In the primitive Italian scripts, it was mentioned “Why should you die, when you have sage in your garden?” What exactly does sage have to do with the death?
Apparently, sage was considered such a powerful herb that growing sage and using it regularly was considered as the best way to lead long healthy life. But modern scientists went a step ahead in describing sage, they added “Why should you have memory loss when sage is available?” Let’s explore why modern scientists made such an extravagant claim about sage?
Sage is native to the Mediterranean region. This plant grows year around and in most temperate climates. Sage is perfect plant for the garden, as it is very aromatic and grows gorgeous violet-pink flowers. Scientific name of sage is Salvis officinalis, derived from the Latin word salvare, meaning to save or to cure. Sage is closely related to sister herb rosemary. No wonder, they both share similar power of healing brain.
There are about 900 varieties of sage, but only few are used in cooking. The popular one is the Common sage. It is the most flavorful of all with small grayish green leaves. Sage has a very strong robust flavor and is best to be used in moderation. Always, use sage in combination with other spices to balance the flavor. Sage is available in fresh, whole, minced, chopped, crushed, coarsely ground or finely ground form.
In the kitchen
Sage is very commonly used by Italians, Germans, French and English in savory dishes especially while cooking fatty meats like duck, goose, pot roast, sausages, meatloaf, and organ meats such as liver. Sage is adored by Italians so much so that it is one of the secret ingredients in the authentic Italian pizza.
Sage is perfect addition in fall vegetables, such as squash, sweet potatoes, and apples. In US, Sage is popular in chowders, stuffing, sausage dishes, baked fish, and melted cheese dishes. In the Middle East, fresh sage leaves are used in salads.
Interesting ways to add sage to your diet:
1. Sage is the best for brain health
Several scientific studies have confirmed regular use of sage can improve memory and prevent age-related mental decline. Sage helps improve your mood and refreshes your concentration. When the students were given sage as a part of the experiment, they not only retained the information they felt better, too. They felt calmer, content, and more alert for up to six hours after taking the spice.
The few reasons why sage can help are:
i. Sage might be successful in blocking the action of cholinesterase, an enzyme that destroys acetylcholine. An acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays vital role in memory, attention, and alertness.
ii. Sage might improve the working of the cholinergic receptors on brain cells that receive acetylcholine.
iii. Sage might be increasing the levels of brain refreshing hormones.
iv. Sage might help reduce neuron-harming inflammation.
Clearly, combining these and many more powers of sage makes it best for our brains.
From the research in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, when sage extract was given to people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease for 4 months, Sage produced a significantly better outcome on cognitive functions compared to people with Alzheimer’s who didn’t take the spice. The researchers also found that sage may help reduce agitation or anxiety which is a common problem in people with Alzheimer’s.
2. Sage can treat skin diseases
Sage is effective against skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, and contact dermatitis. Researchers have confirmed that a topical lotion containing sage extract was found as effective as hydrocortisone cream (over-the-counter skin ointment) in clearing up skin rashes. The skin blemishes, acne marks and dark spots become less visible and eventually disappear with the regular application of sage extract on the affected areas.
3. Initial research has found that regular use of sage is an effective way of lowering cholesterol levels
In one of the studies published in the “International Journal of Molecular Sciences”, after consumption of sage tea for 4 weeks, participants were able to reduce LDL cholesterol and improve total cholesterol levels.
1. The best way to enjoy sage benefits is to drink sage tea 3-4 times a week. To make sage tea, add 2 tbsp of fresh sage leaves or 1tbsp of dried leaves to a coffee cup. Pour boiling water on it and let it steep for 10 mins. Strain the tea to remove the leaves and enjoy warm.
2. One more very common spiritual home remedy for sage is smudging with sage. Smudging is process of burning herbs like sage, lavender or bay leaf and using the smoke to purify the surroundings. Smudging is very popular natural way to relax, stay focused, and deal with stress. Burning dry sage can help promote mindfulness and increase mental focus. For smudging with sage simply burn one end of the dry sage bunch and let the smoke circulate around. There are many YouTube videos demonstrating the actual process.
Note: Please be careful while burning and spreading the smoke.
3. For quick relief from sore throat and cough gargle with warm water boiled with sage leaves.
4. For natural relief skin problems apply mix sage oil with carrier oil like coconut or sesame oil and apply on affected areas.
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