Most of us think of sage as a savory addition to the kitchen spice rack. But now researchers say this herb’s silvery little leaf can help you stay healthy throughout your life by sharpening your memory, preventing heart disease and strengthening your immune system.
Sage has been used for centuries to treat everything from snake bites to cancer, yet we haven’t been very “sage” in our understanding of this wonderful herb. Now science is showing us we need to pay much closer attention to this herb that can do so much to protect our health.
And you needn’t add sage to every meal to benefit from its amazing powers, since it’s available in liquid extract and as a tea at health food stores everywhere. Add a little sage to your life and scientists say this incredibly delicious herb can actually:
Sharpen your memory
British research shows that taking a single dose of a sage extract helps sharpen memory skills—instantly. Subjects who took sage supplements before a test were able to recall a list of vocabulary words 11 times more accurately after just two hours than those who didn’t. Scientists suspect sage’s stores of antioxidant compounds called phenols help improve cholinergic function in the brain, which is connected to memory.
The anti-oxidant properties of sage actually help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which keeps the nerve circuitry of the brain in top working order, keeping your memory work at top efficiency. Sage may also be a safe alternative for elderly patients with memory loss, since many prescription drugs used for Alzheimer’s have serious side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite, plus they have very little effect.
Help you keep your cool
Strong and cooling sage tea can be a woman’s best friend, relieving pre-menopausal symptoms that can start as early as your 30s. Sage’s super cooling effects are credited to an oil called thujone that is great for relieving night sweats and reducing excess perspiration. Sage cools down that “heated up” feeling that comes with hormonal changes within as little as two hours, experts say, and single dose can keep those hot flashes and night sweats at bay for up to two days.
One British study showed women who took sage reported their numbers of hot flashes were cut in half!
Sage can help with excessive perspiration, the kind you get with hot flashes when luteinizing hormones start to fluctuate in perimenopause, causing your vasomotor system, your body’s thermostat, to get out of whack.
Stop bacteria, viruses and fungi cold
Sage’s extraordinarily high concentration of the antioxidant rosmarinic acid (36% of its weight) helps it work as a powerful natural antiseptic and antibiotic. European research shows sage extract is one of the most powerful antimicrobials known, killing 100% of 40 different strains of bacteria and 25 strains of fungi, including E. coli, salmonella and streptococcus bacteria and Candida albicans fungus.
Dutch research has shown it can even kill 70% of the tough-to-defeat Staphylococcus bacteria.
Sage can be a one-stop treatment for a broad range of chronic digestive problems due to candida yeast overgrowth or bacterial infection and unlike antibiotics, sage doesn’t kill off needed friendly intestinal bacteria that actually help keep our immune systems strong.
Using a sage tea gargle for sore throats is a folk remedy that really works! You can also use two drops of essential oil in hot water for the same effect. And, the German Commission E monographs say you can dab the undiluted essential oil directly on a wound as a disinfectant
How to use it
Sage is a safe and mild herb that can do you a world of good. Be sure to use it according to the label instructions. If you’re using the loose tea, the German Commission E recommends up to 9 grams daily taking 1-2 teaspoons brewed in hot water up to three times a day. As a liquid extract, you can take 28 drops in water up to three times a day. The sage essential oil should be used carefully you shouldn’t take more than 2 drops three times a day a day if you’re using it internally.