Sage, known by various names - common sage, garden sage, kitchen sage, true sage, culinary sage, golden sage, scarlet sage, meadow sage, Dalmatian sage, and broadleaf sage is not only a beautiful ornamental plant but also one of the essential herbs that comes with bountiful health benefits.
Botanically known as Salvia officinalis, sage is a small woody shrub, evergreen and perennial in nature and belongs to the mint family. It has greyish-green leaves and distinct bluish-purple flowers and is native to the Mediterranean region. The wild variety of sage often has white or pink flowers but, it is mostly cultivated in two colours i.e. purple-flowered sage and red-flowered sage.
The strong aroma and bitter-astringic taste of sage are not only popular in several culinary preparations but also, the extensive medicinal properties of this plant have made it extremely beneficial in treating and improving the functioning of the brain, nerves, eyes, and other glands. Apart from this, it is also used for sore throat, headache, dental problems, stomach disorders, skin conditions, fever, joint pain, etc.
The holistic remedies of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Chinese medicines vouch for the effectiveness of this drug in improving cognitive abilities, boosting immunity and strengthening bones.
The strong aroma and distinct taste of sage also make it a wonderful choice for adding a tangy taste to delicacies and also for garnishing or seasoning. Apart from being an additive in cuisines, it is also used in the form of tea, infusions, tonic or capsules to reap the medicinal benefits.
Sage has a myriad of essential nutrients including vitamins like A, B1, B6, C and K. It contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, niacin, thiamine and folate. The buck load of antioxidants, flavonoids and active ingredients like cineole, borneol, and thujone also help in the making of a potent essential oil i.e. Sage oil, which is useful for curbing a host of ailments including neural problems.
Amazing Benefits Of Sage
Improves Cognitive Functioning:
Sage is an ancient and traditional remedy to increase the functioning of brain. The potent antioxidants present in sage improves the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Several types of research conclude that people taking sage regularly, have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities. Hence, it can be considered as a brain booster and is extremely beneficial in treating psychotic conditions and ailments like Alzheimer’s disease.
Also Read: Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate
Boosts Immunity and Prevents Infections
The potent anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of sage help to evade infections and acts as a protective shield by strengthening the body’s immune system. It prevents sore throat, cough and cold symptoms and treats different types of fungal, bacterial and viral infections. When used as a gargle, it also treats gum infections and treats gingivitis and bleeding gums. Powder of the leaves is also useful to strengthen the teeth and gums.
Strengthens Bones and Muscles
Being an excellent source of vitamin K, sage plays a key role in the natural growth and remodelling of bones. It promotes bone health, reduces the risk of fracture, maintains overall body balance and provides the body with a strong and perfect skeletal structure.
It is also important in getting strong muscles. A by-product of Vitamin D helps in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Thus, providing strength and supporting the skeletal frame of the body.
Also Read: Vitamin K – Functions, Food Sources, Deficiencies and Toxicity
Nourishes The Skin
Sage is a powerful antioxidant and thus helps to reduce free radical damage in the body. The anti-microbial property of sage helps in getting rid of various skin infections like pimples, zits, acne, and eczema. By stopping UV damage, it also prevents several signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, and spots. It also reduces the risk of skin cancer.
The active ingredients in sage are extremely effective in managing diabetes. It inhibits the release of sugar into the blood and increases the insulin levels in the body. It potently converts starch into energy and reduces the symptoms of diabetes such as frequent urination and thrusting.
An infusion of sage leaves if drank regularly is extremely effective in bringing down your blood sugar levels.
Also Read: Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Repels Insects And Microbes
Insects, microbes and bugs form the primary cause of several health anomalies. Being carriers of different types of microbial infections, not only do they contaminate food and lead to food poisoning but also cause problems ranging from rashes and itching to fever and infections. Some insects can even lead to lethal infectious diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever, etc. Imbued with potent anti-microbial properties, burning sage offers a cost-effective remedy to purify the air by killing these microbes.
While keeping the windows open, place dried sage leaves on an incense tray, sage burner or a bowl. Light up the leaves and allow it to burn for a few seconds. Blow air into it so that the smoke comes out. Allow the smoke exuding from it to slowly purify the air around you.
Promotes Oral Health
Blessed with potent anti-microbial properties, sage helps in neutralizing microbes that promote dental plaque. Be it in the form of a mouth wash or essential oil, the abundance of germ-killing properties of sage helps in eliminating bad breath and bacteria from the oral cavities and thus prevents swelling, bleeding and other oral problems. It also helps in treating throat infections, bleeding gums, dental abscesses, canker sores or mouth ulcers.
The abundance of the anti-inflammatory agent rosmarinic acid in Sage helps in subduing pain and inflammation if different parts of the body, especially in the stomach. Not only does it effectively prevent gastric spasms but can also help treat conditions like diarrhoea, gastritis, abdominal pain, abdominal distension, etc. It also facilitates the absorption of nutrients from the food and hence incorporating this incredible herb in your diet can help get your digestive process back on track.
It is extremely necessary to consult with an ayurvedic doctor or medical practitioner before taking this medicine. The normal effective dosage depends upon the severity, type, age of the individual.
It is safer to use sage if consumed in cuisine or in a proper measured therapeutic dosage. But overdosage of this herb in any form be it tablet; infusion or tonic is strongly discouraged for pregnant women and lactating mothers as it may cause miscarriage during pregnancy or reduce milk production in breast-feeding women.
Sage is an extremely powerful plant that has memory-boosting properties. The host of essential vitamins and minerals makes it highly significant in boosting immunity, strengthening bones, evading infections and managing diabetes. Under proper consultation, it can be used as a medicament or simply enjoyed in the various delicacies.