Sage is a flavorful agent that you may use in your favorite foods as well as a therapeutic herb.
It has a powerful aroma and can be used to flavor sausages, salads, soups, and stews (1).
The benefits of the sage herb can be related to its high nutrient profile, which is important for human health. This spicy herb’s leaves have been used to treat inflammation, hot flashes, throat and mouth discomfort, and sleeplessness.
What Are Sage Leaves?
Sage (Salvia officinalis) belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). The plants have a distinct perfume and beautiful blossoms in a variety of hues. Many sage species are native to the Mediterranean region, including Salvia officinalis (common sage or kitchen/garden sage).
Sage was extensively utilized in the medicine of ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. In reality, dried sage leaves are burned in Native American rituals to promote healing, wisdom, protection, and longevity.
The leaves contain a wealth of essential oils and phenolic chemicals. These are assumed to be in charge of the herb’s therapeutic properties.
There are various sorts of sage based on their composition and provenance, such as common sage, pineapple sage, and red sage. Because of its diversity, sage is one of the largest genera in the mint family.
What Are the Advantages of Sage?
Sage is antiseptic, antibacterial, and antioxidant. When used correctly, it improves memory and regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
(1) May Help With Skin Aging
According to research, sage and its constituents may aid in the prevention of skin aging. Sage may also help with wrinkles via a photoimaging process.
Sclareol, a sage derivative, is frequently utilized as a fragrance ingredient. According to research, this molecule prevents UVB-induced skin damage. It may also be able to restore epidermal thickness that has been diminished by UVB rays. Creams containing sclareol may reduce wrinkles by increasing cellular proliferation.
(2) Encourages Hair Growth
Sage is high in antioxidants, which can help to prevent and slow the growth of grey hair. Sage’s natural oils strengthen the roots and promote healthy hair development.
However, there is no proof that sage has a direct effect on hair growth.
(3) Good For People With Diabetes
Many cultures utilize this herb as a traditional diabetic treatment. Many experimental studies have found that sage has a glucose-lowering impact on its subjects. Its extracts could be able to do so without interfering with pancreatic insulin production.
Sage tea infusions have a metformin-like impact on your body. They are, in fact, just as effective as the medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Drinking 300 ccs of sage tea twice a day boosts your body’s antioxidant content. In turn, antioxidants protect the liver and heart from the chemical stress generated by diabetes.
(4) Alleviate menopausal symptoms.
Menopause is marked by significant hormonal changes in your body. Its symptoms include hot flashes, insomnia, nocturnal sweats, dizziness, headaches, and palpitations. These symptoms indicate that your body has adapted to an estrogen imbalance.
Sage has long been used to relieve menopausal symptoms. A trial on menopausal women with hot flashes was undertaken in 2011 to demonstrate its efficacy. Those given 1 pill of fresh sage leaves per day saw a 64% reduction in the intensity of the flashes.
The plant calms you down and minimizes excessive sweating. There have also been no complaints of this herbal extract having any negative side effects. However, more research is required to demonstrate the efficacy of sage (and other medicinal plants) in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
(5) May Help With Weight Loss
Obesity has been related to diabetes, hypertension, heart and renal disease, and a variety of other chronic health disorders. Sage, for example, has a direct effect on lipid digestion and fat storage.
The active ingredients in this herb inhibit the function of pancreatic enzymes. This activity is mediated by carnosic acid and carnosol, which are diterpenes found in sage extracts.
These molecules also prevent serum triglyceride levels from rising and limit weight gain. There is sufficient experimental evidence to support the safety of sage as an anti-obesity agent.
(6) May Lower Cancer Risk
Clinical trials revealed that common sage extracts could decrease cancer cell proliferation (angiogenesis). According to data, ursolic acid present in this plant substantially decreased melanoma cell invasion, metastasis (spread), and colonization.
Sage active substances inhibited DNA damage in healthy cells in another study on colorectal cancer. Free radicals (such as hydrogen peroxide) that cause such damage are eliminated by antioxidants.
Diterpenoids, sesquiterpenes, and other compounds extracted from the roots of the sage plant were found to have anticancer properties in liver and colon cancer cells. Similar findings have been observed for skin, prostate, and intestine cancer cells.
(7) Improves Memory And Cognition
Several types of sage have been used to treat memory loss and cognitive decline, which are common in Alzheimer’s disease. This loss in mental function occurs when your body’s specialized enzymes destroy neurotransmitters.
