a lot of health benefits.
How to make sage tea using fresh sage leaves.
What you will need.
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves.
- 2 cups of water
- Sweeter such as sugar, stevia, honey(optional)
- Boil plain water in a kettle.
- When the water boils, drop the fresh leaves into the kettle and steep on low heat for about 7 minutes.
- Use a metal strainer to separate the leaves from the tea.
- Add sweeteners if required.
- Serve and enjoy your tea.
What are the side effects of Sage?
Sage may have potential side effects, especially when used in huge amounts or used with conditions that don’t favor its use.
- It may be toxic if you used it in large amounts especially in terms of oils, tablets, or supplements.
- Sage can also be harmful to breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women as it may be toxic to the unborn or breast-feeding baby.
- Supplements made from sage may pose a risk to people with liver and kidney disorders.
- Sage is also not favorable to people with a history of blood pressure, and diabetes. It may worsen the conditions.
- The use of sage may also cause nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, and dizziness.
The bottom line
The information in this article is accurate and researched very well backed with studies from trusted research organizations. However, it should not be used for self-medication. It is advisable to seek advice from your medical provider before using it.
Subscribe for Insights on herbs and spices