Sage Herb

Sage Herb Benefits The sage herb, a member of the mint family, is known for imparting several health benefits and is also used in culinary purposes. The use of this medicinal herb goes back thousands of years.
Sage or salvia officinalis, is a herb of the mint family and is also known as the garden meadow. The silvery green colored plant is a native of Mediterranean regions and has been in use for thousands of years for several purposes. For ancient Egyptians, it was the herb of fertility. The Latin word salvia, stands for 'to heal', to represent the medicinal properties of the sage.

Advantages of Sage

It is perhaps, one of the oldest herbs used by mankind for both culinary and medicinal purposes. For its peppery flavor and pleasant aroma, it is used as a flavoring agent in foods. It also facilitates the digestion of heavy foods like those rich in fat and protein. In addition to this, it has been in use for alleviating a number of health related problems like sprains, swelling, ulcers, bleeding, etc.

The main active chemicals found in sage oil are alpha and
beta thujones, camphor, rosmarinic acid, tannins, flavonoids
and cineole, are responsible for most of the health benefits of this herb. Many studies conducted in this regard have indicated that it may have antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Besides these, the herb also has astringent, stimulant, diuretic, expectorant, memory boosting, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, sage herb is beneficial in curing cut and wounds, sprains, ulcers and joint pain. As it is a good expectorant, it can be used in expelling excess mucus from the respiratory tract. So it can provide relief in conditions like cough and congestion of the respiratory tract.

In addition to this, it is an herbal remedy for cold, flu, laryngitis, throat infection, sinusitis, tonsillitis, etc. Even today, the tender branch of the plant is used in many parts of India as herbal toothbrushes. It cleans the oral cavity and teeth and strengthens the gums, for which it is widely used in many herbal toothpastes. Many European countries also use this herb as a gargle, for both sore throats and inflammation of the mouth and gums. It is an ingredient in many natural mouthwashes, as it is believed that the tannins found in it are helpful in destroying bacteria.

Like rosemary, another member of the mint family, it is also known for boosting memory, as it can prevent the depletion of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is required for the smooth operation of the brain functions. It is rich in flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant properties, and can protect your body from the harmful effect of free radicals. Its astringent properties render it quite useful in conditions like loose or bleeding gums, excessive salivation, diarrhea and excessive sweating.

It has estrogenic biochemicals, for which it is very effective in relieving menopausal symptoms like night sweating, insomnia, hot flushes, headaches, dizziness and palpitations. It is also widely used for facilitating menstrual bleeding. Besides this, it can reduce the nervous excitement produced by brain diseases and can stimulate appetite in dyspepsia. In addition to all these, this excellent herb is also beneficial in curing liver disorders, typhoid, fever, haematemesis (vomiting blood) and paralysis.

However, this herb should not be taken internally by pregnant women, nursing mothers and epileptic patients. Some concerns have also been expressed by many, on the regular internal use of this herb, as it contains alpha and beta thujones, a large amount of which is associated with convulsions, confusion and a slight increase in heart rate. Therefore, it is advisable to take the advice of a professional in this regard. However, the external application of this herb is quite safe as no major side effects have been discovered till now.

Written by: Chandramita Bora for