Salvia officinalis, or commonly known as sage, is a herb originating from Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It’s a small, evergreen, perennial plant which has been used in traditional medicine and cuisine for centuries. Sage oil is extracted by distillation from its dried leaves and sage leaves are used to make excellent tea.
Sage has many medicinal properties. It is a stimulant, a diuretic and an expectorant, it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and also serves as an appetite enhancer. Following is more information about health benefits sage tea provides.
Sage is rich in antioxidants, substances which inhibit activity of free radicals, which are responsible for aging and may cause cancer and heart disease. Therefore, sage is a good cancer prevention remedy. If you already suffer from cancer, drinking sage tea may help slow cancer’s spreading.
A study involving infusion of sage tea in mice and monitoring its effects on their liver cells suggests sage may be useful as a food supplement in preventing type 2 diabetes by lowering the blood glucose level.
It is also said that sage tea stimulates production of insulin which is very important for people suffering from diabetes. While sage tea is certainly not a cure, it can prove to be an adequate supplement and ally in the fight against it.
After at least four weeks of regular sage tea consumption, LDL aka bad cholesterol level in the body will become lower.
While some claim applying a mixture of sage tea and apple cider vinegar to the scalp promotes hair growth, this claim still doesn’t have solid scientific backup.
Sage is thought to reduce milk supply in breastfeeding mothers, so it’s often recommended to women who have an oversupply of milk or are attempting to wean their infant off breastfeeding.
While there’s not enough scientific evidence of it yet, sage tea is thought to maintain liver health. Studies done on animals and laboratory cell cultures have shown that administering sage tea instead of water lead to 24 percent increase in amount of antioxidants in the liver after 14 days and prevented depletion of glutathione, an important liver antioxidant, by 62 percent.
A study conducted on women who volunteered has shown that sage tea reduces menopausal hot flashes. Participants were given sage leaf supplement once a day for eight weeks. After four weeks, a fifty percent decline in intensity of hot flashes was recorded. After eight weeks, a 64 percent decline was recorded, together with severe hot flashes being eliminated altogether.
Frequency of hot flashes also decreased significantly through the study. Other symptoms of menopause, including psychological and urinary symptoms, also decreased.
Sage tea is believed to have a soothing effect and reduce anxiety and stress in easily irritated people. Regular consumption leads to improved alertness and calmness. Drinking a quick cup of sage tea will help with headaches too.
Sage can help with a number of skin issues. Drinking sage tea helps with excessive sweating. Washing your hair with it will relieve dry hair and dry scalp. Applying it to skin will help with itching, swelling and stinging caused by insect bites.
Sage tea is an excellent antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent. Drinking sage tea can help to alleviate dental infections such as abscesses and infected gums. Nose, throat, and ear infections can all benefit from its use and infected cuts or scratches can see marked improvements as a result of drinking the tea.
It also helps with toxin removal. This all leads to overall improvement of functions of kidneys, liver, urinary and digestive tracts, and basically functions of all other organs and systems susceptible to these types of infections.
Drinking sage tea has anti-spasmodic effect on the respiratory tract. The steam that pervades from it can be inhaled to help reduce tension in the muscles of the respiratory system. This will help open nasal passages and relax muscles on the way from mouth and nose towards lungs.
It will also alleviate asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest.
Regular consumption of sage tea over a prolonged period of time is believed to improve learning, memory and information processing in people in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
An extract mixture of Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia comes highly recommended for this purpose. While it may take even longer than four months for it to show results, it can prove to be useful nonetheless.
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Side effects and considerations
Sage is generally safe in small amounts and in short periods of usage, whether is it by skin application or ingestion. However, prolonged use or use in high doses can be very dangerous. Some species contain a chemical called thujone, which is poisonous in large quantities. It causes seizures and damage to kidneys and liver.
Sage tea may cause uterine contractions, seizures, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and lower blood sugar level. Therefore, you should be very careful if you are pregnant, suffer from diabetes or a heart condition. Consult your doctor before implementing drinking sage tea in your daily routine.