In most brain illnesses, the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) degrades acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Such people are given drugs and botanicals that inhibit the function of AChE.
In laboratory tests, sage essential oils inhibited AChE by 46 percent. Its herbal extracts have been shown to protect brain cells (neurons) from the effects of cholesterol buildup and inflammation (amyloid ß-plaques).
(8) Has the potential to lower cholesterol levels
High LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels might result in serious metabolic and cardiovascular problems. The use of herbs like sage in diet and medicine may help to balance plasma lipid levels. Although the tea does not affect glucose management, it could be utilized as a treatment for diabetics.
Chinese sage tea and its extracts have been shown in animal experiments to reduce plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The extracts may also raise HDL levels.
The sage extract may boost your body’s antioxidant activity. It protects you from diabetes, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), and other inflammatory disorders by preventing the oxidation of stored lipids.
(9) Improve oral health.
This Mediterranean herb possesses antimicrobial qualities that are second to none. According to research, sage extracts can suppress the growth of numerous food-spoiling bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis and Enterobacter cloacae.
These antimicrobial properties were also observed in microorganisms that cause dental cavities (Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, etc.) These effects could be attributed to the essential oils found in sage leaves.
When sage extracts were used in mouthwash and mouth rinse, they reduced the bacterial colony count in treated patients from 3900 (pre-treatment) to 300 per plaque.
As a result, this herb has the potential to successfully protect teeth from acute and chronic dental problems in both children and adults.
The Advantages of Sage Burning
Smudging (burning sage) is an old spiritual practice. It could also involve a different species of sage. It has certain health benefits, including increased alertness and antibacterial qualities. Some people feel that sage smoking is an important traditional cure for mood disorders, depression, and anxiety. However, a more specific study is required to confirm these impacts.
Sage active components were discovered to improve cognition in another research on cognitive science. More research is required to comprehend the mechanism underlying these activities.
According to studies, smoke from medicinal plants can remove up to 94 percent of airborne microorganisms in space. It remains to be seen whether sage can produce similar results. Some believe that when sage is burned, negative ions are released, which may provide people with positive energy.
All of these advantages are due to the herb’s potent biochemical makeup. The active compounds function as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and pain relievers. We will go over them in-depth in the following section.
What Are Sage’s Active Components?
Sage leaves are mostly made up of essential oils. The oil contains around 28 components. Their concentration varies according to region and variety.
Cineole, camphor, thujone, borneol, viridiflorol, thymol, phytol, geraniol, and carvacrol are the main components.
Other polyphenolic chemicals found in this herb include linalool, humulene, limonene, pinene, terpinene, myrcene, camphene pimaradiene, salvianolic acid, rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, ursolic acid, and caffeic acid.
These phytochemicals work together to provide the health benefits outlined above. It’s no surprise that the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks revered sage!
Is Sage associated with any side effects or drug interactions?
There have been no reports of toxicity or severe effects from sage. The US Food and Drug Administration considers it to be generally safe. It could be used as a spice or seasoning in meals.
However, the leaves are high in a chemical known as thujone. Thujone, in excessive concentrations, may have negative consequences.
Long-term or excessive usage of sage leaf or oil may cause vomiting, vertigo, salivation, allergic reactions, seizures, and tongue swallowing.
As a result, it is advised that you discuss this herb with your healthcare physician. Tell them about your diet and medical history. To avoid unwanted reactions, stick to the dose and instructions they provide.
Sage is a tasty herb with numerous therapeutic benefits. The sage plant, which is high in essential oils and phenolic compounds, not only offers a powerful flavor and aroma to your cuisine but also helps enhance your health and immunity due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics. It not only benefits your skin and hair, but it also helps to balance your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Its active ingredients have been shown to improve your mental health as well as cleanse the air and space around you. Sage, which is available in liquids, tinctures, capsules, pills, and lozenges, is simple to add to your food, health, and well-being routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
(1) Is there such a thing as too much sage?
Yes, sage includes thujone, a toxin that can damage the nervous system. Excessive sage consumption can cause agitation, convulsions, tremors, vomiting, and vertigo.
(2) Can We drink sage tea every day?
According to research, consuming 3 to 6 cups of sage tea per day is safe.
(3) Is it safe to consume raw sage?
It is uncomfortable to consume raw sage. It can be purchased dried or fresh, but it is never eaten uncooked.
(4) Is it harmful to your lungs to burn sage?
Some believe that burning sage can remove particle microorganisms from the air, while others say it can hurt the lungs. Listen to your doctor.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not to be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.