Sage is an herb that has not only been used as a flavoring but also used for medicinal and health purposes. Interestingly Salvia officinalis is the scientific name for sage and its Latin origin translates into English meaning “to be saved”. Many years ago sage was one ingredient that was included in a mix of herbs that were combined in the preventing of the plague, used in the treatment of fevers, used in a tea form to calm people so they could fall asleep and has been continued to be considered as being a remedy for various types of diseases.
Sage Tea Nutrition
Sage contains a wealth of nutrients and vitamins. Contains Calcium, Copper, Folic Acid, Iron, Thiamin, Vitamins A, C and K, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin and Zinc. Sage contains many antioxidants, including apigenin, diosmetin and luteolin.
One teaspoonful of ground sage still contains several powerful nutrients, including:
- 2 calories
- 3 milligrams (mg) of magnesium
- 1 mg of phosphorus
- 7 mg of potassium
- 2 micrograms (mcg) of folate
- 24 mcg of beta-carotene
- 41 international units (IU) of vitamin A
- 12 mcg of vitamin K
Sage also contains numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that might be beneficial to health. These compounds include:
- bornyl acetate
While further study is needed to confirm the actions of these compounds, many have already demonstrated positive effects on the body and its systems.
Benefits of Sage Tea
1. Alzheimer’s Treatment
Research shows that sage extract may help improve the cognitive function and possibly reduce the agitation of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Other studies have shown that sage can also improve memory in young, healthy adults.
More research is required, as most studies have been carried out on two species of sage, Salvia officinalis (S. officinalis) and S. lavandulaefolia.
2. Help Reduce High Cholesterol Levels
Research shows that sage extract may help reduce the amount of triglyceride and bad cholesterols in your body while increasing your good cholesterol levels.
Having high cholesterol, especially high LDL cholesterol, can lead to heart disease. Sage can boost your body’s HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind) while simultaneously decreasing the less desirable LDL cholesterol. This helps prevent the build-up of plaque in blood vessels that can lead to heart disease or stroke. The use of sage extract or sage leaf tea in combination with a plant-based diet may help reduce risk factors associated with heart disease.
3. Promotes Oral Health
Sage is one of the most popular herbs in dentistry, as it targets pain, inflammation, and bad breath, as well as exerts antibacterial and wound-healing properties.
In fact, gargling sage tea is often recommended as a remedy for mouth wounds and sore throats.
These oral benefits are often attributed to the powerful antioxidant rosmarinic acid.
Furthermore, sage is added to some mouthwashes because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity.
4. Antioxidant Effects
Sage has a number of powerful antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, as well as a number of antioxidant enzymes. All of these seek out and neutralize free radicals before they can cause oxidative stress, mutation, and apoptosis in the body. This can help prevent and mitigate the severity of chronic diseases and premature aging, among many other things.
5. May Have Anticancer Properties
There is some evidence that sage tea may help fight cancer cells.
It contains several anticancer compounds, including carnosol, camphor, and rosmarinic acid. In particular, animal and test-tube studies reveal that carnosol can kill several types of cancer cells without affecting healthy cells.
In a study in over 500 people, sage and chamomile teas were linked to a decreased risk of thyroid cancer.
Meanwhile, in a test-tube study, sage tea helped prevent genetic changes that cause colon cancer cell formation.
Although these results are promising, more human research is necessary.
What is Sage Tea?
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is an evergreen plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family. This is the same family as lavender (Lavandula), mint (Mentha), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) among others.
This plant originally flourished in the Mediterranean region. From there, it has since spread throughout the majority of the world. However, it generally prefers warmer climates with dry soils. Common locations to find it include meadows and fields.
Sage consists of a woody stem that can reach 2 feet (0.6 metres) in height. Its leaves are usually 2.5 inches (6.35 centimetres) long, and 1 inch (2.54 centimetres) wide, and are oblong in shape and greyish-green in colour.
Every year (usually late spring to early summer) it develops white, purple, pink or, most commonly, lavender-coloured flowers. These flowers contain both male (stamens) and female (pistil) reproductive organs.
Interestingly, the Latin name for sage is “Salvia”, which derives from the word “salvare”, meaning “to save”. This alone alludes to Sage Tea benefits. When brewed, Sage Leaf Tea is easily recognised by its bold, herbaceous aroma and smooth mellowness.
Side Effects of Sage Tea
Certain types of sage contain different levels of chemicals, including thujone, which can result in liver and kidney damage, as well as seizures, if consumed in excess quantities. While side effects from sage tea are rare, it is important to be aware of possible complications.
- Blood Pressure: Due to the hypotensive nature of sage, if you are already taking medication, there is a risk of your blood pressure dropping too low. This can result in and is very dangerous if you are undergoing surgery.
- Blood Sugar: Sage tea is often prescribed to lower blood sugar levels and regulate symptoms in diabetic patients. This can interact poorly with other medications set to lower blood sugar, resulting in .
- Seizures: The chemical thujone can cause seizures when consumed in high quantities. Thus, if you suffer from a seizure-related illness, such as epilepsy, sage tea may not be the best herbal tea choice.
- Hormone Imbalance: As this tea can affect hormonal balance, and have estrogen-like effects on the body, certain cancers can be worsened by excess estrogen. Therefore, speak with your oncologist before adding this herbal remedy to your diet.
- Kidney or Liver Condition: Avoid use if you have pre-existing liver or kidney weakness, as the tea may worsen the condition.