Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a common herb that is grown in home gardens and often used to season poultry dishes.
The herb is a member of the mint family and is packed with a variety of health-benefiting nutrients and compounds.
In addition to being grown in home gardens for appearance and fragrance, and used in culinary applications, sage is also used to improve health, as a cleansing agent and for smudging.
The benefits of sage are many and the herb is well-deserving of a place in your home garden and kitchen pantry.
Read on to discover some of the many benefits for health and longevity that sage has to offer.
Nutrients in Sage
Sage contains protein, vitamins K, B6, C & E, iron, calcium, manganese, zinc, copper, fiber and only 2 calories per fresh sprig or teaspoon of dried sage.
This same amount provides the recommended amount of daily vitamin K also.
All these vitamins, nutrients, compounds and trace minerals packed into a tiny amount of sage improves health from head to toe.
This herb is also packed with antioxidants that fight against free radicals within the body.
Healthline reports that sage contains 160 distinct polyphenols that act as powerful antioxidants in the body.
The powerful antioxidants in sage include caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and ellagic acid, all of which are known to reduce the risk of cancer, improve brain function, lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
Free radicals are unstable atoms in the body and their only job is to cause damage to cells, DNA and protein.
This damage leads to the degenerative process we call aging.
The more free radicals in the body, the faster the aging process occurs, which includes all degenerative diseases that are age-related and cause death.
Antioxidants fight off free radicals so the aging process, including all diseases, is delayed and in some cases, age-related diseases and disorders never occur.
Health Benefits of Sage
Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia
The powerful antioxidants in sage have been shown to protect the brain from damaging free radicals and help prevent or delay the onset of age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The herb also stops the breakdown of the chemical messenger acetylcholine (ACH) which is a known precursor of memory loss and brain function.
One study conducted on patients who had been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s showed they performed better on tests that measured memory, problem-solving, reasoning and other cognitive abilities after taking sage extract for a few months.
Age of the study participants had no effect on the outcome but an unexpected health benefiting side-effect was discovered.
In addition to improving the cognitive function of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, study participants who were healthy and did not have Alzheimer’s or dementia showed an improvement in their mood and were more alert.
A low dose of sage extract every day improved memory and higher daily doses improved mood, increased alertness and gave a sense of calmness and contentedness.
Lowers Blood Sugar
A study conducted by NIH revealed that sage tea has a similar effect on the body as the widely prescribed diabetes medication Metformin.
Sage leaf extract lowers blood sugar and reduces insulin sensitivity and will improve longevity by helping diabetics control their blood sugar level naturally.
Improves Bone Health
Vitamin K is essential for building and maintaining strong bones. Not enough vitamin K in the body leads to bones becoming weak and easily broken.
One of the leading causes of loss of mobility in an aging person is a fall that results in a bone fracture.
Weak, fragile bones typically never recover from a fracture and can shorten the lifespan by causing the patient to be inactive.
Studies show that sage extract suppresses the growth of tumor cells that are associated with mouth, colon, liver, cervix, breast, skin and kidney cancers.
Not only are the tumor cells suppressed so that these types of cancers are prevented, but patients who have already been diagnosed with these cancers experienced cancer cell death and tumor reduction when given a sage extract.
Improves Oral Health
A study conducted by NIH discovered that the microbial activity in sage-based mouthwash is effective at killing the bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay.
It is also useful in treating abscessed teeth, mouth ulcers, infected gums, and sore throat.
Reduces Menopause Symptoms
Several unpleasant symptoms accompany menopause, including hot flashes, excessive sweating, and irritability.
There are compounds in sage that are similar to estrogen and the herb can help reduce menopausal symptoms. (1)
Keeps Skin Youthful
Skin is the biggest organ of the body but is often neglected. The compounds in sage help to keep skin more youthful by reducing wrinkles and signs of skin damage.
Sage can help reduce the number of brown age spots and instances of skin cancer.
One study shows the herb can help reverse the collective damage done by sun exposure. Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer and sage can help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
Helps End Diarrhea
Fresh sage has been used for centuries as an anti-diarrheal medication.
The herb is natural and won’t cause drug interaction like many over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications can cause.
Sage will stop the digestive issue without causing constipation too. (2)
How To Use Sage
With all the health benefits and increased lifespan that the use of sage has to offer, it’s needful to find a way to incorporate it into our daily diet.
One convenient and tasty way many people use the herb is by making sage tea.
You can make it with dried sage leaves from plants grown in your home garden and dried, or you can purchase sage tea bags or loose leaves.
Use at least one teaspoon full of dried sage leaves per cup of hot water to derive all the health benefits. Add a little honey and lemon for flavor if desired.
Sage can be used fresh or dried and added to tomato sauce, sprinkled on poultry, mixed with egg recipes, used as a garnish or combined with butter for a savory spread for fresh bread or roasted vegetables.
Sage is also a natural cleansing agent and is found in personal hygiene products and products used for cleaning the home.
This herb is easy to grow as a potted plant in your kitchen windowsill or an outdoor garden.
It can help improve your health and increase your lifespan and will only cost a few pennies per day to use.