Sage

Benefits of sage

SageWhile the herb might not be as common as some other herbs, it definitely provides unique health benefits. One of the most important benefits is the ability to improve the functioning of the brain, as well as the influence on hair structure. This article will address the history of sage and the various health benefits it provides. The last part of the article will give some tips on how to store the herb.

Description

If you are not yet adding sage to your dishes, it is absolutely recommended to do so. The herb does not only have a soft and savory flavor, but for thousands of year the herb has been used for its health-promoting properties. The fact that the herb helps in improving health is reflected in its scientific name. The scientific name of the herb is Salvia officinalis. This term is derived from the Latin term salvere, which translates into to be saved. The leaves of the herb have a green color, which have a bit of a grey color to them as well. The covering of the bloom has more of a silver color. Moreover, the leaves are lance-shaped. The leaves clearly show the veins running through it. The herb is commonly sold in both dried and fresh form. It can also be purchased in powder form, or it being lightly ground. Also, the herb is often compared to rosemary. They are usually considered to be sister herbs, both because of their similar appearance as well as their flavor. It is also said that many of the health  benefits which are provided by safe are derived from rosmarinic acid. This is the compound present in rosemary which gives it a powerful flavor and smell.

History

Sage was originally found in the countries which are surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The herb has been used and consumed for over thousands of years by different communities. It is said that the herb has one of the longest histories as a medicinal herb. Sage played an important role among Greek and Roman communities. They highly prizes the herb for its healing properties. The Romans actually considered the herb to be sacred and went on special gatherings to collect the herb. Both the Romans and the Greeks used the herb as a means to conserve meat. While this was particularly the case during Roman times, this practice continued until refrigerators were introduced. While recent studies have confirmed the terpene antioxidants of the herb which help in reducing spoilage, the Romans and Greeks were the first to use the herb as a preservation method. The use of sage continued throughout history. In the 10th century, the herb became more popular among Arab physicians. They believed that the herb promotes immortality and they therefore added it to their meals. A few centuries later, the herb became popular among Europeans. Europeans used the herb as a means of protection against witchcraft. The herb also became more popular in Asia. In China, for example, the herb was used to make delicious sage tea around the 17th century. This tea is still consumed today.

Health benefits

As mentioned earlier, one of the main health benefits of sage is the fact that it can provide a cognitive boost. Research has indicated that consuming, or smelling, small amounts of sage can increase memory retention as well as increase the abilities to recall certain activities. Moreover, people who consume sage more regularly have also shown increased levels of concentration and are able to focus well on a particular topic. Thus, this means that the herb can be particularly beneficial to students or those who have intellectually demanding jobs. Another health benefits of sage is its influence on reducing inflammations. While the taste of the herb can be experiences to be rather intense, it might be the most effective way to get the effective properties of the herb into your system. It is also possible to create steeping leaves, but if you are experiencing inflammatory issues in your gastrointestinal tract, it is recommended to eliminate this inflammation by consuming safe directly. Inflammatory issues are, however, not limited to the gastrointestinal tract. People also experience health issues such as arthritis or gout, which are rather general inflammations. Sage can also help to reduce the health effects of these inflammations. Recent studies have also shown that the health benefits of sage are not limited to stimulating the functioning of the brain and reducing inflammations. Scientists found that sage can also help to eliminate cognitive disorders which could eventually lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s. In order to confirm these results, further research needs to be conducted. However, it is very interesting to see that herbal alternatives might prove to be more effective in the future compared to pharmaceutical treatment.


Hair benefits of sage

Sage has also been proven to be beneficial for hair. One of the effects it has on hair is that it can help to treat hair loss. The herb has been used for many years as a means to combat baldness and hair loss. The effective compound in sage which is responsible for this effect is the 5-apha reductase compound. This compound has been found to be effective in treating baldness among men. It is recommended to combine sage with rosemary and peppermint oil, and dilute it with a spoon of olive oil. Use the mixture to massage your scalp twice a day for a period of two to three weeks and you will start to notice a difference if you experience hair loss. Sage is also said to contribute to shiny hair. If you want to give your hair a nice treatment, boil a spoon of dried sage leaves in a cup of water. Continue to wash your hair with the mixture and let it set for about half an hour. Continue to rinse your hair and you will notice that your hair is more shiny. In case you want to make your hair stronger, it is also recommended to use sage as part of your treatment. Thus, the herb does not only make your hair thicker and shinier, but it also makes it stronger. By washing your hair with a mixture of rosemary and sage oils, your hair follicles will be provided with more nutrition. If you repeat this treatment regularly, your hair will become thicker and healthier. It is recommended to repeat the treatment daily for a period of two weeks to maintain the effects. Due to the many health benefits it provides, the herb is also often used in shampoos, conditioners and lotions. Thus, when buying hair products, it is recommended to purchase those which include sage.

Side effects

While the herb is safe to use and provides many health benefits, there are a few side effects to sage. The herb is safe when it is consumed in foods as well as when it is applied to the skin in medicinal amounts. However, the herb is considered to be unsafe when consumed in high doses. The compound which is considered to be poisonous when the herb is consumed in high amounts is called thujone. The compound cannot only cause damage to the nervous system, but can also cause seizures and long-lasting damage to the liver. Thus, it is important to consume the herb in small amounts. The herb is also considered to be unsafe for pregnant women. This is also due to the same poisonous compound. Research has shown that the thujone could stimulate menstrual periods which could lead to the woman having a miscarriage. Also, it is also stated that the herb could have an influence on breast-feeding too. The same compound is said to reduce the supply of mother’s milk. People with high blood pressure should also be careful when consuming the herb. It is said that Spanish sage could increase blood pressure among people who are already experiencing high blood pressure. Common sage, on the other hand, is said to decrease blood pressure among people who already experience low blood pressure. Thus, in order to know whether it is safe to consume the herb regularly, make sure to check your blood pressure. Moreover, the herb could also have an influence on blood sugar levels. There is a risk that sage could interfere with these levels during and after one has undergone a surgery. It is therefore recommended to stop consuming and using sage at least two weeks prior to a surgery.

How to select and store

You will be able to find sage in most supermarkets. Most supermarkets sell both fresh herb as well as the dried form. When deciding what to purchase, it is recommended to buy the fresh herb. This is due to the fact that the fresh herb is superior in flavor compared to the dried form of the herb. Also, make sure that the leaves look fresh and do not contain any dark spots. Make sure that the leaves also do not start to turn yellow. If they contain black spots or start to turn yellow, the herb is most likely old and will go bad within a couple of days. When choosing fresh herbs, try and purchase the ones which are organically grown. By choosing organic herbs you will be guaranteed that the herb has not been exposed to pesticides. Exposure to pesticides could lead to a decrease in the vitamin C content of the herb. When storing sage, it is recommended to wrap them in a damp paper towel. Place the paper towel in a closed plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator. In the refrigerator it can be kept for a couple of days. Dried sage, on the other hand, should be kept in a dry and cool place. Once stored properly, the dried herb will be able to last up to six months.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1874x
Added: 24-12-2016 00:17
Last modified: 26-01-2017 14:31

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