Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, or common sage) is a perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times as an ornamental garden plant. The common name "sage" is also used for a number of related and unrelated species.
Common sage is grown in parts of Europe for distillation of an essential oil, though other species, such as Salvia fruticosa may also be harvested and distilled with it.
In Britain sage has for generations been listed as one of the essential herbs, along with parsley, rosemary and thyme. It has a savoury, slightly peppery flavor.
Uses and Health Benefits of Sage:
It appears in many European cuisines, notably Italian, Balkan and Middle Eastern cookery. In British and American cooking, it is traditionally served as sage and onion stuffing, an accompaniment to roast turkey or chicken at Christmas or Thanksgiving Day. Other dishes include pork casserole, Sage Derby cheese and Lincolnshire sausages. Despite the common use of traditional and available herbs in French cuisine, sage never found favour there.
In the traditional Austrian medicine Salvia officinalis herb has been used internally for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and skin.
Salvia and "sage" are derived from the Latin salvere (to save), referring to the healing properties long attributed to the various Salvia species.
It has been recommended at one time or another for virtually every ailment by various herbals. Modern evidence shows possible uses as an antisweating agent, antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and tonic.
In a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial, sage was found to be effective in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
The strongest active constituents of sage are within its essential oil, which contains cineole, borneol, and thujone. Sage leaf contains tannic acid, oleic acid, ursonic acid, ursolic acid, cornsole, cornsolic acid, fumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, niacin, nicotinamide, flavones, flavonoid glycosides, and estrogenic substances.
Investigations have taken place into using sage as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease patients. Sage leaf extract may be effective and safe in the treatment of hyperlipidemia.
Thujone is GABA and Serotonin receptor antagonist. It enhances concentration, attention span and quickens the senses; hence sage infusion has long been recognized as "thinker's tea." Its effects help deal with grief and depression.
Three lobe sage composes flavone called salvigenin. Research studies found that vascular relaxant effect of salvigenin may offer benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
This herb is exceptionally very rich source of several B-complex groups of vitamins, such as folic acid, thiamin, pyridoxine and riboflavin many times higher than the recommended daily levels.
The herb contains very good amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene levels. 100 g dry ground herb provides 5900 IU; about 196% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for eye-sight. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A known to help the body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fresh sage leaves are a good source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin C; contain 32.4 or 54% of RDA. Vitamin C helps in the synthesis of structural proteins like collagen. Adequate levels in the body help maintain integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
Sage herb parts, whether fresh or dried, are rich sources of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
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