Sage herb or garden sage is one of the traditional herbs known since ancient Roman times. This sharp-flavored legendary plant has long been recognized as "the guardian of herbs." Apart from cooking, it is also found in various traditional European and Chinese medicines for its health promoting and disease preventing properties.

Herb sage is an evergreen perennial shrub commonly seen all over the Mediterranean and south-eastern Europe (Balkan) regions. Botanically, it belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, in the genus, Salvia.

Sage flourishes well under sandy, alkaline soil supplemented with adequate sunlight conditions. It grows up to 75 cm in height and features woody, branching stems. Its pebble-like patterned, aromatic leaves feature grey-green, soft surface with fine hair-like filaments growing on either side. During summer, it bears violet-blue flowers in a bunch that attracts bees.

Health benefits of sage herb

  • Sage herbal parts have many notable plant-derived chemical compounds, essential oils, minerals, vitamins that are known to have disease preventing, and health promoting properties.

  • The main active components of common sage appears to be its essential oil, which chiefly contain ketones; alpha-thujone, and ß-thujone. Besides, it also contains numerous other compounds, including cineol, borneol, tannic acid; bitter substances like cornsole and cornsolic acid; fumaric, chlorogenic, caffeic and nicotinic acids; nicotinamide; flavones; flavone glycosides and estrogenic substances. Altogether, these compounds known to have counter-irritant, rubefacient, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.

  • Thujone is GABA and Serotonin receptor (5-HT3) antagonist. It improves mental concentration, attention span and quickens the senses; hence sage infusion has long been recognized as "thinker's tea."

  • Three lobe sage (S. triloba) composes flavone called salvigenin. Research studies found that vascular relaxant effect of salvigenin may offer protection from cardiovascular diseases.

  • The herb is an exceptionally very rich source of several B-complex groups of vitamins, such as folic acid, thiamin, pyridoxine and riboflavin many times higher than the recommended daily levels.

  • The herb contains very good amounts of vitamin-A and beta-carotene levels. 100 g dry ground herb provides 5900 IU; about 196% of RDA. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for night vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A known to help the body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • Fresh sage leaves are a good source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C; contain 32.4 or 54% of RDA. Vitamin C helps in the synthesis of structural proteins like collagen. It contributes to maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps protect from scurvy, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the human body.

  • Sage herb parts, whether fresh or dried, are rich sources of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. The human body uses manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Scientific name: Salvia officinalis.

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