Sage is an herbal shrub that grows widely throughout the world, although its more common species originated in the Mediterranean. In modern times, sage is valued primarily for its culinary and ornamental uses; however, sage has a long history as a plant with medicinal value.
According to a Nation Institute of Health (NIH) article from 2013, the anti-inflammatory powers of sage stand up to the rigors of scientific investigation. Based on Austrian folk medicine, which has used sage for centuries, sage extract/oil can be beneficial in combating inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, and atherosclerosis (thickening of artery walls). These benefits can also improve overall health, which can be compromised by long-term inflammation. In a related use, sage is also a natural antioxidant.
Based on ongoing research, sage is showing promise as a potential treatment for the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative condition involving the memory and brain function. Recent research has shown that sage has a measurable effect on the neurochemicals associated with mood and cognitive performance, especially memory, in ways that may help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. This is especially good news because so many proposed treatments of the disease do not produce good results. Sage also seems to reduce emotional agitation in patients as well. For those without Alzheimer’s, sage can still provide a cognitive boost.
3. High Cholesterol
Studies have shown that drinking sage tea can reduce cholesterol and improve the drinker’s overall lipid profile. High cholesterol, especially bad LDL cholesterol, can lead to a variety of other health conditions, including heart disease, putting people at risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. Cholesterol can seldom be controlled by diet alone, leaving many people on long-term medications. Sage is a potential natural alternative to these pharmacological remedies and requires no prescription.
4. Antibiotic, Anti-fungal, and Antiviral
Sage has long been recognized as having a beneficial effect in treating bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This is widely supported in modern day research. Sage is best used in treating infections of the throat, tonsils, and upper respiratory system, but also may provide relief for infections of the mouth and stomach. With the overuse of antibiotics becoming a serious health crisis, it is good to know that natural remedies are available. Sage may also help boost the immune system, plus this benefit may be enjoyed simply by adding the herb to cuisine.
Sage has a lot more uses than just these four listed above. It is one of the most versatile and healthy herbs available with uses yet to be discovered or else long forgotten and awaiting rediscovery by modern medicine and herbalists.