Sage is a small green perennial plant native to Mediterranean region. This simple herb bestows numerous health and beauty benefits upon us. The herb is used in cooking for imparting taste and aroma to the dishes. It is rich in vitamin A, calcium, phytoestrogens, magnesium, etc. Not only this, the herb is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial which makes it potent enough to deliver health benefits. Due to all these properties, it has a long history associated with medicines. A tea made by sage leaves is beneficial in treating brain, nervous and stomach disorders. On reading the sage tea benefits mentioned below, you would be tempted to include the herb in your diet.
Health Benefits of Sage Tea
1. Treats Diabetes
Sage is an herbal plant that is beneficial in curing diabetes. Sage leave extract has hypoglycemic properties that lower blood glucose level (2). It reduces cholesterol and triglycerides levels in type 2 diabetes. Sage possesses the ability to enhance the insulin activity in patients suffering from diabetes. Sage has a similar effect on the body as compared to Metformin, a drug used for diabetes.
Note: Sage contains thujone, a chemical that can be hazardous in large quantities. Excessive drinking of sage tea has potential dangers associated with it. So, it’s better to consult a doctor before consuming too much of it.
2. Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent
The anti-inflammatory property associated with sage makes it an active ingredient in many of the medicines. It is used for the treatment of the gastrointestinal disorder (3). The anti-inflammatory nature is confirmed by the University of Vienna too. Its tea is gargled to get rid of any infections. Sage is used in medicines meant for the treatment of mouth and throat inflammation. German Commission suggests the application of sage for treating mucous membranes of mouth and throat. GI tract absorbs the rosmarinic acid present in the sage tea and alters the concentration of inflammatory messaging molecules like leukotriene B4.
3. Prevents Excessive Sweating
Excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis in which too much sweating occurs on hands, armpits and face (4). It basically occurs due to the sweat gland disorder. Going by the recent German study, dry leaf extract or a concoction made by sage leaves reduces sweating by 50%. Along with that, it lessens the body odor and dries sweating.
4. Cures Indigestion and Dyspepsia
Sage has been found to be effective in treating mild gastrointestinal problems and dyspepsia. It is a great tonic for treating frailty of stomach and weak digestive system. The herb stimulates upper digestive secretions like bile flow, pancreatic function and intestinal mobility removing the symptoms of indigestion. Sage consists of tannins, plant compounds that bind and precipitate the proteins (5). Drinking tea will bind the proteins in the stomach on a temporary basis. This creates a barrier and avoids the stomach wall in getting in contact with any irritants. In this way, it cures diarrhea and heals other digestive disorders like bloating and gas.
5. Heals Sore Throat
Sage tea can be used for the treatment of a sore throat caused by acute inflammation of pharyngitis (6). Sage also helps relieve one from cough and cold (7). To get rid of tonsils boil a pinch of dried sage leaves with 100ml of water and infuse for a minimum of 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and add some honey to sweeten it. Gargle with the concoction twice in a day to get relief from the ailment.
6. Maintains Dental Health
Owing to the antibacterial properties, sage leaves can be used as a mouthwash for the treatment of a sore throat, infections, and canker gums. If canker gums are something that gives you a tough time, freeze the concoction in the form of ice cubes and have one of them to soothe and alleviate cankers. Sage leaves can be rubbed every day on teeth for whitening (8).
7. Helpful in Asthma Treatment
The antispasmodic nature of the sage leaves cures asthma as it alleviates spasms in the respiratory tract. In asthma airways, the tubes through which air is carried into and out of the lungs get inflamed (9). The steam released from the sage tea, when inhaled, cures the respiratory disorder. The process provides relief from inflammation arising in the lungs and throat. It is good for removing mucous congestion and prevents secondary infections.
8. Neurological Benefits
Regular consumption of sage leaves improves memory and concentration power. It is particularly beneficial for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It sharpens the mind and memory (10) by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AchE) that breaks one of the brain’s chemical messengers, acetylcholine. Palsy is a disease in which uncontrolled body movements occur. Sage leaves dipped in wine can be applied on the skin to treat palsy.
- Alternatively, sage baths are good in treating the muscles and cramps associated with palsy (11).
9. Favorable for Women
Sage tea benefits women in menopause. The tea consists of an astringent called tannin. Its estrogenic effect is useful for women who wish to dry up their breast milk or get relief from the painful symptoms of PMS and menopause (12).
Note: People suffering from estrogen-dependent tumors like breast or ovarian cancer should not use sage.
10. Treatment of Depression
Ups and downs are the parts of life. To feel low sometimes is very natural but some people experience the anxiety and feel low consistently, developing into depression. Sage contains thujone which is GABA and Serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonist (13). Along with improving the concentration and attention span, a cup of sage tea helps uplift the mood and prevents depression and grief from overpowering us.
11. Remedy for Cellulite
Cellulite refers to the deposition of fat under the surface of your skin. It is caused by small lumps of fat into the dermis (14). As the fat gets inside the dermis, it makes skin look bumpy. Sage leaves increase the blood circulation. The circulation of blood is in direct proportion to the detoxification level. When the toxins are discarded out of the body, cellulite reduces. Regular consumption of the Sage essential oil helps prevent cellulite recurrence.
