Daily Dose of Sage: 3-6g
Sage, or salvia officinalis, is a subshrub with woody stems, grayish leaves, and flowers that are blue to purple. It is best known as a culinary spice but it is also used as herbal medicine. For centuries it has been used to treat a variety of different ailments. It has antioxidant effects, which can help clean up the free radicals left from metabolism and toxins from the environment. It is a natural blood purifier and is useful for detoxification. Sage can help chemical imbalances in the brain which makes it a useful natural nerve tonic to treat headaches. This property of sage can benefit in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease as well. Women use sage to treat painful menstrual periods and some who drink it as a tea find that it helps ease symptoms of menopause. This is due to the fact that it helps balance estrogen levels in the body. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes are signs of an estrogen deficiency. A study done at the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal found that it can benefit patients with diabetes. Results of the study showed sage tea infusion had effects on fasting glucose levels and may be taken as a supplement to prevent Type 2 diabetes by lowering the blood glucose of people who are at risk. Other health benefits of sage are its use as an anti-inflammatory, stimulant, diuretic, expectorant, antimicrobial agent, as well as an appetite enhancer.
Sage is likely safe when taken in typical amounts but high doses and long term exposure use can be poisonous. Some species of the herb include a chemical called thujone that can be poisonous in high amounts. This chemical can damage the liver and nervous systems as well as cause seizures. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid large amounts of sage as thujone can cause a miscarriage and reduce a mother’s milk supply. It may also interfere with the absorption of iron in the body. The typical dose of sage tea is about 1-3g of the dried sage steeped into 1 cup of boiling water up to 3 times a day. For treating Alzheimer’s disease, a dose of 1g a day has been used.
- Cieśla Ł, Staszek D, Kowalska T, Waksmundzka-Hajnos M. The use of TLC-DPPH* test with image processing to study direct antioxidant activity of phenolic acid fractions of selected Lamiaceae family species. J AOAC Int. 2013 Nov-Dec;96(6):1228-32. PMID: 24645498.