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Sage Herb Health Benefits

Sage is an herb that has been in use for culinary and medical purposes since ancient times. It goes by the scientific name Salvia Officinalis. It believed to have originated in Central Asia and the Mediterranean, though is now grown almost all over the world. It is a fragrant herb, and its greenish gray leaves add spice and flavor to food.

Traditional medicine used sage to heal digestive and menstrual problems as well as muscular spasms. Modern research is helping to confirm these theories on the health benefits of the sage herb.

This aromatic plant not only adds flavor but also contributes in its own way to a robust lifestyle. Given below are a few points that explain sage health benefits:

  • Free radicals are unstable molecules that speed up the aging process, cause tissue damage and are thought to be responsible for diseases like cancer. Antioxidants help to obstruct these free radicals and prevent major health implications. Sage contains essential oils and flavanoids that have antioxidant properties and can help cleanse the body of free radicals.
  • Studies indicate that sage can help to boost memory and alertness. It is said to contain compounds that are similar to medicines used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. However, the body of research proving these properties is small. Further tests need to be carried out to back these findings.
  • Sage contains essential oils that help to fight out infections. It provides a favorable environment for hair growth. Herbalists recommend applying sage topically to the affected areas of the scalp. It is also used as treatment for graying hair.
  • Essential oils in sage are responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to calm an inflamed throat and can provide relief for a painful swelling.
  • The sage herb can reduce problems associated with the menstrual cycle in women such as cramps as well as menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
  • This herb is also known for its antimicrobial properties and is often used to treat fungal infections in traditional medicine.
  • In addition to all the healing properties above, modern research is investigating the role sage can play to resolve diabetes.

Medicinal uses

Contemporary studies are helping to prove many age-old theories about the benefits of sage. Today, supplements are easily available like sage capsules as well as dried and powdered forms of the herb. The essential oil extracted from sage is used to prevent hair loss, provide relief from menstrual cramps and boost memory. Sage tea is another variant of the herb that is rich in antioxidants and an aromatic remedy for aging.

Side effects

Sage has many beneficial properties but can be harmful for certain groups of people if taken in large quantities. Here is a list of the possible side effects:

  • Sage can be unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. This is because it can cause changes in the uterus, which is unsafe for expecting mothers. It can also dry up breast milk.
  • Sage contains a compound called thujone that can influence the nervous system and cause a rapid heart rate, restlessness and dizziness. Consuming large quantities of concentrated sage oil can be dangerous and can lead to even kidney damage. Therefore, it is wise to consult a specialist and have moderate doses of the herb in its concentrated form.
  • Sage can bring about allergic reactions for some people, and hence, it is always better to do a spot test before using it topically. Consult an aroma therapist for internal consumption.
  • Sage can also interact with certain medications. Consult your doctor to get a qualified opinion.

Here are a few links that provide handy information on sage and its various benefits:

Submitted on January 16, 2014