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Sage: A Wise and Useful Herb


You may not realize it, but you are using sage every day. It is the ingredient in deodorant products! What is sage? What are other health benefits of sage? Here are some answers.

Sage is a plant with leaves which leave a lasting impression. Surely you have seen food TV shows extolling the virtues and the exquisite aroma of sage. Well, it 

happens to be true. Used mostly in cuisine, sage does have medicinal qualities. It has been used to aid in swelling; sprains; ulcers, and bleeding. Utilized in tea, sage helps with sore throats and coughs. Sage has been promoted by herbalists in the treatment of rheumatism, menstrual bleeding, improving the nervous system, and honing oneís senses. Used for thousands of years, this is considered to be one effective herb.

Medicinally, sage treats inflammation of the mouth and gums. Studies also reveal that the ingredient in sage oil may act as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral treatments. Most notably, however, sage does reduce perspiration. Thus, its efficacy has been utilized in most deodorants. Known to have compounds which help kill bacteria, sage can function in the treatment of gingivitis; canker sores; bleeding gums; tonsillitis and, laryngitis. Recommendations to soothe sore throats and laryngitis include gargling with sage by boiling it in water; strain after ten minutes, and let it become tepid. Tea sage can also be used as a mouthwash. To make sage tea, use one to two teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of boiling water; steep for ten minutes; then strain. 

Sage also increased brain function. A combination of sage, rosemary and ginkgo biloba may also prevent or slow down the onset of Alzheimerís disease. Sage has long been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders. It relaxes muscle spasms in the digestive tract, and has been used in the treatment of indigestion. It also reduces blood sugar levels in individuals who have diabetes. 

Although sage is available in liquid form, you can easily grow it in your herbal garden. Because it is a perennial, you will have the luxury of using this plantís medicinal properties year after year. Very few side effects have been reported from the consumption of sage leaves; however, sage should be used in medicinal amounts only in consultation with your doctor. Let your doctor know if you experience any unpleasant effects or if the symptoms for which the herb is being used do not improve significantly in two weeks.

For culinary benefits, use sage to stuff chicken and turkey. Sage also pairs well with cheese. Freshly chopped sage complements potato dishes as well as split-pea and bean soups, and should be added near the end of cooking so as not to give too strong a taste.


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