SAGE

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Sage Herb:

Sharply flavored, sage herb or garden sage is one of the popular pot herbs known since ancient Roman times. This legendary herb with numerous virtues, long held to be the guardian over all other herbs, has been in use 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, the plant belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, of the genus: Salvia. Latin name: Salvia officinalis.

The plant flourishes in well-drained alkaline soil under sunny conditions. It grows up to 75 cm height and feature woody, branching stems. Its aromatic leaves are grey-green, soft and pebble-like textured with fine hair-like filaments growing on either side. It bears violet-blue color bunches of flowers in summer.

Several cultivars of sage are grown either for medicinal or for culinary purposes.

Three-lobed sage (S. fruiticosa or S. triloba): Large perennial with lobed leaves, grown in Mediterranean countries for making popular sage tea.

Pineapple sage (S. rutilans): Fresh leaves add flavor to desserts and drinks.

Clary sage (S. sclarea): Strongly aromatic leaves generally used as throat gargle infusions and in perfumeries.

Azure sage (S. azurea): The plant is large with blue flowers, used in Mexico as an herbal panacea.

Health benefits of sage herb

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

The primary biologically active component of common sage appears to be its essential oil, which chiefly contain ketones; α-thujone, and β-thujone. In addition, sage leaf 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. These compounds are known to have counter-irritant, rubefacient, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties.

Thujone is GABA and Serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonist. It enhances concentration, attention span and quickens the senses; hence sage infusion has long been recognized as “thinker’s tea.” Its effects help deal with grief and depression.

Three lobe sage (S. triloba) composes flavone called salvigenin. Research studies found that vascular relaxant effect of salvigenin may offer benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

This herb is 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 eye-sight. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes 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. Adequate levels in the body help maintain integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the 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. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

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