Sage, the ‘Savior’ Herb

SAGE was long thought to improve wisdom and memory.  People associated with using Sage were eventually known as Sages. As you read further, you will begin to understand why.

Emperor Charlemagne (aka Charles the Great) one of Europes greatest medieval rulers decreed in 812 AD that every farm on Crown lands must grow sage

The Biblical character of Joseph is known by some to be as both a prophet and a sage. He was, through a gift from God, a visionary. Through the window of dreams, the Lord God showed him the future. Although he could not see all the details, he could picture what life would be like. He was not born wise, and he may have been obnoxious as a young visionary whom his brothers sold into slavery some twenty years earlier, but his experiences as a slave, as a prisoner, and as the highest official of the Egyptian court taught him to understand the human heart. He learned that it was necessary to let go of the burden of the past to be able to receive the promise of the future.  He learned and earned wisdom and gained insight through the challenges and trials of his life with his Saviour’s help.  In the eyes of men, he also learned and earned the title of a “sage”.   (I encourage you to take the time to read Joseph’s true story in full found in Genesis 37—50)

Sage originates from the Latin word Salvia officinalis meaning


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SAGE lives up to its definitions:

1. wise, especially as a result of a great experience: 2. a plant whose greyish-green leaves 

2. A sage is a person who is regarded as being very wise.

3. Having or exhibiting wisdom and calm judgment.

Historical facts about Sage you may not already know.

Sage emits a smell that reminds us of homemade turkey dressing — a Thanksgiving staple loved by many Americans. For me this is a favorite spice of Thankgiving.  Sage is perhaps most notably used in the preparation of sausage.

Sage originates from the northern Mediterranean coast.  In medieval times, it was called “Salvia Salvatrix,” which means “sage, the savior.” This is because it was one of the primary ingredients of the “Four Thieves Vinegar,” a concoction that was used by thieves to ward off the bubonic plague while plundering for treasures. Sage is an herb that has not only been used as a flavoring but also used for medicinal and health purposes. If there’s a health concern that you need to address, Sage is a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases.

  1. In the 17th Century, one Sage was traded by merchants for 3 chests full of China Tea.
  2. Sage was used as a local anesthetic, a diuretic (causing increased passing of urine), and a styptic (causing bleeding to stop).
  3. Sage has an extensive history as a medicinal herb. The ancient Egyptians used it to improve fertility and is one of the embalming herbs in Egypt
  4. A Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist used sage can help stop wounds from bleeding, help disinfect sores and promote healing of ulcers, as well as use sage juice to treat coughs and hoarseness.
  5. Chinese sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza) has been used for centuries as restoratives of lost or declining mental functions such as in Alzheimer’s disease
  6. Salvia libanotica (Lebanese sage) is one of the largely used sage species in traditional medicine, which has been used for many years to cure diseases such as abdominal pains, headaches, indigestion, and heart disorders.
  7. The Sagebrush was used in pioneer times. Native Americans used leaves of sagebrush to prevent infections of wounds, stop the bleeding and to treat common cold, headache, and athlete’s foot. This species, although never used officially as a drug, has been prized as a tea substitute, general tonic, a hair, and eyewash, in treating colds and sore throat, stopping diarrhea, an antiseptic, and even for bullet wounds.  It made a poultice for bee stings and was thought to cure night sweats.

There are as many as 7 primary types of Sage.  In America, closely related to garden sage are at least 47 native Salvia species (out of at least 959 worldwide).  Sage is a part of the mint family, alongside other herbs like oregano, rosemary (Sages sister herb), basil, and thyme family

Do you use SAGE in one of the following ways listed below?

  1. Golden Sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Icterina’) is perhaps best known for its culinary use in stuffing.
  2. Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans synonym S. rutilans) a Mexican salvia having a scent of pineapple that is cultivated as an annual.  The fresh leaves add flavor to desserts and drinks and the flowers make an attractive addition to a salad too
  3. Clary sage (S. sclarea) Its scientific name comes from the Latin word clarus, meaning to clear. Clary sage gets its name for its mucus-clearing properties. Clary is usually used for its medicinal benefits. Strongly aromatic leaves generally used as throat gargle infusions and in perfumeries.
  4. Tricolor Sage white, green, pink, and purple.
  5. Dwarf Sage “The Little Spire” a Russian variety may be a petit version of regular Garden Sage, it has the same robust flavor and can be used in any recipe calling for sage.
  6. Greek Sage (Salvia fruticosa or S. triloba): Large perennial with lobed leaves, cultivated in the Mediterranean region and commonly employed in the preparation of sage tea. Its blooms have peachy-apricot tones that bloom to white flowers with light lavender interiors. It is used to make Faskomilo tea.  Sage (S. triloba) composes flavone called salvigenin. Research studies found that vascular relaxant effect that may offer protection from cardiovascular diseases.
  7. Azure sage (S. azurea): A large plant with blue flowers, used in Mexico as an herbal panacea.


TOP VITAMINS & MINERALS – Sage contains 32 other nutrients in smaller portions.


Anti-Oxidant/Anti-Inflammatory Actions (A-O/A-I) (VC)

Sage’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antifungal properties make this herb beneficial in treating many health problems.  Sage contains over 160 distinct polyphenols, which are plant-based chemical compounds that act as antioxidants in your body.  The antioxidant enzymes, including SOD (superoxide dismutase) and peroxidase, give it a unique capacity for stabilizing oxygen-related metabolism and preventing oxygen-based damage to the cells. Regular consumption of Vitamin C develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the human body.

Sage provides your body with rosmarinic acid, a polyphenolic compound can be readily absorbed from the GI tract, and once inside the body, acts to reduce inflammatory responses, which is stronger than that of vitamin E.  Rosmarinic acid helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, thereby reducing the risk for cancer and atherosclerosis.

Rosmarinic acid as a component of sage has shown neuroprotective, antioxidative, and anti-apoptotic (anti-cell death) effects against toxicity.  Rosmarinic acid is used for its anti-allergic activity. Unlike antihistamines, rosmarinic acid prevents the activation of immune responder cells, which cause swelling and fluid formation. Increased intake of sage as a seasoning in food is recommended for persons with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, as well as bronchial asthma, atherosclerosis, cataracts, and Peptic Ulcers. Sage is also touted to ease inflammation stemming from arthritis and gout.

The flavones glycosides and estrogenic substances help as counter-irritant, rubefacient, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.

Medicinal Uses:  

  1. Drinking sage tea and massaging aching joints with diluted sage oil relieves rheumatoid arthritis. It soothes the sciatic nerve, too.
  2. Medicinal Use:  Regularly drinking herbal tea prepared by boiling one teaspoon each of sage and mullein leaves in a cup of water is beneficial in dealing with asthma. You can also inhale the steam of this infusion when it is hot.

TOP 12 Health Benefits of Sage 

Skin(VA, VB, VC, VK, Ca, K, Cu, Zn)

Sage’s properties protect against bacterial (anti-bacterial) and viral infections that affect the skin. A topical salve made from sage, which possesses antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, is an effective anti-microbial remedy to eczema, psoriasis, and acne. VA in Sage is also required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Zinc helps the body process the essential fatty acids needed to heal burns (including sunburns), wounds, hemorrhoids, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne. Zinc can help all skin wounds heal more quickly.

The antioxidant properties in Sage provide rich protection against the free radicals the produce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and reverses them.  Aids in daily cell regeneration.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin, required for the creation of neurotransmitters and collagen production.  It fights oxidative stress. Vitamin C is also needed for healing wounds.

Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, so to take advantage of this vitamin, sage should be added at the end of cooking.

Maintain Healthy Hair(VA, VC, VB’s, Fe, Mg, Zn)

  • Sage oil benefits as a great toner by regulating sebum production in oily complexion.
  • Applying sage leaves as a rinse will produce shiny hair.
  • Vitamin A  in Sage stimulates the hair follicles to rapid growth.
  • The hair will get stronger and the hair color becomes darker.
  • Sage has been used since ancient times to combat hair loss and baldness. Sage contains beta-sitosterol, a 5-alpha reductase compound that has been found to be effective in treating male pattern baldness. Sage helps to manage scalp infections because it promotes estrogen balance and prevents thickening in the membrane tissue around the hair follicle, which causes hair loss.
  • Vitamin B-6’s role in protein and lipid metabolism is a great vitamin to take for hair loss.

Easily boil the sage leaves for minutes and simmer it. It can be done 2-3 times a week.

Improves Eyesight(VA, VC, Beta-Carotene, Zn)

These prominent compounds in Sage support excellent eye health.

  • Vitamin A helps promote better vision in dim light as well as night vision.
  • VC Helps to keep your focus sharp and healthy.
  • Zinc is more concentrated in certain parts of the body especially the retina. Zinc also protects the eyes by enhancing the effects of vitamin A

Oral Health(VC, Zn)

Sage is a natural anticeptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory.  Regular consumption of foods like Sage rich in VC can help with bleeding gums, tenderness, redness, and swelling in the gum due to Gingivitis (scurvy).  In addition VC in Sage can help with tonsillitis, laryngitis, and sore throat.

Today sage has found its place as an active ingredient in natural mouthwashes because of the presence of tannins that eradicate the bacteria accountable for gingivitis.

You can also use sage to relieve ailments including sore throat, cough, and the common cold. A 2009 study even concluded that using a sage and echinacea spray is almost as effective as a chlorhexidine/lidocaine spray in relieving an acute sore throat.

Medicinal Uses:

  1. Brew one or two teaspoons of dried sage leaves in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain the fluid and then use it for gargling to relieve sore throat.
  2. Steep about one tsp. of sage leaves in 150 ml boiling water for 10 minutes. Cool and strain the solution. Use this liquid as a mouthwash to heal issues like gingivitis, mouth ulcers, cold sores, canker sores, tongue sores, etc.

Increases Appetite

Medicinal Use:  Another health benefit of sage tea is that is helpful in increasing appetite, especially when consumed daily. Hence, it is good for people suffering from anorexia. It also purifies blood. Furthermore, it eliminates intestinal gas and aids in digestion.

Better Brain Function(VB9, Mg, Cu)

Salvia species are known for the beneficial effects on memory disorders, depression, and cerebral ischemia.  The superfood is also known to stimulate neural pathways and promote brain function, promoting mental acuity. Sage is known to improve acetylcholinesterase (Ach) levels in the brain. This Ach enzyme improves concentration and helps in the treatment of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s. Salvia miltiorrhiza (Chinese sage) have been used for centuries as restoratives of lost or declining mental functions such as in Alzheimer’s disease

Sage helps relieve Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and dementia by blocking the degradation process of neurotransmitter activity in the brain.  Research published in the June 2003 issue of Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior confirms what herbalists have long known: sage is an outstanding memory enhancer. A 2017 review published in the journal Drugs noted sage’s potential to enhance cognitive activity and protect against neurodegenerative disease. It strengthens the sinews, restore health to those that have the palsy, and takes away shakey trembling of the members.

Sage is often used as a remedy for depression due to the anti-inflammatory properties apigenin, luteolin, and diosmetin. Activating the GABAa receptor by binding to the benzodiazepine site, resulting in reduced levels of anxiety. Magnesium has the reputation of being the “anti-stress” mineral.

Sage contains acids that are linked to some impressive health benefits.  One is Rosmarinic acid.  Rosmarinic acid has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities. The antioxidant activity of rosmarinic acid is stronger than that of vitamin E.

B9 vitamin that plays a central role in the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins. B9 monitors and supports brain function and mood.

Sage has the ability to help enhance mental clarity and concentration, the attention span, and quickens the senses; hence sage infusion has long been recognized as “thinker’s tea.”

Magnesium is also sometimes prescribed for the treatment of migraines.

Medicinal Uses:  

  1. To cure fever naturally, boil a tablespoon of sage leaves in a cup of water for 10 minutes and drink half a cup of this solution (after straining) once or twice throughout the day.
  2. Soaking a cloth in sage tea and placing it on the forehead helps in getting rid of headache.
  3. *The chemical thujone present in this herb can have give rise to toxic effects if it is taken for a long time. Thus, those who have seizure disorders should not take sage in excess or for prolonged periods.

Heart Wellness, Maintains Cholesterol(VK2, VC, Ca, K)

Sage’s flavonoids and antioxidants improve the health of cells that form the innermost lining of the heart and blood vessels, which in turn reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Consuming this leaf will help to reduce the number of cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL level. Furthermore, it will increase the HDL, so that the body can maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol.                

Prevent Cardiovascular Disease(Mg, VK2, VC, B1, Ca, K)

In relation to the benefit of maintaining the cholesterol level, the leaves will benefit to prevent cardiovascular disease. This means help to reduce the possibility of heart attack and stroke. The salvigenin content in the leaf works as a vascular relaxant and the vascular system can be well maintained.

Magnesium in Sage helps to relax the heart muscles to maintain a regular heartbeat, and thus prevent sudden changes in blood pressure. Chlorogenic acid also lowers blood pressure by improving blood vessel dilation.  It can be used to treat high blood pressure, angina, and arrhythmia.

B1 improve the health of the blood cells and vessels by reducing the rupture of red blood cells (known as hemolysis the destruction of red blood cells) via inhibiting the activity of proteins working with your immune system and play a role to protect the body from infections, and to remove dead cells and foreign material, clearing these pathogens from our body.  This lowers the odds of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. B6 creates red blood cells. It is involved in 100 or so reactions involving protein, lipids, and glucose metabolism.

Digestive benefits(Ca, K)

Clary Sage contains rosmarinic acid, an anti-inflammatory compound that fends off gastric spasms, diarrhea, and gastritis. The flavonoids and phenolic compounds found in sage effectively ease inflammation, particularly in the respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts.

  • Heartburn Sage leaves can be used as a treatment to soothe heartburn. The nutrients contained inside the leaves help to control the acid so that it will reduce the heartburn.

It also helps to develop the digestive enzyme that is a great stimulant to treat the debility of the stomach and weakness of digestive system.  So, the food is easy to digest and the intestine metabolism can be improved.

Its carminative effect (relieving flatulence) can remove symptoms of indigestion by stimulating upper digestive secretions, bile flow, intestinal mobility and pancreatic function.

  • Other maladies Clary sage is used to treat in aromatherapy giving a relief feeling on the nerve helping with postpartum depression, fatigue, varicose veins, and sleeplessness.
  • Gastroenteritis Sage can be used as a treatment for gastrointestinal problems and indigestion. It helps to reduce nausea in an empty stomach and helps relieve the vomiting syndrome in the gastroenteritis symptoms.

Medicinal Uses:  You can drink this   up to 3  a times a day to mend digestion.

Female-Specific – Clary sage has long been prescribed by herbalists for menstrual issues including extreme pain. Its effects are said to come from the fact that it helps to stimulate estrogen production.

It is also valuable in alleviating menopausal symptoms. Sage (S. officinalis) has been traditionally used to treat sweating and menopausal hot flashes, as well as to alleviate the associated menopausal symptoms.  Taking fresh sage leaf tablets significantly decreased hot flush symptoms. insomnia, dizziness, headaches, nighttime sweating, and occasional palpitations. These symptoms arise from hormonal imbalances, namely lowered estrogen levels.

PMS Syndrome – In relation to an anti-depressant, it gives the benefit of relief feeling during PMS. Scientific evidence also shows that the sage leaves aromatherapy helps in balancing the hormone during the PMS period. It is also can reduce menstrual cramps.

Medicinal Uses:

  1. Drinking sage tea a few times in a day helps ease menstrual cramps.
  2. *Avoid using this herb as a medicinal remedy during pregnancy as it can stimulate uterine contractions.
  3. Prepare sage tea by steeping two teaspoons of crushed sage leaves in a cup of boiling water for about 15 minutes. Cool and strain the liquid. Drink this sage tea three to four times in a day to control night sweats and hot flashes.


Another acid Sage contains some impressive health benefits is Ellagic acid.  Ellagic acid – prevents the binding of carcinogens to DNA and strengthens connective tissue, which may keep cancer cells from spreading.

  • First, ellagic acid kills cancer cells by promoting cell death (apoptosis).
  • Second, ellagic acid stops the growth of tumors.
  • Third, ellagic acid causes G-arrest.
  • Fourth, ellagic acid helps prevent cancer, birth defects, etc
  • Fifth, ellagic acid seems to have anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic effects.
  • Sixth, ellagic acid (i.e. from ellagitannins), is combined with glucose, making it easier to gain entry into cancer cells.
  • The important factor in proliferating and spreading of cancer cells is the ability of tumors to produce a large number of new blood vessels, which is known as angiogenesis. Ursolic acid found in sage effectively inhibits angiogenesis, invasion of tumor cells, and metastasis, and suppresses the lung colonization of B16 melanoma cells in vivo.
  • Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common type of cancer and a significant cause of mortality in Western societies. It develops by genetic and epigenetic alterations that transfer normal colon cells to proliferating cells.[] This study has shown that dietary compounds can change epigenetic status. The effect of drinking sage (S. officinalis) herbal tea was studied on the prevention of colon cancer in rats. It was found that S. officinalis water extract significantly decreased the oxidative H2O2-induced DNA damage in vitro.

Prevent Diabetes(K)

In a study, drinking of sage tea (common sage) (300 ml, twice a day) showed increase in antioxidant defenses and improved the lipid profile, without causing any hepatotoxicity (damaging liver cells) or inducing any adverse effects such as changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and body weight, which may indirectly improve the diabetic condition.

  • There are some studies that proved sage leaf extract has anti-hyperglycemic properties like chlorogenic acid which helps by lowering down blood glucose levels blocking the release of stored glucose from the liver.
  • Chlorogenic acid is a natural antioxidant, that primarily exerts its effects by inhibiting the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which is responsible for breaking down carbohydrates. By doing so, it reduces the uptake of carbohydrates and glucose during digestion.  This may help improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity, an effective way of lowering triglyceride levels in type 2 diabetics. However, further research is needed to be done.
  • Multiple studies show that chlorogenic acid may reduce fasting blood sugar levels and insulin and glucose spikes following a meal.

Medicinal Use: 

Those who are suffering from diabetes can take sage infusion on an empty stomach to lower blood sugar levels. It is suggested that you monitor your blood sugar carefully while following this home remedy in order to avoid hypoglycemia.


Sage promotes sleep and relaxation. For this, you can make a sage pillow by filling dried sage leaves in a small pillow. Plus, you can have sage tea mixed with lemon juice and sweetened with honey.

Sage tea has been traditionally used for the treatment of digestive and circulation disturbances, bronchitis, cough, asthma, angina, mouth and throat inflammations, depression, excessive sweating, skin diseases, and many other diseases.  Brew one or two teaspoons of dried sage leaves in a cup of hot water for 10-20 minutes. Strain the fluid and then use it for gargling to relieve a sore throat.

Sage Tea

  1. Put 4-5 fresh leaves or 2 teaspoons of dried sage leaves in a cup.
  2. Pour 1 cup of hot water over it.
  3. Cover and steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain and add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  5. Gargle with this solution as needed.
  • Also, drink 2 to 3 cups of sage tea daily until you recover completely.
  • You can drink this tea up to 3 cups a day to mend digestion.
  • Regulate blood sugar levels or can gargle for your sore throat. One study found that drinking 1 cup (240 ml) of sage tea twice daily significantly increased antioxidant defenses.  After four weeks of sage tea consumption, there were no real effects on glucose regulation, but “an improvement in lipid profile. It also lowered both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as raised “good” HDL cholesterol. A number of studies found improvements in mood, mental function and memory in healthy adults after they took one of several different types of sage extract. ( ncbi1, ncbi2, ncbi3, ncbi4)


  1. If you want a mild sage taste, add it close to the end of the cooking process;
  2. If you like your sage flavor more robust, add at the beginning. But a little goes a long way.
  3. If you’ve never used sage before, add just a bit at first and see how you like it and add more to taste.

Safety profile

While Sage is a powerful medicine, too much of a good thing can create a negative response.  As with all herbs and spices, we must treat them with respect. The normal usage of sage is very safe; however, there might be an adverse effect on using S. officinalis in excessive amount, which can be caused by the high content of thujone.

Sage herb, when used in large amounts can cause nerve irritation, convulsions, and death. Hence its use is prohibited in known epileptic conditions.

The herb should not be used in pregnancy as chemical compounds like thujone in it may cause uterine stimulation resulting in abortion.


Wow, so much benefit from just one herb.  It has been fun learning about sages (Salvia species) incredible benefits.  Hopefully, you will find more ways to make use of it and receive its benefits outside of Thanksgiving time. I am so thankful for this wonderful spice.   Salvia species may represent a natural, safe, and effective treatment for many diseases and their symptoms.

  • Sage prevents inflammation-related conditions, cardiovascular diseases, and type-2 diabetes.
  • Sage staves off various skin diseases, digestive issues and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Sage benefits the immune, nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems.
  • Sage also supports the heart, the skin, and the bones and joints.

You’d be a wise sage to add the herb sage to your recipes. Whenever possible, choose fresh sage over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh sage should look fresh and be a vibrant green-gray in color. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  It shows your interest in health or at least your curiosity.  I must say I really enjoyed learning more about Sage.   If you enjoyed this post and learning about Sage, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you.  If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on. People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)  I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.




  1. WHFoods
  3. World’s Healthiest Foods, Sage
  4. Naturalpedia.comml