(NaturalNews) Most likely due to more recently discovered benefits, sage was named "Herb of the Year" in 2001 by the International Herb Association. Its preservative benefits have been known throughout the world for centuries. But now western science has confirmed historically known benefits, which include minimizing the risk of Alzheimer Disease and improving memory.
Commonly used as a culinary herb today, it was highly valued as a preservative with some healing powers around the time of the Roman Empire. The technical name for this herb is Salvia officinalis, and this Latin label is derived from the word salvia, which means to be saved. Sage is a sister herb of rosemary, another herb with many health benefits that are largely unknown by the public. Both herbs are part of the same mint family - Labiatae.
Labiatae herbs all contain volatile oils, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Dr. Ray Sahelian explains, "Phenolic acids are plant metabolites... Recent interest in phenolic acids stems from their potential protective role... against oxidative damage diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancers)." The leaves and stems of sage contain these antioxidant enzymes to protect against free radical oxidative cell damage as well as to provide inflammatory relief from ailments such as arthritis and asthma.
But What About Memory and Alzheimer's?
The Medicinal Plant Research Centre (MPRC) of England recently conducted studies at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities with sage oil herb pills against placebo pills. Those who took the sage performed much better with a word recall test than those who took the placebo. In 1597, herbalist John Gerard proclaimed sage was "singularly good for the head and quickeneth the nerves and memory". The MPRC test results prompted researcher Nicola Tildsley to comment, "This proves how valuable the work by the old herbalists was, and that they shouldn't just be ignored because they were writing centuries ago." Amen to that!
It just so happens that the chemical which boosted their memory is the same one that is found lacking in Alzheimer's Disease victims. It needs to be noted that sister herb rosemary has similar benefits as well.
Professor Peter Houghton of King's College presented data from other research on sage at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in 2003. The research had determined that Salvia miltiorrhiza, known commonly as Danshen or Chinese sage, contains active compounds similar to those developed for modern drugs used to treat Alzheimer's Disease. It's a safe bet that the natural plant based compounds are safer than Big Pharma's synthetic version.
Sage can be purchased as teas extract tinctures. Make sure you get organic non-irradiated sage leaves and twigs only. If you buy bulk sage, you can make your own tincture inexpensively as well. For instructions on making your own tinctures, go to Natural News Elderberry article http://www.naturalnews.com/026354_elderberry... and scroll down to that tincture/extract recipe.
Usually the dried leaves and twigs are sold, but for cooking purposes fresh sage is even better. Just make sure you drop the sage into your sauce or other dish toward the end of its cooking cycle to retain full flavor and nutritional benefits.
Dried sage can be stored in a jar and kept in a dry cool space, while tinctures can last a very long time in the same manner. Fresh sage should be wrapped in a moist paper towel or bag, placed in a loose plastic bag, and stored in your refrigerator.
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com