A native of the Mediterranean region, sage provides a strong flavor to recipes as well as fiber and many vitamins for the body. You can use sage when you want to reduce your sodium intake. Instead of adding salt to your recipes, add a little sage and it will still impart an exciting flavor to your culinary efforts, without the sodium.
Sage is a member of the mint family, along with other members which include rosemary, thyme and basil. Although most chefs use sage for its pungent flavor without too much consideration for its many health benefits, this herb is an excellent source of Vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid and B vitamins.
The gray-green leaves of the sage plant are edible and the plants also sprout edible flowers which range from blue and purple, to white and pink.
The Health Benefits of Sage
Throughout the years, sage has been used for medical ailments such as gastrointestinal disorders and some mental disorders.
You can even make a refreshing drink from the sage leaves – sometimes called “thinker’s tea” – which is said to help relieve depression.
Anti-oxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties
Sage provides anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory elements which can help prevent or treat several medical problems.
A mere gram of sage provides many health benefits.
- In recent studies, it was found that sage may help treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease and improve memory in others.
- One study found that sage had anti-inflammatory properties which helped reduce gingival fibroblasts, a type of cell within the tissues of the gums, which can be a precursor to dental problems.
- Sage can help lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
- Sage helps fight free radical damage, inflammation and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
Use Sage Essential Oil for Aches and Pains
Essential oils from sage can be used for rheumatism and muscle aches. The next time you have a massage try using a little sage essential oil on your sore or tired muscles.
Adding Sage to Your Diet
If you would like to add this healthy little herb to your diet, you can add fresh or dried sage to pork dishes or try them with poultry and cheese. You can also make a sage dressing for your Thanksgiving turkey each year.
You may want to try some sage soaps or use sage extracts for their aroma. This way, the aromatherapy benefits to your mental health, (which sage is known for) will be obtained effortlessly as you go about your daily routine.
Sage supplements are also available if you want to obtain the health benefits of consuming this herb, however, growing some in your garden and picking it fresh is always best!
You can purchase the sage herb in three forms – fresh, ground or rubbed.
- Rubbed sage resembles powder – light and very soft.
- Fresh sage can be used when you really want to bring out the pungent taste of the herb.
- If you can’t find fresh sage, try ground sage which has been stored in a glass jar and in a dark and cool place.
You can also purchase sage essential oil for use in aromatherapy. Experience the health benefits of sage by using it in any form that suits you!