Sage is best known for the flavor it gives to our Thanksgiving turkey and the wonderful dressing served with it, but there is so much more to Sage.
Sage has been used for both for food and medicine by many cultures around the world including the American Indians. The American Indians use white sage to purify their homes. These cultures used it to season and preserve their food, for their health, and by their spiritual medicine men. Science has proven what these cultures learned by hundreds of years of use.
Sage means “safe” or “cure” referencing the healing power of Sage. The French during the 19th century were well known for using sage for health ailments and in modern France as well. It was considered an important barter and trade product by traders.
In Germany today, Sage is state licensed as a standardized tea to treat gastrointestinal complaints and night sweats. The tea is also approved as a topical rinse or gargle for inflammations. Sage is used in prepared German medicines for mouth and throat problems as well. Germany is the strictest country in the world regarding herb use. Herb use is regulated by drug companies and the German government. You can bet if Germany is using it as approved medicine it works. The German Commission E confirms the antibacterial, fungistatic, virustatic, astringent, secretion-promoting, and perspiration-inhibiting properties of Sage.
In the UK and other cultures, Sage is used to treat menopausal hot flashes.
In 2005, the School of Public Health at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane performed a controlled trial with sage and alfalfa. The study showed this combination reduced menopausal hot flushes by 60 percent compared to the placebo group.
Sage has been used by women in many different cultures to dry up milk production when weaning their babies. Sage should not be used in pregnancy or in mothers who are nursing because of its affect on milk production and the uterus
The United States Pharmacopoeia lists the infusion of sage to be used as a gargle for mouth ulcers and sore throats. Sage has an astringent effect on loose and bleeding gums, and gingivitis.
Sage contains essential oils which have anti-fungal medicinal properties. Sage has been shown to be anti-microbial and anti-bacterial as well. Cultures used sage tea to treat bacterial infections of the intestines, urethra, eyes, throat, ears and nose. It was used to treat skin wounds, sores, ulcers, and surgical cuts and wounds.
Some cultures historically used it for intestinal spasms, stomach inflammation, and to relieve other anti-inflammatory conditions
There have been several European studies that showed patients receiving the essential oil of Sage had significantly improved recent recall over the control group of patients. It has been shown to improve Alzheimer’s memory in some control studies as well
How To Make Sage Tea: Add one tablespoon dried Sage to two cups boiling water. Remove from heat- do not boil tea. Sage is a bitter teas so add honey to sweeten it. Other cultures used Sage as a hot decoction or infusion to aid the body is getting rid of cold and flu bacteria and viruses. It acts as a diaphoretic.
Sage Infusion: Use 1tsp of dry leaves or 3 tsp of fresh leaf to ½ cup water. Steep the mixture for 30 minutes. Use one tablespoon a dose, using up to one cup of liquid per day. An infusion is much more concentrated than tea. Sage used as a cold infusion acts as an astringent to stop diarrhea and decrease sweating.
Sage is meant to be for short term use. It is not a tea to drink for pleasure but for a medical purpose. Sage can have some toxic effects and when used in the wrong concentration. It is advised that you work with a holistic physician when using sage for medicinal purposes internally.
The American Botanical Data Bases on sage including The German E Commissions, Herb-Clip, and Herbal Gram of which I am a professional member.
American Botanical Society, Herb-Clip, October 15, 2004, Sage Used to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease