Scientific name: Salvia officinalis
Common names: officinal sage, Provence tea, Greece tea, sacred herb
Forms and preparations: infusions, fresh leaves, dyes
As a digestive plant par excellence, sage has many medicinal virtues, from the regulation of perspiration to that of menstrual cycles through sore throats, gingivitis and disinfection of wounds. Its use other than culinary requires some precautions because of the strong presence of thujone in its essential oil.
Medicinal properties of sage
- Astringent and antiseptic: in gargles, the sage calms the sore throat and the cough of the smoker.
- It is also used in cases of gingivitis (sage has anti-inflammatory properties), pharyngitis, tonsillitis or aphthous.
- Febrifuge: it helps to lower the fever.
- Nerve tonic: stimulating adrenal glands, sage is advised in case of depressive state, asthenia, dizziness and hypotension.
- Digestive: sage facilitates gastric digestion. It also helps to treat vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- Stimulant hormone: the sage helps to regularize the menstrual cycles as well as to calm the pains of the rules. It fights hot flashes during menopause, as well as other disorders related to this period. Among the other gynecological affections treated by sage, let us mention leucorrhea.
- Antiperspirant: Sage is the most effective plant for controlling and regulating excessive sweating.
- Astringent and antiseptic: fresh sage leaves can be used as first aid in case of bite or sting. Sage disinfects sores and helps to heal.
Usually used in buccopharyngeal disorders, digestive disorders, regulation of sweating, menopausal disorders and those linked to the menstrual cycle, fever, hypoglycaemic effect.Histoire de l'utilisation de la sauge en phytothérapie
A medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times, the sage is also known by its scientific name, Salvia, from Latin salvare, which means "healing". The Romans, and before them the Egyptians, already knew the medicinal properties of sage; Moreover, the former harvested it during ceremonies and without tools, while the latter used it as a treatment for infertility. Sage is also one of the oldest cultivated plants since it was from the thirteenth century. At that time, there was a popular saying, "Why should a man die while sage grows in his garden?" This aromatic and medicinal plant was then in the composition of multiple preparations. On the orders of Francis I, the sage was used to prepare the water of arquebusade, originally intended to treat the wounds caused by a weapon, the arquebus, before quickly becoming a traditional remedy against many pathologies. The dried leaves were also long smoked to combat asthma. Today, the medicinal properties of sage are recognized by scientific committees, including the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of small digestive problems as well as excessive sweating and local application against inflammations of the mouth, Throat and skin ".
Essential oil (including 50% thujone), diterpenes, tannins, phenolic compounds, mucilage, estrogens, antioxidants, vitamin K.
Use and dosage of sage
- In case of sore throat, a sage infusion can be prepared and used in gargles up to five times a day. In this case, 1 to 3 g of dried leaves are to be infused into a cup of boiling water for ten minutes. For internal use, the recommended dose is three cups per day.
- To facilitate digestion, 2 ml of dye should be swallowed with a glass of water twice a day.
The essential oil of sage contains thujone, an abortive and neurotoxic substance. For this reason, its use is not recommended for pregnant women, but also for people suffering from epilepsy.
By respecting the doses, sage does not cause any adverse effects. However, over 15 g per day, it can cause palpitations, hot flushes, convulsions and dizziness.
INTERACTIONS WITH MEDICINAL PLANTS OR SUPPLEMENTS
No known interaction.
INTERACTIONS WITH DRUGS
Due to the amount of vitamin K contained in sage and its anticoagulant action, this plant should be used with caution in people on anticoagulant drug therapy. Sage is also likely to interact with anxiety medications (benzodiazepines), psychic (neuroleptic) disorders and epilepsy.
Notice of Doctor
Rich in thujone, the essence of sage has an action both antiseptic and emmenagogue (it stimulates the blood flow). Its tannins give it toning and astringent properties, while phenolic acids and flavonoids make sage a choleretic and antispasmodic plant. It is also known that it contains substances whose action very closely resembles that of an oestrogenic hormone of the woman, folliculin. Sage is also a remedy known since antiquity for women, whether it is to treat infertility or to regulate the menstrual cycles.
It is important not to exceed recommended dosages.
Research on sage
Scientific research carried out on sage first concerns its hypoglycaemic action. After studies on mice, it has been demonstrated that if the sage extract reduces the level of glucose in the blood, the presence of insulin is required for the plant to actually have a hypoglycemic effect. Still in animals, studies have shown that carnosic acid present in sage is likely to reduce triglycerides, blood lipids predisposing factors to cardiovascular diseases. Sage is also linked to research on Alzheimer's disease. It has been demonstrated that this plant can calm agitation and improve cognitive functions, due to a combined action on transmission of nerve impulses, decreased inflammatory reactions as well as oxidative stress. However, these properties would only be effective at an early stage of the disease.