10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sage
Studies Have proven these 10 Health Benefits of Sage:
- Sage contains antioxidants. This explains the folkloric reputation of the plant as an aid to healthy, vibrant aging (1).
- In studies, sage has demonstrated strong antimicrobial activity (this is why we use it in our Scratchy Throat Tea!) (1).
- There are many encouraging studies on sage in relation to various cancers. Very exciting! (2)
- It is great for stress (3).
- It is helpful to add to teas when we are sad (3).
- It could help you when you are feeling anxious (3).
- It has shown great benefit for those suffering with Alzheimer's disease. In studies, sage greatly reduced agitation (4).
- Sage is a good addition to natural therapies for preventing cardiovascular diseases. This is most likely due to its mechanism of helping to digest fat (1).
- It has been shown to increase memory and concentration (5).
- Sage contains many anti-inflammatory compounds (6).
My Love Affair With Sage
I am a big fan of sage (Salvia spp.). We grow several different varieties of this herb on our farm every year. With close to 1000 different species it isn’t too difficult to find one to love. Most people grow the common garden sage (Salvia officinalis) with thoughts of fresh herbs at Thanksgiving, but there is so much more than meets the eye to this family!
Sage is very special to me because it is the plant that taught me I was taking a lot for granted. I had been studying so many different exotic new herbs for years, and one day I passed a sage plant in the yard. The thought of seeing it for the first time caught me off-guard. I thought I KNEW sage, it was for hot flashes and Thanksgiving…. So I had set it aside as “solved”, “known” and didn’t give it another thought.
As an aside, at the time, I was struggling with a lipoma on my back. A lipoma is a fatty tumor. In my case it was in a spot that was uncomfortable and I was trying to find ideas for treating it naturally.
So… I passed that sage plant in the yard one particular day and thought- perhaps I should challenge myself to dive deeper into a plant I’m taking for granted. I decided that I would take one whole month and devote it to reading about sage, eating sage and making new things with it.
The very first night of my plan, I settled in to read in bed. Carson was half-asleep next to me when I sat bolt upright and yelped! There in one of my favorite books was a reference to sage’s ability to process fat, in both the digestive system AND to reduce and eliminate LIPOMAS! I couldn’t believe it!! What are the odds?
I would go on to find out more about sage than I ever imagined- and I no longer take any plant for granted.
Traditional Usage of Sage
Sage has been valued for its medicinal qualities for almost as long as humans have been writing things down. S. officinalis is most commonly what is used and it shows its qualities well in the mouth and throat.
To make a healing sage tea, simply pour one cup of boiling water over two to three teaspoons of sage and allow it to sit, covered for 10-15 minutes.
Traditionally sage tea was taken warm to stimulate the digestion, prevent the flu and relieve pain in the joints. It helps to control our digestion of fats and allows us to use fluid in our body better. When there is dryness, sage can increase moisture. Surprisingly, when used as a cool tea, Matthew Wood tells us that it can dry out our tissues as well. This is why it is the classic weening herb. Served cold, it cools the body and is one of my favorite recommendations to those who are struggling with menopausal hot flashes in the form of our Hot Flash Tea.
Iranian folk medicine indicates sage for its digestive, carminative, antispasmodic, sedative, analgesic, tonic and diuretic as well as for functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Today, sage is promoted for sore mouth or throat, memory loss, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, insomnia, dyssomnia, hair loss, tight muscles, parasites, chronic diarrhea, poor appetite, cystitis, urinary irritation, loss of libido, cystic breast tissue, amenorrhea, spermatorrhea, insect bites, wounds, cold sores, herpes, excessive sweating, dry or weak tendons, arthritis, epilepsy, palsy, varicose veins, dissolving of blood clots, cardiovascular support, circulatory stimulation, gallbladder colic, fever, flu, headache, yeast infection, ulcers, gravel in the bladder or gallbladder, and excessive salivation.
Check out Sage in the "Plant Database" of my Proactive Health Club membership for more on the science of sage, including chemical constituents and a much larger list of scientific study links.
- Vujošević, M., Blagojević, J. (2004). Antimutagenic effect of extracts from sage (Salvia officinalis) in mammalian systems in vivo. Acta Vet. Hungarica 52(4), 439-443
- Topical Anti-inflammatory- Baričević, D., Sosa, S., Della Loggia, R., Tubaro, A., Simonovska, B., Krasna, A., Župančić, A. (2001). Topical anti-inflammatory activity of Salvia officinalis L. leaves: the relevance of urosolic acid. J. Ethnopharmacol. 75, 125-132