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Originally published September 21 2010

Live Naturally with Herbs: Healing Properties of Sage

by Katherine East

(NaturalNews) Salvia officinalis is a valuable, ancient medicinal herb. It is useful for both cooking and for its broad range of health benefits. Also known as culinary sage, common sage or garden sage, this sturdy mauve-flowered perennial should have a place in every herb garden.

Historical Uses

In the 10th century, Arab physicians used fresh sage in boiled water for boosting brain power. They sweetened the tonic with honey and called the drink "in good health" which is the meaning of the Latin name Salvia officinalis.

For centuries Sage has been used to treat respiratory ailments. The monks in the Middle Ages made a syrup with honey, sage and apple vinegar for coughs, colds, sore throats and bronchitis - their most popular medication. The ancient Chinese were known to trade three cases of their fine black tea for one case of dried sage leaves from Holland. They used it as a preservative, a medicine and a deodorant.

Sage lozenges made with honey and beeswax were used for the treatment of Tuberculosis. These helped alleviate coughing bouts, especially if hot water with lemon juice was sipped at the same time.

Other popular uses include the preserving of meat. Meat and poultry packed with sage leaves and salt or vinegar fetched good prices and became a lucrative trade.

Modern Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits

Modern medical research validates those ancient uses with findings that the oils and tannins in Sage contain the compounds thujone and rosmarinic acid. These have astringent, antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal properties as well as being anti-hidrotic (reduces perspiration). They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Sage tea with honey and lemon juice or honey and apple cider vinegar is still considered to be an excellent gargle for tonsillitis, sore throats and laryngitis - and is even used by opera singers who have strained their voices.

Sage lotion is an excellent beauty aid for clearing oily problem skin and tightening and toning pores.

Through the centuries sage tea has been taken for clear thinking, brain stimulation, retaining facts and dispelling brain fog. Promising study results have shown that Sage may have memory boosting properties and be beneficial to Alzheimer's sufferers.

1 and a half cups of fresh sage leaves and sage sprigs
1 litre of water
10 cloves and 2 star anise stars.

Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often, and then cool. Strain, pour into a sterilised bottle and cork well. Use as a splash or a refreshing spray, or dab and cleanse the skin with a pad of cotton wool soaked in it.

Make a tea by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over a quarter cup of fresh sage leaves and sprigs. Stand for 5 minutes, strain, and flavour with a touch of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice.

This tea has shown to be antimicrobial and anti-hidrotic (which means that it can help stop heavy perspiration). There are some reports that sage tea has blood sugar-lowering effects, but it should not be taken continuously. Drink one cup of sage tea once a day for 10 days only, then give it a 3 - 4-day break, and then resume.

****Always use medicinal herbs under the guidance of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.****


2. Illustrated Book Of Herbs - New Holland Publishers LTD

About the author

Katherine Oosthuis is completing a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy. She researches and writes for a health and nutrition website Detox For Life . Her passion is to make research available to those who are looking to improve their well-being and revolutionise their health through better nutrition and alternative medicines.

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