At SK-Life Fitness I love teaching my clients about nutrition and giving them new receipes to inspire them into cooking with clean, lean, fresh ingredients using herbs. Today I bought a new sage plant and so I want to tell you all about the history and health benefits of using this beautiful versatile herb.
History of sage
Sage was very popular amongst the ancient Greek and Romans, who as well as using it as a meat preservative, also used it for its medicinal properties.
Sage was revered as a wonder herb that cured all diseases and was even thought to have magical and sacred qualities.
People from all corners of the world, from the ancient Egyptians to the Native Americans, regarded sage with the utmost respect. Over the centuries it has been said that sage could aid conception, treat the plague, protect against witchcraft and spells, enhance the memory and even bestow immortality.
Nutritional value of sage
Sage is low in calories and fat, as are all herbs, and can therefore be added to all meals without having to worry about putting on weight. Sage is a very good source of Vitamin A, calcium, iron and potassium. Vitamin A and calcium are both especially important for maintaining healthy teeth, bones and skin. (For more information on the health benefits of vitamins and minerals.
Health benefits of sage
Sage has been used for hundreds of years to treat all kinds of ailments. It was particularly popular in 19th century French medicine but is still used today by many people who prefer to cure themselves with herbal medicines.
Below is a list describing how sage can be used as a medicine and how it can benefit one’s health.
- It has recently been proven that taking sage can improve and enhance one’s memory.
- Sage contains rosmarinic acid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory within the body.
- Sage is a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from being damaged by oxidation and forming cancerous cells.
- Prepare a little sage tea and use it to gargle with in order to relieve a sore throat and any mouth infections.
- Sage may help people with diabetes.
- Women suffering from excessive sweating due to the menopause should try drinking sage tea several times a day.
- Sage can help to regulate menstruation and is good for all female gynaecological problems.
- Clary sage is said to ease anxiety and relieve stress and depression.
- Sage is said to help with allergies.
- Sage is also a digestive and can aid digestion, particularly the digestion of rich, fatty foods.
- Sage may help ease colds, coughs and excess mucous.
- If gargled it may reduce bad breath.
- Sage has antiseptic properties, which can treat cuts and sores if prepared as a wash.
If used as a hair rinse, it has been said that sage will reduce hair loss and darken the colour.
Storing fresh and dried sage
Sage can be bought cut fresh or dried from your local supermarket. You can grow sage in your garden, although if you live in a cold climate, it will not grow as well as in a warm and sunny country.
Dried sage can keep for about six months but must be stored in an airtight container or glass jar.
Bought cut fresh sage leaves can be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrap them in a damp paper towel to maintain their freshness for as long as possible. They will usually last for three or four days.
Freshly picked sage leaves from your garden will keep for at least a week longer if stored under optimum conditions – wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.