Sage – Is One Of The Oldest Spices Known To Mankind

Sage is a medicinal plant with a strong antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, and antiperspirant effect. Sage (Salvia officinalis) is so versatile that it has always been used as a valuable medicinal herb for many ailments

Sage against respiratory diseases

In traditional herbal medicine, sage has three main uses: respiratory diseases, problems in the mouth and throat (including dental care), and excessive sweating.

However, the aromatic plant can also be used to prepare preparations for other areas of application, such as an antimicrobial facial tonic for skin problems or a tea that can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and also helps mothers wean breastfeeding because it can stem the flow of milk.

“How can a man die with sage growing in his garden?”

This phrase from the 13th century was taught at the oldest medical faculty in Europe in Salerno, Italy, and should encourage everyone to reserve a particularly beautiful spot in their herb garden for the blue or violet flowering sage.

The sage’s name alone indicates its impressive abilities: the botanical name for sage is Salvia officinalis, whereby salvia comes from the Latin word “salvare” and means “healing”, while “officinalis” refers to a medicinally active plant.

In the tenth century, Arab physicians used fresh sage tea to regularly increase their mental abilities. They sweetened the spicy solution with honey and finally called the brew “In good health”.

Sage: Toothbrush and toothpaste in one

In the mouth and throat area, sage is one of the most proven and safest natural remedies. Before toothbrushes and natural toothpaste were invented, people wrapped a sage leaf around their index fingers and massaged their teeth and gums with it. This prevented bleeding gums, removed plaque, killed bacteria, strengthened gums, and freshened breath.

Today, in the age of toothpaste, there are also varieties with sage, which – if they are toothpaste without questionable ingredients – combine all the advantages of sage.

Sage helps with denture pressure points

Sage is also the remedy of choice for denture pressure points. To do this, gargle every hour with sage tea made from 1 teaspoon of finely chopped sage leaves and 150 milliliters of hot water. The gargle preparation should steep for 10 minutes. Sage tea for drinking, on the other hand, is only steeped for 1 to 3 minutes.

Sage for the respiratory tract

For many centuries, sage has been used to treat respiratory diseases. Sage candies made from honey and beeswax were used as a treatment for tuberculosis. They helped relieve coughing attacks. This was particularly promising if hot water mixed with lemon juice was drunk at the same time.

The monks in the Middle Ages also made syrup from honey, sage, and apple cider vinegar. It was used to treat coughs, colds, sore throats, and bronchitis – and became the most popular medicine of the time.

Sage flavors and preserves

In the days when bartering was still practiced, the Chinese are said to have exchanged three cases of their popular black tea for one case of dried sage. They used sage as medicine and deodorant, but also as a preservative.

Beef and poultry were made not only more aromatic and flavorful but also more durable with the help of sage leaves and salt or vinegar. Meat treated in this way fetched particularly high prices on the markets and quickly became a lucrative commodity.

Modern uses of sage and its medicinal benefits

It is a well-known fact that modern medical research believes nothing without scientifically proving it. But it can often only confirm old knowledge. Same with sage.

People used to know that sage helps with respiratory diseases. Today we still know that sage helps with respiratory diseases. And we also know that sage does this because it contains certain antimicrobial essential oils (e.g. thujone) and astringent tannins (e.g. rosmarinic acid).

People used to know that sage could be used to make a great deodorant. Today we know that sage inhibits sweat production because the plant is equipped with special antiseptic and the aforementioned astringent (contracting) substances.

But does the sage – with all our new knowledge – now work better or differently than before? No, and so some of our illnesses may change, but not the recipes: sage tea with honey and lemon juice or with honey and apple cider vinegar is still considered an excellent gargle for tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and laryngitis – and is even used by opera singers who are at the have taken over smashing.

And while sage tea used to be drunk by ancient philosophers and scholars to stimulate the brain and increase concentration, today it is hoped that sage will help Alzheimer’s patients to strengthen their memory.

Two particularly interesting and versatile recipes are presented below:

Sage Lotion

Sage lotions are excellent body care products that can help with many skin problems (including fungal infections). Sprayed on the body or under the armpits to curb sweat production, they are an excellent natural substitute for conventional deodorants, which are usually rather harmful to health.


1 ½ cups fresh sage leaves
1 liter of water
Ten cloves and 2-star anise flowers


Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, then allow cooling. The strain is put into a sterile bottle (possibly part into a pump sprayer) and closed tightly. Use the lotion as a bath additive or refreshing spray, or use it as a facial toner with the help of a cotton pad.

Sage tea

Sage tea has an antimicrobial effect, reduces perspiration, and stops the flow of milk in breastfeeding mothers. In addition, according to the latest studies, it is suspected that sage tea can even lower blood sugar levels.

Like all medicinal herbal teas, sage tea should not be drunk incessantly. After ten days, you should take a break of three to four days before enjoying it again.

Preparation: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1/4 cup of fresh sage leaves. After 1 to 3 minutes, strain the tea and add a dash of honey and a few squeezes of lemon juice, if you like.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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