Sage: Effects, Side Effects And Uses

Are there certain sage effects? Sage is a medicinal plant that has been known for a long time – but what can it actually do and how is it used? With us you can read everything about sage.

Sage has been known for a long time. It is used in various forms. But how exactly does the medicinal plant Salvia work and is it healthy?

Sage Effect: Trusted in application

For some it’s a very welcome taste, for others it’s more like nasty illnesses and bad days. Then you have probably made the acquaintance of sage tea, which many also like to drink just like that.

Or sucked on as candy, which often enough unfolds the desired sage effect. But many also know sage as a herb. After all, the plant goes perfectly with Italian pasta and gives the dish a special touch – thanks to the sage leaves.

Many sage products have the word salvia in their name, which is just the Latin word for sage. However, salvia is often simply used as the name for the medicinal herb. Common sage (lat. Salvia officinalis) is relevant in the kitchen and medicine in this country. This usually also means what we call sage. But even Salvia officinalis has more than one species.

Because if you are very precise, sage or salvia is a genus of plants that has between 850 and 900 species. This means that sage is actually one of the most species-rich genera in the world – only in the Antarctic (okay, nobody would have expected that anyway) and in Australia the plant does not occur.

In addition to the herbal extracts from the sage, the essential oils that lie dormant in the plant are also popular. They also have a sage effect, which is often applied and used. Whether as an oil, tea or spice – the use of sage is diverse. Its use in the Italian dish Saltimbocca alla Romana is essential.

Sage is also extremely popular in the garden with bumblebees and bees. They love to fly at the flowers.

Sage: Healthy healing effect thanks to the ingredients

People in Germany have known about the effects of real sage since at least the beginning of the Middle Ages. But not only history shows us that there is actually something to the much-praised sage effect.

The name Salvia also shows that sage is a real power plant with a healing effect. Because salvia comes from salvus, which means ‘healthy’, and salvare, the Latin word for ‘to heal’. So Salvia officinalis promises a lot, since the Latin term ‘officin’ is also an old word for ‘apothecary’.

The essential oils contained in sage are particularly effective. These are characterized by their ingredients. The following are particularly relevant for the sage effect:

  • Thujone (also salviol): make up up to 60% of the essential oils of Salvia officinalis
  • linalool
  • 1,8-cineole
  • tannins and bitter substances

Also included are camphor, flavonoids, diterpenes, triterpenes and many vitamins.

Sage is used in a variety of ways to treat a variety of ailments, including sore throats, pharyngitis and gum infections (if you want more tips on how to treat them, click here), or excessive sweating (e.g., during menopause). In addition, it is also a recognized remedy for digestive problems as well as asthmatic or bronchial problems.

Overall, the following sage effects are known, which make the medicinal herb so healthy:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antibacterial
  • antiviral
  • antioxidant
  • contractive (on the tongue)
  • antiperspirant
  • slightly hypolipidemic
  • slightly hypoglycemic

You can read here exactly how sage helps against sweating and heat.

Sage Side Effects: Too much sage is unhealthy

Now you have already learned a lot about the really impressive effects of the medicinal plant Salvia. But unfortunately there is also the other side of the coin in this case – and that is not so nice. Because sage side effects appear quickly.

Therefore, the maximum amount that should be consumed per day is estimated at a maximum of 6 grams of sage or about 15 leaves. That’s not really much. The reason for this limitation is the not entirely non-toxic ingredients, such as the thujone found in the essential oil.

Thujone is actually a neurotoxin that leads to confusion and epileptic convulsions in excessive doses. It is also found in wormwood and has been credited with causing the ‘special’ effect of absinthe that was common in the past. In the meantime, however, the thujone content in alcoholic beverages in the EU has been limited by regulation. In addition, thujone is also found in the well-known thuja hedge.

Therefore, sage oil should always be diluted. Sage should also not be used for more than four weeks at a time, otherwise epileptic cramps can occur. The maximum dose for sage tea is three to four cups a day for young people aged 12 and over and adults, otherwise sage side effects can occur.

If you have epilepsy, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking sage, as the thujone it contains plays a role here. Other types of sage with less thujone could be used here. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also seek medical advice before consuming sage products. Children under the age of 12 should not consume sage products without consulting a doctor.

If you take medication regularly, you should also clarify beforehand whether there are any interactions with the medicinal plant Salvia.

Make sage tea yourself: This is how you prepare the tea properly

In order for the sage to work properly for sore throats such as coughing or pain, you should pay attention to a few things when using sage. You can use fresh or dried sage to make homemade sage tea. We have a little sage tea recipe for you:

What you need for 1 cup:

  • 1.5 grams of sage leaves; fresh or dried
  • boiling water

And this is how it works:

  1. Pour boiling water over leaves.
  2. Infuse fresh leaves for 5 minutes, dried ones for about 10 minutes.
  3. It is best to drink as soon as the temperature allows it.

If you steep fresh leaves for 10 minutes, you will get a very bitter tea. This is probably the reason why many people dislike sage tea. The bitter note comes from the bitter substances.

However, this Salvia decoction is very good against inflammation in the mouth and throat – in this case you should use the liquid for thorough gargling and rinsing and not drink it. In this case, the sage effect also occurs without drinking.

Important: dried sage loses around 50% of its essential oils within two years, as the official health portal of the Republic of Austria writes.

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Written by Paul Keller

With over 16 years of professional experience in the Hospitality Industry and a deep understanding of Nutrition, I am able to create and design recipes to suit all clients needs. Having worked with food developers and supply chain/technical professionals, I can analyze food and drink offerings by highlight where opportunities exist for improvement and have the potential to bring nutrition to supermarket shelves and restaurant menus.

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