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Frequently Asked Questions About Sage Supplements
What is Sage?
Sage, Salvia officinalis, also known as garden or common sage, is a perennial, evergreen herb which is a member of the mint family. It is easily recognized by its green-grey leaves and small purple flowers. Though it is indigenous to Mediterranean countries, the plant has been naturalized throughout the world. Sage has a long history of culinary and medicinal use.
The aromatic herb has been used for thousands of years for treating snake bites, improving women’s fertility, and as a local anesthetic. Throughout the Middle Ages, sage was a major component of “Four Thieves Vinegar,” a combination of herbs which was believed to protect from the plague. In more recent centuries, it has been used to treat ailments such as throat infections, fevers, and insect bites.
What Are the Uses & Benefits of Sage?
Many manufacturers claim that sage is effective for a number of ailments such as digestive disorders, gum disease, throat infections, asthma, excessive sweating, headaches, and loss of appetite. Unfortunately, there is insufficient evidence to support these claims. However, numerous studies show that sage does have other therapeutic uses:
- Diabetes – a double-blind study was carried out on 80 diabetes type 2 sufferers. The group who received sage extract three times a day for a period of three months showed decreased 2hpp blood sugar and cholesterol levels. This means that sage could potentially help to stabilize glucose levels after meals.
- Menopause – in a Swiss clinical trial, 71 menopausal patients suffering from regular hot flashes were given a daily tablet made from fresh sage. Over a two-month period, the frequency and severity of their hot flashes were reduced.
- Anti-bacterial properties – an important study revealed that sage essential oil has an antibacterial effect against several food spoiling bacteria. This indicates that the essential oil of sage may be a good alternative to traditional food preservatives and possibly some antibiotics.
- Obesity – an animal study showed that sage extract was able to reduce pancreatic lipase in olive-oil loaded mice. This may indicate that sage could be beneficial for weight reduction in people suffering from obesity, though more research is needed. Human clinical trials are needed to confirm results.
- Diarrhea – an Indian study on mice suggests that sage may be able to alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea by reducing abdominal spasms and supporting healthy intestinal motility. More research is needed.
- Brain functions – a British study suggests that Spanish sage may be able to enhance memory and brain functions. It should be noted, however, that this was a single study, with a very small test group of only 50 participants.
It is possible that sage may have other beneficial therapeutic effects – the herb warrants more research.
How Do I Take Sage?
Sage extracts come in the form of capsules, a tincture and essential oil. There is no official government RDA. Manufacturer’s recommended sage dosage varies widely from 1,000 to 2,500mg per day and largely depends on the condition being treated.
Are There Any Side Effects of Sage?
Sage is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is approved for seasoning food. According to the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, some species of sage contains a substance called thujone, which can damage the liver and can affect the nervous system, causing seizures.
The NCCIH also warns that twelve or more drops of essential oil of sage are considered to be a toxic dose. Prolonged use of sage can cause side effects including rapid heart rate vertigo, vomiting, seizures, tremors, and kidney damage. Sage should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should also avoid sage if you suffer from a hormone-sensitive condition such as breast or ovarian cancer.
How Do I Pick a Good Sage Product?
When you’re looking for the right sage pills, there are several factors to consider. Finding an effective sage supplement begins with a product that is manufactured by a reputable company that meets the highest standards of quality and safety.
You should also search for a supplement that contains minimal fillers and does not contain unnecessary ingredients. Finally, the sage supplement should be available at a reasonable price, providing good value for your individual needs.