12. Acts as a Laxative
Laxatives are the compounds that ease the passing of stool and cure constipation. A concoction of honey and sage tea works as an effective laxative (15). Sage essential oil stimulates the intestines and promotes secretion of certain fluids.
13. Cancer Prevention
According to a study carried out by the Journal of agricultural and food chemistry (June 2010 issue), the presence of phenolic compounds makes the herb a great antioxidant which protects DNA from getting damaged in colon and shields other cells. Rosmarinic acid found in sage inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells and kills them at early stages (16).
14. Keeps Liver Healthy
According to a study carried out by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, sage exhibits antioxidant properties (17) that keep the liver in a good state. Sage tea shields the lipids in the liver against damage from the toxins. According to a report published by “Chemico Biological Interactions”, sage extract does not let glutathione get depleted which is an important antioxidant.
15. Increases Appetite
Regular consumption of sage tea increases appetite. This makes it a good remedy for people suffering from anorexia. Certain components of the herb influence the neuron receptors in our body that have an impact on altering our diet (18).
Note: Sage may interfere with certain anti-diabetic drugs and anticonvulsants.
16. Sage Tea for Weight Loss
Sage can help you get the perfect shape as it aids in weight loss. Being a diuretic and antioxidant, it eliminates toxins from the body and boosts the metabolic process. This promotes the rapid burning of more calories. Along with this sage contains carnosic acid, that plays a vital role in reducing weight (19).
17. Takes Care of Eyes
Sage is packed with beta carotene and vitamin K that increase the circulation and reduce dark circles under eyes (20). The tea reduces swelling while repairing the tissues. Including sage tea in your diet cures cataracts and promotes eye health. Boil some sage leaves in water for a few minutes. Let the concoction cool down. Dip a soft cotton cloth in it and release the excess liquid by squeezing. Apply the cloth over your eyes for 5 minutes. Repeat the procedure twice a day.
- Or, drinking sage tea also benefits in removing eye bags and the puffiness beneath the eyes.
18. Good for Heart Health
Sage contains calcium and phosphorous in good quantities. Both the minerals are essential for the functioning of the cardiovascular system and for sustaining normal heart beat. The herb contains a low concentration of sodium (21) and is devoid of cholesterol that has a negative effect on the heart. People having cholesterol problems must use sage tea for heart health.
19. Reduces Muscle Spasms
The antispasmodic property of sage reduces muscle tension in your body. Sage contains high amounts of magnesium, the deficiency of which causes muscle spasms, cramps, stiffness and ache (22). As sage contains good amount of magnesium, it works great to heal cramps and spasms caused by it.
Beauty Benefits of Sage Tea
20. Works an Anti-Aging Agent
The presence of antioxidants in sage helps reverse the signs of aging (23) (24). Free radicals damage the skin and lead to premature aging. The antioxidants are the best at counteracting them. Sage also contains calcium and vitamin A, that promotes cell regeneration and delays the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.
21. Tones Oily Skin
Sage oil acts as a great toner by keeping a check on sebum production in oily skin. Higher levels of sebum can result in the inflammatory process, interaction with neuropeptides. The proliferation of Propionibacterium acne and other skin diseases (25). A homemade toner can be prepared by boiling a tablespoon of sage in 250 ml of water. Strain the mixture and dab it on the face using a cotton ball.
22. Cures Skin Problems
Sage is antibacterial and anti fungal by nature. These properties protect the skin against any kind of infections. Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of the herb (26) cure acne and other skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema.
23. Makes Hair Shinier
Sage tea works as an effective rinse making your hair shinier and lustrous (27). Boil a teaspoon of dried sage leaves with a cup of water to prepare the tea. Rinse with the concoction to get shiny hair. Sage being an astringent, is effective in removing dandruff from the scalp.
24. Stimulates Hair Growth and Prevents Hair Fall
With so much pollution and shampoo loaded with chemicals, it is very common to lose hair. Sage tea benefits hair and is effective in getting rid of hair fall due to the presence of 5-alpha reductase that is found to be effective in treating baldness in men. Mix 3-4 drops of sage essential oil with equal amount of rosemary and peppermint essential oils. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and massage in your scalp twice a week for good results. Practicing this remedy regularly will result in hair growth and cure scalp infections (28).
- Apart from that, sage with a combination of rosemary works great in making your hair stronger, shinier and thicker. Sage improves circulation in the scalp allowing more of nutrients to reach the hair follicles. To make a rinse for hair growth boil rosemary and sage in water. This herbal rinse upgrades the quality of hair and revives dry and frizzy hair. Regular application of this rinse will increase the thickness and shine of hair. It clears the clogged hair follicles.
25. Darkens Hair
Sage helps darken the hair color making them look more attractive and voluminous. A rinse with an infusion of fresh sage reduces gray hair and darkens the original color. Be it brown or black (29).
Sage herb can be used for preparing a lotion which, when rubbed on hair improves their texture and makes them more manageable. Combine a handful of sage leaves with rosemary leaves and boil them in 6 oz of water. Simmer for 3 minutes. Let the mixture stay as it is for 3 hours. Massage your hair with this mixture in a circular fashion.
Those who are pregnant must consult a physicist before opting for Sage, as it may cause uterine contractions or dizziness.