Medicinal sage (Salvia officinalis) is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean area that propounds a number of health benefits for the body.
An old saying in the area goes “When sage grows in the garden, no need for a doctor!”
- Gardening: how to grow sage
Health benefits of sage
Sage has been on the forefront of therapy ever since the Pharaohs used it for food to flavor their many meals and for medicine, too. Since it can heal a great number of ailments, sage is often paired today with other plants in the preparation of syrups, decoctions, herbal teas and lotions.
- An invigorating tonic, sage herbal tea (0.7 oz (20 g) for 1 quart (1 liter) boiling water) has a beneficial impact on the digestive tract. It treats lack of appetite, abdominal pain and difficult digestion.
- A nervous tonic, it stimulates adrenal glands, and sage is recommended in case of depressive inclination and asthenia. It is prescribed in case of exhaustion and when recovering from diseases or operations. It also soothes vertigo and hypotension.
- Sage is an excellent sweat control agent. It is the most effective plant to help fight excessive sweating and regulate it. It especially soothes nocturnal sweating often experienced with extended bouts of fever.
- As a hormonal stimulant, sage helps regulate menstrual cycles and alleviates menstrual pain. It reduces the impact of troubles connected to menopause (vertigo, bursts of heat, etc…) After having given birth, sage helps menstruation reappear.
- Sage is recommended for diabetic persons thanks to its hypoglycemic properties.
- Sage also exerts an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity which is very effective against canker sores and ulceration in the mouth and gums. Taken as a gargling, it is an excellent remedy for throat ailments, pharyngitis and smoker’s cough.
- Take note thought, that precisely because of these many therapeutic properties, this plant must be ingested in moderate amounts. Essential oil extracted from sage can be toxic for the nervous system because of its thujone contents. It is also not recommended in case of pregnancy because of its eventual abortive effects.
- Sage ointments applied during a massage tend to reduce sciatic pain and muscle pain. You can also benefit from this relaxing effect by putting a few handfuls of sage leaves in hot bath water.
- Gargling a sage decoction (3.5 oz (100 g) leaves for 1 quart (1 liter) water) treats canker sores, small mouth and gum inflammations and toothaches.
- When applied directly on the skin, fresh sage leaves remove the itch from insect bites and animal bites thanks to their astringent and antiseptic properties. They also help the wounds to heal faster.
Growing sage for its health benefits
- Sage requires warm and full sun exposure. It grows in light, deep, sandy and even poor soil.
- Planted next to your roses, sage will protect them from diseases. Sage repels cabbage moth as well, so plant some in your ranks of brassicas.
- In pots about 8 inches (20 cm) deep, sage will grow just fine, as long as you remember to water regularly, especially in case of hot weather.
- Gardening: all the tips on how to grow sage
Cooking sage for its health benefits
Sage brings out the taste of vegetables, especially tomatoes and potatoes, and it also does the same with veal, pork, poultry and fish.
- Sage makes thick, heavy dishes more digestible.