For everything from mouth sores to menopause, sage is the herbal remedy of choice for many people. Those who stay away from pharmaceuticals as much as possible for their well-being, swear by the medicinal properties of sage. The leaves of the herb can be used in culinary ways too.
What is Sage?
Sage, also known as salvia officinalis, originally found growing in the Mediterranean region, the most common varieties grow in some parts of North America, as well. It is a silver-green plant with fragrant leaves. It’s been used for thousands of years for many purposes related to food preparation and medical treatments. The plant has been helpful in treating ulcers, bleeding, sprains, and swelling.
Usage & Benefits
Used as a tea, sage it is helpful for sore throats and coughs. Herbalists address other issues with the use of sage tea for rheumatism, menstrual bleeding, strengthening of the nervous system, memory improvement, and sharpening of the senses. The tea version can also be helpful with digestive problems and flatulence. You can find more health benefits here.
Sage oil contains chemical substances such as alpha and beta thujone, camphor, and cineole, plus rosmarinic acid, tannins, and flavonoids. Europeans, even today, use sage medicinally as a gargle for sore throats and other inflammations of the mouth and gums, including gingivitis. In clinical studies, sage has been found to be antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. It’s properties explain much of the medicinal value of sage.
Germans use sage as a common cure for upset stomach and excessive sweating. The English like it for menopausal symptoms. Because the oils and tannins in sage have amazing astringent and antiseptic properties, making it into a tea and using it for medical purposes makes good common sense.
In addition to all the above, sage is reported to be a moisture-drying agent, and is sometimes used as an antiperspirant. It can serve as a compress for cuts and wounds. According to some clinical studies, it can also lower blood sugar for diabetics. And as an astringent, sage makes a great after-shave for men. An added benefit – it may be able to subtly color silver hair.
Main Benefits of Sage Tea for Health
Based upon the use of the herb of the same name, sage tea has a number of advantages, including many that can help provide relief from a range of medical and psychological conditions, many of which are described below.
Because of the acerbic and antiseptic qualities of sage, it is able to act as a healing and protective balm and is often used as an aide for sore throats and other mouth problems, such as ulcers and gum disease. Additionally, it can be beneficial in the treatment of colds and flu, as it helps to soothe the symptoms and therefore aids the recovery process.
Secretions and body fluids
Used either as a cold or hot drink, sage tea has an impact upon the body’s fluids and secretions, such as excessive sweating, which includes the ‘night sweats’ condition that many people suffer from. When taken cold it reduces the flow of fluids, which is stated to be beneficial for reducing sweating. Similarly, when taken cold, it can increase the flow of body fluids, which can be helpful in the treatment for delayed periods.
Those who have digestive problems are also often recommended sage tea as it helps to stimulate the digestive juices, control flatulence and therefore has a settling and positive effect upon appetite. In addition, it has remedial uses for people who are suffering from diarrhea.
More recently, researchers have discovered that this particular herb can be of assistance to those who have blood disorders, particularly in respect of circulation. Consumption of sage tea for those who have these heart related problems can therefore be beneficial for the sufferer.
For women going through the menopause it has been found that sage tea can help to reduce the hot flushes that occur during this period of their live, and it can also help to relieve the stress and feelings of depressions that often occur during the change cycle.
Mental and psychological relaxation & Health
Because of the stimulating properties of sage, in tea form it also acts as a tonic and therefore can help to combat a number of mental and psychological conditions. For example, it stimulates the nervous system and, as a result, is useful in reducing the symptoms of stress, tiredness and depression as well as aiding sleep and helping the user to relax.
Furthermore, these qualities also serve to improve brain functions and scientists believe that, in this respect, it might have an impact upon the onset of later age diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Despite the above-mentioned benefits of sage tea, it is also important to caution that the tea should not be taken by people who have certain conditions and allergies. For example, it should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding a child. The same applies to those who suffer from seizures, for example epilepsy, and those who have allergic reactions to herbs within the mint family.
Like many other herbs, sage can be beneficial to health and, in view of the fact it is a natural remedy, is a better option for many ailments and mental and nervous conditions than many prescription and OTC medications. Providing one does not fall into the category of people that could find it harmful, it is therefore worth considering sage tea as a healthy alternative drink. However, it is always advisable to consult your medical practitioner to ensure that you are not one of the people that could suffer an adverse reaction to the sage herb.
How to Use
Sage tea is commonly sold in tea bags for convenience. Water should be brought to a full boil before pouring it over a tea bag. Steeping should take place in a covered pot – one bag to one cup of water – for three to seven minutes. Brewing time is a matter of preference for weaker or stronger tea. Some people like it with lemon – a complementary flavor – and others use it with sugar. Again, this is a matter of personal preference. It can also be made into a refreshing iced tea! Double the strength of the tea then, because you will be adding water and ice.
The tea is a drink that does it all – everything from a refreshing drink to a home remedy for any number of ailments. Overall, it is a good all-around herb to have on hand, in both the leaf form and the tea bag version. If you can’t find it locally, you can get it via the Internet.
Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the use of sage tea, and they recommend you seek advice from your medical doctor before using it. It is wise to talk to your doctor before using any herbal supplements, as they may interact with some of the prescription medications you may also be taking.