In the culinary world, sage is used to season meats and flavor soups. It is one of the essential herbs everyone should have in their kitchen, along with basil, rosemary, and thyme. Others use sage for alternative medicine and spiritual and superstitious purposes. Many also use the herb to clear their workspace of any negativity and to attract positivity and productivity.
However, the benefits of sage go beyond taste, fragrance, aesthetics, and supposedly magical properties. If you are curious about the benefits of sage for your wellbeing, here are seven of them.
Helps Fight Diseases
Sage is famous not just for the flavor profile it adds to your dishes. Did you know you can also add it in plain water to get a healthy dose of nutrients? Adding a teaspoon of ground sage into your dishes or infused water already gives you these compounds: iron, vitamin B6, vitamin K, manganese, and calcium. These compounds help decrease inflammation risks, blood sugar levels, and diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
Sage is also rich in antioxidants that help flush out toxins and eliminate free radicals that may induce various illnesses. Your sage-seasoned steak or soup may also help you have better blood flow and lower risks of allergies.
Helps Purify the Air
While sage is often used as a food ingredient, many prefer to use its dried bunches and burn it as an incense. Due to its health-beneficial properties, burning dried sage in your home may help purify the air and eliminate allergens, pollutants, and infectious microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. People living in condominiums in Quezon City or Manila should consider burning sage to cleanse the air in the homes and reduce the risks of spreading the coronavirus with each other. Doing so may also help eliminate traces of COVID-19 and its new strains.
Aids in Meditation
Besides cleansing the air, people burn sage for meditation purposes. Many believe that the smoke also dispels negative energy and spirits that may disrupt their wellbeing. Burning sage, also known as smudging, is also said to drive away evil spirits that may haunt your home or workplace.
If you are looking for a spiritual remedy, smudging might be a great alternative. Traditional healers believe that the fragrant smoke may help you connect with your spirituality, inner being, and the universe. Meditating with sage may get you started on a stress-free and more productive work week.
Improves Oral Health
The antimicrobial properties of sage also help neutralize microorganisms in your mouth that cause bad breath. Drinking or eating sage may also help target bacteria that promote plaque formation. If you have kids, you may introduce sage into their gargle water to reduce cavities and promote healthier and stronger teeth.
A study in 2015 shows that drinking sage tea or gargling with it soothes throat infections, mouth ulcers, canker sores, inflamed gums, and burnt spots in your mouth. With sage, not only will you have fresh breath, but you will also have a healthier and cleaner mouth.
Boosts Skin Healing
The healing characteristic of sage also makes the herb an ingredient in topical creams, ointments, and skincare products. Research shows that camphor, an essential compound in sage, promotes healthy skin-cell growth and decreases wrinkle and crease formations. Two other properties in sage are carnosol and carnosic acid. These two compounds help heal sunburn damage, sores, wounds, and skin peeling.
You might want to consider getting skincare products with sage as an ingredient to gain more youthful-looking skin and heal swelling pimples. A sage-infused sunscreen may also help protect your skin from aging faster due to sun exposure.
Boosts Brain Health
Sage is widely used as an alternative medicine to promote brain health. The antioxidants in sage are also helpful in reducing the risks of dementia. One study in 2003 shows that the compounds in sage halt the breakdown of acetylcholine (ACH). This chemical messenger plays an integral role in memory. Alzheimer’s patients are found to have low levels of ACH. Taking food supplements with sage, adapting healthy diets, and engaging in regular brain activities may help counter Alzheimer’s disease among elderly people.
The same antioxidants in sage also help in improving memory and cognitive function. According to a study in 2008, twenty volunteers aged 65 and up were given four doses of sage extracts for seven days. Results show that the volunteers had a significant enhancement of their memory performance during the testing period. Perhaps drinking sage tea may help you focus and have a better memory of the tasks that you need to do for work.
Enhances Cardiovascular Health
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are some of the world’s most common lifestyle diseases. A research journal by Stanford University reveals that cardiovascular diseases account for 20% of deaths in the Philippines. The study also shows that 1 in 6 Filipinos and 1 in 3 Filipino-Americans is affected by CVD.
Suppose you want to reduce your risks of getting heart-related diseases. In that case, adding sage to your diet may help you counter risks for CVD. One study shows that drinking sage tea in four weeks resulted in a 16% decrease in bad cholesterol levels among six women aged 40 to 50. The same survey also revealed that the participants had a 38% increase in their good cholesterol levels.
Another study in 2016 involving 105 Type 2 Diabetes patients on cholesterol-lowering medication found that those who took 500 mg of sage extract thrice a day had healthier triglyceride levels than those who didn’t. Triglycerides are a type of fat in your body stored in fat cells, later released by hormones for energy. While triglycerides are good, having too much in your blood can increase your risk for heart-related diseases.
As a whole, sage isn’t just a flavorful herb or a tool for spirituality and meditation. This powerful herb offers health benefits, with these seven being the most well-known. For you and your household, assess which form of sage works well for your health plans and get started with your wellness path.