Sage has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes in various cultures for thousands of years. From gypsies to the American colonists, sage has been used not only to spice up a dish but also to treat various ailments, from colds and fevers to internal bleeding.
Health Benefits of Sage
Read on to learn about the many uses for sage.
1. Memory and Concentration Benefits
Studies have shown that sage and Spanish sage are both effective in improving memory and concentration. This makes it an effective natural remedy for those with ADD or ADHD and may also help protect our memories as we age. Studies have shown that consumption of sage can improve word recall and is currently being studied as a potential ingredient in Alzheimer’s treatments.
2. Digestive Aid
Sage is an effective remedy for indigestion and other digestive system issues. It can address intestinal inflammation and can reduce nausea and stomach cramps. This herb can also be useful in reducing diarrhea, especially in infants.
3. Flu and Cold Remedy
As already mentioned, sage relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, which reduces stomach cramps and alleviate stomach pain. This herb can effectively fight infections and reduce congestion by encouraging the excretion of mucous. Sage can also reduce excessive sweating and help lower fevers.
4. Sore Throats
Sage tea can be gargled to help soothe a sore throat and is especially useful when suffering from strep throat. This gargle can also be used to treat dental abscesses, mouth ulcers, and gum infections and gum disease (gingivitis).
5. Menopause Aid
Many medical herbalists recommend the use of sage to treat many symptoms of menopause. Sage is an effective treatment for hot flashes, night sweats, and hormone imbalance. Because it also addresses excessive perspiration, this is another reason why it is taken by menopausal women as they deal with the discomfort of increased sweating and hot flashes.
6. Cosmetic Uses
Sage has also been used for hundreds of years as a natural way to dye hair. It is an excellent natural solution for those that wish to cover gray hair gradually and subtly. Sage can also improve the look and feel of your hair and skin, making you look younger and feel better.
Other Uses of Sage
Because of its antibacterial and astringent properties, sage has many medicinal purposes and is effective in treating more than what has already been mentioned. Other uses for sage include the treatment of:
- Menstrual irregularity
- Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
- E. coli and salmonella
- Insect bites
- Joint pain
- High cholesterol
Sage can also be used to help dry up breast milk when ready to wean. Some believe that drinking sage tea can also sharpen the senses and improve awareness; so if you need a morning pick-me-up, try swapping out your regular coffee for some sage tea.
How to Use Sage
Sage can be consumed as a tea or tincture; fresh or dried sage can be used. You may also find it in an essential oil form, but it should never be ingested.
When cooking with sage, remember the flavor is very delicate. Add toward the end of the cooking process to ensure that it will retain its peak essence.
To make a tincture of sage, wash the leaves thoroughly and then dry them. Roughly chop and then place in a glass jar that can be sealed tightly. Pour vodka or another pure spirit over the leaves, enough to cover. Put the lid on tightly and place in a dark area like a cupboard for about three weeks. Shake this gently daily. Strain the leaves out and put the rest in the dark glass containers.
And here’s how to make sage tea.
Some known species of sage contain thujone, which has the ability to affect the nervous system. Taking this in large amounts or extended use of the leaf or oil can result in vomiting, restlessness, vertigo, tremors, rapid heart rate, kidney damage, and seizures. It can also lead to wheezing.