Sage, a wonder herb!
Sage, the well-known culinary herb famously used in stuffing for chicken is a bit of a dark horse, unknown to some, it is wonderful as a medicinal herb, and in fact it has one of the broadest ranges of medicinal applications of all the herbs, sharing many with the members of the mint family.
Amongst the most well-known conditions that sage is useful for healing are coughs, laryngitis and tonsillitis, throat conditions, respiratory infections and congestion, sage has drying qualities and therefore helps with reducing mucus, this ability to dry also has a beneficial effect on conditions such as fever where a sage tea can be helpful, night sweats and urinary problems as well as helping reduce every day excessive sweating and excessive salivation associated with conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease. Nursing mothers have been known to use sage to help dry up their milk from lactation and some women report sage as being useful during the menopause as sage contains natural estrogens.
Sage is very beneficial to the digestive system, and acts as an appetite stimulant so it can be very useful for encouraging the intake of food following illness, due to the way sage stimulates the digestive tract and processes, indigestion is limited and it is also said to have a beneficial effect on the liver, helping it to cleanse the system of toxins more efficiently. Internally sage is incredibly effective, not only in the ways just mentioned but it also helps cleanse the blood thus having a beneficial effect on the whole body and all the organs.
Naturally antiseptic, sage can be used to treat injuries, a wash of infused sage leaves makes an effective cleanser for dirty wounds and its pain relieving properties help reduce the sting of a cut, sage is also used for treating jellyfish stings, some spider bites and insect stings! The leaves of sage (especially purple sage) applied to an aching tooth will often relieve the pain, and it is excellent as a tooth cleaner, just rub the top side of a leaf over the tooth to remove stains and strengthen the teeth and gums, as an added bonus it freshens the mouth and breath at the same time.
Sage is such a ‘wonder-herb’ that doctors and health professionals are discovering new things about its abilities all the time. Recently scientists have found anti-aging compounds in sage, and it is now known to have the power to improve memory. Cosmetically, sage has been used as a skin beautifying treatment for hundreds of years, it was used to darken the hair by applying it to the scalp and washes of a sage infusion are used to clear the skin of oil and residues.
As with all herbal remedies, caution must be observed, check with a doctor or herbalist before using sage as it can be quite powerful for some conditions. Sage is a uterine stimulant, so it should not be used at all as a treatment during pregnancy or to people who have epilepsy.