Sage, known by various names - common sage, garden sage, kitchen sage, true sage, culinary sage, golden sage, scarlet sage, meadow sage, Dalmatian sage, and broadleaf sage is not only a beautiful ornamental plant but also one of the essential herbs that comes with bountiful health benefits.
Botanically known as Salvia officinalis, sage is a small woody shrub, evergreen and perennial in nature and belongs to the mint family. It has greyish-green leaves and distinct bluish-purple flowers and is native to the Mediterranean region. The wild variety of sage often has white or pink flowers but, it is mostly cultivated in two colours i.e. purple-flowered sage and red-flowered sage.
5 Easy Ways to use sage
In a decoction
Sage can be enjoyed as a decoction. Take one teaspoon of dried herb in a mug of hot water. Steep it with a cover over the mug to preserve the volatile oils in the liquid. Drink and breathe in the essential oils deeply to loosen lung tightness, ease a sore throat, and promote sweating.
In a steam bath
Sage makes good steam, to loosen chest congestion. Place a large handful of sage leaves in a heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water over the leaves in the bowl. Let the water cool slightly so it’s not too hot to breathe. Cover your head and breathe in the steam. (Children and the elderly should be supervised during steam inhalation. It can burn if the steam is too hot.)
In the bathtub
Enjoy sage in the bath. Stuff a large cloth tea bag full of sage leaves. 2 ounces of fresh leaves or one ounce of dried leaves will fill a 2 x 4-inch muslin bag. (Yes, I weighed them.) Place the bag in a bathtub full of hot water. Let the sage soak in the tub to release the steam.
In a foot bath
When you are feeling awful with a head cold, and you don’t want to move off the couch, having a hot foot bath with sage tea and Dead Sea salts in the water can help. Fill a portable tub or foot bath with hot tap water. Add a handful of Dead Sea salts to the water. Lay a cloth 2 x 4 muslin bag with 2 ounces of fresh sage leaves or 1 ounce of dried sage leaves in the water. Soak your feet for 20 minutes with a warm towel around your shoulders to hold in the warmth.
Amazing Benefits Of Sage
Improves Cognitive Functioning:
Sage is an ancient and traditional remedy to increase the functioning of brain. The potent antioxidants present in sage improves the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Several types of research conclude that people taking sage regularly, have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities. Hence, it can be considered as a brain booster and is extremely beneficial in treating psychotic conditions and ailments like Alzheimer’s disease.
Boosts Immunity and Prevents Infections
The potent anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of sage help to evade infections and acts as a protective shield by strengthening the body’s immune system. It prevents sore throat, cough and cold symptoms and treats different types of fungal, bacterial and viral infections. When used as a gargle, it also treats gum infections and treats gingivitis and bleeding gums. Powder of the leaves is also useful to strengthen the teeth and gums.
Strengthens Bones and Muscles
Being an excellent source of vitamin K, sage plays a key role in the natural growth and remodelling of bones. It promotes bone health, reduces the risk of fracture, maintains overall body balance and provides the body with a strong and perfect skeletal structure.
It is also important in getting strong muscles. A by-product of Vitamin D helps in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Thus, providing strength and supporting the skeletal frame of the body.
Nourishes The Skin
Sage is a powerful antioxidant and thus helps to reduce free radical damage in the body. The anti-microbial property of sage helps in getting rid of various skin infections like pimples, zits, acne, and eczema. By stopping UV damage, it also prevents several signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, and spots. It also reduces the risk of skin cancer.
The active ingredients in sage are extremely effective in managing diabetes. It inhibits the release of sugar into the blood and increases the insulin levels in the body. It potently converts starch into energy and reduces the symptoms of diabetes such as frequent urination and thrusting.
An infusion of sage leaves if drank regularly is extremely effective in bringing down your blood sugar levels.
It is extremely necessary to consult with an ayurvedic doctor or medical practitioner before taking this medicine. The normal effective dosage depends upon the severity, type, age of the individual.
It is safer to use sage if consumed in cuisine or in a proper measured therapeutic dosage. But overdosage of this herb in any form be it tablet; infusion or tonic is strongly discouraged for pregnant women and lactating mothers as it may cause miscarriage during pregnancy or reduce milk production in breast-feeding women.
Sage is an extremely powerful plant that has memory-boosting properties. The host of essential vitamins and minerals makes it highly significant in boosting immunity, strengthening bones, evading infections and managing diabetes. Under proper consultation, it can be used as a medicament or simply enjoyed in the various delicacies.
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