6 Health Benefits Of Sage And How You Can Use It

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Sage is one of the most common and well known culinary plants but just because you add it to your roast meals does not make it any less therapeutic! The health benefits of sage are numerous and wide ranging, so we have compiled a list of benefits and different ways you can use sage as part of your everyday.

What Is Sage Good For

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is part of the Labiatae family and the most common parts used from this plant are the leaves and the flowers. It is is very aromatic and flowers in late spring to early summer. Sage contains vitamins A, C and B and the mineral calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc within the plant.  

Sages many health benefits come from its actions as a medicinal herb. These actions include: carminative, antispasmodic, astringent, reduces perspiration, salivation and lactation, reduces blood sugar levels and promotes bile flow.

It is native to the Mediterranean and really likes dry banks and sunny spots. It is drought and frost resistant. Given the amazing heath benefits that sage offers and it’s hardiness as a plant it is a great low maintenance addition to your herb garden.

Traditionally sage has been associated with living well and for a long time, and for also restoring failing memory in the elderly. It was often planted on graves (like rosemary) for remembrance . It was also said that when the British started importing tea into Britain from China, the Chinese loved sage so much that they would trade 2 cases of tea for one of dried English sage.

 
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6 Health Benefits of Sage

1 Excessive Sweating

This is a weird health benefit you might not associate with sage, but it's true! Sage can help with excessive sweating that can occur with changes in hormones (think night sweats) or for those of us that struggle with excessive perspiration. In a number of open studies sage has reduced sweat production in patients with a condition called hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). The dose that was recommended was 2.6 to 4.5g of leaf.

2 Nervous Exhaustion

Another health benefit of sage is that it can be helpful for nervous exhaustion, nervous tension and headaches. This might sound odd as sage is not often associated with helping the nervous system but the volatile oils can help bind to our GABA receptors which means it can help with increasing our feeling of wellbeing. It also then helps induce more relaxed feelings which can help with anxious feelings. All of this then contributes to reducing nervous tension and exhaustion. So if you are stressed sage is a great option to consider.

🌿Related: The 5 Most Powerful Mood Boosting Herbs


3 Reflux

Sage is great if you suffer from reflux  because its health benefits extend to helping calm the digestive system and reducing cramping! In Germany the Commission E supports using sage to treat dyspeptic symptoms. The oil components of this plant helps relax the digestive system which can reduce spasms, or cramping and help reduce reflux. 

4 Improving Memory

Another incredible health benefit of sage is that it is helpful for improving memory and senses. Sage can help us remember things more efficiently (similar to how rosemary works as well). Sage was used with Alzheimer's patients suffering with mild to moderate symptoms. After 4 months of use they showed significant mood and memory improvement with no side effects. This may be due to Sage’s antioxidant actions. 

sage-improve-memory

5 Sore Throats

The ESCOP (European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy) recommends sage leaf for helping with inflammation and infection of both the mouth and the throat. But the oral health benefits of sage don’t stop there as it is also helpful for gingivitis and sore throats, as well as gastritis. Topical use of a sage throat spray in clinical trials have been positive with it showing it can significantly relieve the pain of acute sore throats.

6 Antibacterial 

Sage is also well known for its antibacterial and antiseptic actions. The volatile oils have been found to help inhibit bacterial organism growth especially in the mouth and gums. This is why we use sage in our Throat Spray. Often ‘bugs’ enter your body via your respiratory system (first through our mouth/nose). So, if you can stop it travelling further then it can help reduce the chances of you getting sick. 

Our Throat Spray can also help with mouth health, especially if you experience sore teeth, swollen gums, or gingivitis. Sage, along with thyme, and propolis help reduce inflammation as well as imparting antibacterial properties. Our spray is also great as a mouth freshener (we have also snuck in peppermint, cinnamon, and orange peel). These all have therapeutic benefits as well as giving our spray an amazing taste.


🌿Related: 6 Great Herbs For Kids - And How To Actually Get Your Children To Eat Them 

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What Can You Do With Sage?

Here are some unique and creative ways you can see the health benefits of sage for yourself at home:

  1. Make a sage gargle

  2. Use as a digestive bitter

  3. Make your own sage tincture

  4. Compress for wounds

  5. Sage hair spray for dandruff

sage-medicinal-herb

1 Hot infusion - A simple way to start to use sage and utilise all its health benefits is to make a hot infusion. Take 1 teaspoon of dried sage or one tablespoon or chopped fresh and 150ml hot water. Leave the mixture to cool with a plate on top to catch all the volatile oils. Once cool you can use this as a gargle if you have an irritated throat or gums. 

2 Digestive bitterIf you have fresh sage in the garden you can chew the fresh leaves for a digestive bitter stimulant. Or you could add it to salad dressings to help support more efficient digestion. 

3 - Sage tinctureMake your own sage tincture with the folk method. Take a 250ml jar and fill it half way with dried sage and top with 40% alcohol (vodka is  a good neutral choice). If you using fresh, chop the sage and fill to 3/4 of the jar and top with alcohol. Label with the current date and also add a date 4 weeks in the future (this is when you will strain the tincture to use). After straining, bottle the tincture and label it. Start with 1 teaspoon a day. It can be used used for hot sweats or excessive sweating that can occur in perimenopause or menopause as well as adding an immune boost to your hot drinks.

4 Wound compress - Follow the same instruction above for a hot sage infusion. Once it has cooled you can soak clean bandages or cloths in the tea and use it as a compress on wounds that need some support to heal.

5 Hair spray - With your strong cooled sage infusion add it to a bottle or a clean spray bottle and use it as a hair rinse or spray for dandruff. It also helps to give hair a lovely shine. 

 

Warnings:
Sage can affect the quantity of breast milk and is often taken when people are weaning their babies. So if you are intending on continuing breastfeeding bear this in mind.
Avoid therapeutic doses in pregnancy.
Or if in doubt add to melted butter and then pour on pasta…
References:
Scientific committee of the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP): ESCOP monographs Salviae folium. European Scientific Cooperative Phytotherapy, ESCOP secretariat, UK March (1996)
British Herbal medicine Association’s scientific committee: British herbal pharmacopoeia 1983
Kennedy DO, Pace S, Haskell C, Okello EJ, Milne A, Scholey AB. Effects of cholinesterase inhibiting sage (Salvia officinalis) on mood, anxiety and performance on a psychological stressor battery. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006 Apr;31(4):845-52. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300907. PMID: 16205785.
Saller R, Büechi S, Meyrat R, Schmidhauser C. Combined herbal preparation for topical treatment of Herpes labialis. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2001 Dec;8(6):373-82. doi: 10.1159/000057255. PMID: 11799306.

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