Don't let the name of common sage or garden sage fool you; this perennial woody herb is anything but normal or average when it comes to its impact on human health. Scientifically known as Salvia officinalis, sage is closely related to rosemary, and they are often considered sister herbs. In fact, many health benefits are derived from rosmarinic Acid
, the organic compound found in rosemary that makes it so powerful. Sage does have its differences, and is actually an evergreen shrub with woody stems and blue/purple flowers that is found in the Mediterranean region.
The traditional use of sage in medicine is well-documented and stretches back thousands of years. It was initially used for the treatment of snakebite, protecting against evil, boosting female fertility, and other uses that are no longer en vogue or relied on.
However, modern research has discovered that the impact of sage on the human body can be considerable, which is why sage is widely exported around the world and makes it into recipes from the United States to the Middle East.
Typically, sage is added to savory dishes due to its slightly peppery flavor, and is a key ingredient in many holiday meals and meat-based preparations. The combination of these culinary uses with its undeniable medicinal impact makes sage very valuable for human health. With that in mind, let's take a more in-depth look at the health benefits of sage.
Health Benefits of Sage
Cognitive Boost: Research has shown that even small amounts of sage, whether smelled or consumed, can increase recall abilities and Memory
retention in subjects. The brain activity also demonstrates increased Concentration
and focus on a chosen topic, which means that for young people in school or for those in challenging, intellectually demanding careers, adding a bit of sage to your diet may be a subtle, but effective brain booster.
Issues: Chewing on sage leaves is not always the most pleasant remedy, as the flavor can be quite intense, but this may be the most effective way to get the organic compounds acting in your system the fastest. Creating a tincture or steeping leaves can also due the trick, but if you suffer from inflammatory issues, particularly in the Respiratory
al tracts, you can eliminate that Inflammation
with this sage brew. The Anti-inflammatory
qualities of sage extend to health issues such as Arthritis
, as well as general Inflammation
of the CardioVascular
system, which can result in Heart
disease and increased Blood Pressure
. The flavonoids and phenolic compounds found in sage are responsible for these beneficial effects.
Impact: Chronic conditions and degenerative diseases can be some of the most debilitating and dangerous health concerns that you face in your life. Many of these health issues are caused by free radicals, the dangerous by products of cellular metabolism that attack healthy cells, causing apoptosis or mutation. Antioxidant
compounds found in sage, such as rosmarinic Acid
, luteolin, and apigenin, can all work to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from creating oxidative Stress
in the Heart
, organ systems, Skin
, joints, Muscle
s, and even the brain.
Cognitive Disorders: As mentioned above, sage does have the ability to stimulate brain function to improve Memory
; however, it also works to eliminate cognitive disorders that may arise, including Alzheimer
's and Dementia
. Although research into these applications is still in the relatively early stages, it is exciting to see real strides being taken with herbal alternatives to pharmaceutical treatment. The neural pathways stimulated by the extracts and essential oils of sage can keep the mind fresh and youthful well into your older ages.
System Strength: There are some Antimicrobial
properties that have been identified in sage, and while sage is usually consumed in relatively small quantities, you can create a topical application of sage (salve or tincture) and use it to prevent Bacteria
l and viral Infection
s that attack the body through the Skin
. We often think of illness entering through our Nose
or mouth, but the Skin
can also be compromised and be used as a gateway for foreign agents. A topical cream or AntiBacteria
l routine that includes sage could be an extra line of defense against that sort of illness vector.
Bone Strength: One of the most overlooked benefits of sage is actually its superior level of Vitamin K
, an essential vitamin for the body that isn't found in many common foods. Vitamin K
is a crucial element in developing bone density and ensuring the integrity of our Bones
as we age. If you suffer from early signs of Osteoporosis
or have lived a rather nutrient-poor, sedentary lifestyle, your bone health is likely low. Adding sage leaves to your diet can increase your Vitamin K
levels significantly, as a single service has 27% of your daily recommended intake.
Conditions: A topical salve can be created using sage leaves or a tincture of the plant that has been shown to be effective against certain Skin
conditions, including Eczema
, and Acne
. These unsightly blemishes can be quickly soothed and their appearance can be reduced gradually if you regularly apply sage extracts and salves to the inflamed or affected area.
Management: There may be some debate about the efficacy of sage on certain health conditions explained above, but when it comes to Diabetes
, there is widespread agreement. Sage contains certain extracts and chemicals that mimic the drugs typically prescribed for managing Diabetes
. Sage appears to regulate and inhibit the release of stored glucose in the Liver
, preventing major fluctuations of Blood Sugar
, which can help to prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes
, or at least manage the condition if it has already manifested.
: The rosmarinic Acid
found in sage acts as an Anti-inflammatory
agent in many parts of the body, even in the Stomach
, where it prevents gastric Spasms
and can significantly lower the occurrence of Diarrhea
for patients suffering from the uncomfortable and embarrassing conditions. Adding sage to your meals can get your entire Digestive
process back on track and reduce Inflammation
throughout the gut.
A Final Word of Warning: Although there is not a measurable amount of oxalates or purines, nor is sage considered a typically allergenic herb, it is still in the mint family, so those who suffer from allergic reactions to members of that broad plant family should still consult a doctor before adding sage to your dietary or supplementation regimen.