Health Benefits of Sage

Health Benefits of Sage

Sage is a well-known and commonly used spice, found in most kitchens across the world.  While it is typically used for its flavor, sage actually provides an impressive array of health benefits that people have taken advantage of for many years.  Many people drink sage leaf tea to gain these benefits, while others take a daily supplement made of sage leaf extract.  Many of its properties can be taken advantage of by simply cooking with it as well.

Pregnancy Warning

Sage and sage supplements may not be safe for women who are pregnant, nursing, or suspect that they might be pregnant.  Though no serious effects on pregnancy have been identified, concentrated doses of any herb could be dangerous and may cause complications.

Making Your Own Fresh Sage Tea

To create a potent and great tasting tea from sage, follow these steps:

  1. Gather fresh sage leaves.  Some prefer purple leaf sage for its enhanced aroma and effects.
  2. Dry the leaves if you prefer – this will create a more powerful tea.
  3. Fill a cup with boiling water.
  4. Steep the dried or fresh leaves in the tea for five minutes or more depending on how strong you prefer the tea to be.
  5. Dispose of the leaves and add any flavorings or soothing components, such as honey or apple cider vinegar.

Among the benefits listed below, sage tea is known to help with relaxation.

Mouth Cleansing Power

Unknown to most, toothpaste is actually one of the most common places to find sage as an ingredient.  It provides powerful antiseptic properties, especially in its extract form.  Ground up sage leaf can be utilized as a mouth disinfectant, ridding it of bacteria, preventing infections, and freshening breath.  It will also act as a whitener.  Simply consuming sage leaf tea will provide these benefits; the tea can also be used as a mouthwash.  Sage carries a very specific scent due to the various oils found in it, which makes it a great natural incense as well.  The antiseptic properties can be utilized in other ways, such as relief from respiratory illnesses by steaming the herb.

Healthier Skin

Fighting acne is one of the most daunting tasks for some teenagers, and some carry this problem into adulthood.  Using sage tea as a topical treatment will get rid of acne, help tighten skin to remove wrinkles, and leave the skin feeling fresh and clean.  It is also used to dispel foot fungus and may be used to cure athlete’s foot.

Rich in Antioxidants

Sage is a significant source of antioxidants, which carry a number of healthy benefits.  Most associate them with fighting off cancer and diseases of the cardiovascular system.  They may also prevent or lessen signs of aging.  Steeping sage in hot water to create a tea greatly increases the potency of the antioxidants.

Extremely Nutritious

Just a few of the nutrients found in sage are: Vitamin A, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, and various flavanoids.

Fight Diabetes

Sage also provides a natural way to fight off diabetes.  It does this by directly lowering blood sugar levels.

Digestive Help

Consuming this herb will promote the healthiness of the body’s digestive system.  This means that more nutrients are gathered from food, and more waste is expelled.

Natural Astringency

Astringents contract tissue, which can help with a variety of problems.  Particularly, gargling tea made from sage (or simply drinking it) can cure a sore throat, relieve sinus problems, and provide some comfort from symptoms of the flu.

Heal Inflammation

Through topical application of lotions or pastes, sage can relieve inflammation and swelling.  It has been used to treat anything from simple bug bites to psoriasis.  As it is completely natural and edible to begin with, it can be used for sores in the mouth without fear of ingesting any toxic chemicals or substances.

Enhance Functioning of the Brain

While it is not completely proven, there is speculation that sage may serve as a way to treat alzheimers.  It has been successfully tested to improve memory retention and mental efficiency, so researchers are confident in its eventual use for alzheimers.

Menopausal Relief

Finally, symptoms of menopause may be lessened with the application of sage.  It can be simply consumed as part of a regular diet, but it is most effective when combined with other herbs.  Look for medicine with sage as a leading ingredient.

Possible Adverse Effects

Sage has been known to produce negative effects in some people.  Generally this is due to toxicity, conflicting medication or herbs, or allergies.

Minor Reactions

Though somewhat uncommon, some side effects include vomiting, dizziness, irritation, nausea, and general discomfort.  If you exhibit any of these effects whilst taking sage in normal doses, there is no need to worry – however you should still either speak with a doctor or cease taking the herb.

Major Reactions

Developing toxicity through over-consumption of sage in any form can seriously damage the body.  Thujoine, a toxin that is present in sage in extremely small amounts, can build up in the body if it does not have time to safely expel the toxin.  Lasting nerve damage, severe liver problems, and even seizures could result from sage toxicity.

Dangers and Conflicts

Sage can greatly amplify the effects of some drugs, as well as conflict with others producing unwanted effects.  Any drug or herb that are designed to lower blood sugar levels could be deadly when taken with sage, as your blood glucose could very quickly drop to fatally low levels.  Sedatives are also amplified by sage.  Medication that is meant to prevent seizures is known to be rendered useless when combined with sage (such as phenobarbital).  Consult with a doctor if you are taking any medication before using sage in any form.

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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.'
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