Sage contains vitamin A, vitamins B1, and B2, niacin, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron.
Sage can be been used as a folk supportive for centuries, serving as a digestive and nerve tonic, a gargle for a sore throats and bleeding gums, an antiseptic in vaginal infections, a poultice for insect bites, and a supporter of symptoms for diarrhea. Sage is an astringent, tonic, antiseptic, and antispasmodic. Sage tea will dry up milk flow, fight perspiration about two hours after drinking, and support gastritis.
The oil contains alpha- and beta- thujones (also found in wormwoods and yarrow), cineole, borneol, and other components. Like rosemary, sage extracts are strong antioxidants (preservatives). The essential oil suppresses fish odors.
General Herb Information
The genus Salvia contains over 700 species distributed throughout the world. Common garden sage, S. officinalis, a Mediterranean native, is a shrub growing to 2 1/2 feet high, with white woolly stems and grayish-green leaves with a texture reminding one of reptile skin.
The oblong, entire or slightly toothed, leaves are about 1 1/2 to 3 inches long and about one-half inch wide. The whorls of white, pinkish, or blue-violet one-half inch long flowers occur in racemes, blooming in May to June. Salvias have two stamens with two-celled anthers, connecting to a point at the summit of a filament. On each stamen the anterior anther is not fully developed, forming an appendage bees hit when they enter the flower for nectar. This tips the fully developed anther, rubbing pollen into the hairs on the insect's thorax. Thus pollen is distributed to adjacent flowers.
There are a number of cultivars. 'Tricolor' has variegated white leaves with purple margins; 'Purpurea' has purple leaves; 'Albiflori has white flowers; 'Icterina' possesses beautiful golden yellow leaves; 'Holt's Mammoth' has large robust leaves.
Sage can be propagated by seeds, cuttings, layering, or root divisions of older plants. Seeds germinate within three weeks and should be sown to a depth of one-half inch. Resulting seedlings should be spaced six to twelve inches apart. Plants from seed tend to vary in size and color. One to four pounds of seed will sow an acre. Most of the cultivars should be propagated from stem cuttings taken in the spring. Tips can be layered in September then removed from the parent plant and transplanted the following spring. Fully mature plants should be spaced at two-foot intervals.
Sage will grow in almost any soil but requires good drainage, a fair amount of nitrogen, and full sun. It flourishes on a heavy, moist soil but under such complaints will most likely winterkill in the North. Where temperatures dip below 0°F, sage should be mulched in winter months. A pH between 6.2 and 6.4 is best for sage, though it will grow in a pH range from 5 to 8. First-year plants from seed are slow to mature, producing only a tenth of fully matured plants. An acre has yielded up to 2,000 pounds of dried herb.
Weather conditions may affect the color of the dried leaf in a given season. A wet season may produce leaves of a greenish color, whereas a dry season will give grayer leaves. You should pick leaves carefully by hand just before the plant comes into bloom and later in the summer after the leaves have fully matured. Leaves may blacken if not dried quickly under a steady air flow.
Sage is best known as a flavoring for poultry stuffings, sausages, and commercial ground meats. Fresh or dried leaves enhance lamb or pork dishes. It's good in cheeses - try a few leaves in a toasted cheese sandwich. Use in soups or by itself for teas. The Dutch used to trade one pound of sage to the Chinese for four pounds of tea.
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Rita Siekierko - May 17, 2006, 13:43
MY MUM IS USING SAGE LEAF AT THE MOMENT TO CONTROL HER NIGHT SWEATS, AND ITS WORKING BUT SHE HAS STARTED TO FILL BLOOTED AND IS PUTTING ON WEIGHT COULD THIS BE ASIDE EFFECT OF THE SAGE LEAF TABLETS SHE IS USING?
ZooScape Moderator - May 25, 2006, 13:52
Sage Leaf does not produce any effects such as the ones that you have mentioned your mother is experiencing. At the time of writing, there are no known side effects whatsoever with regards to sage. Is it possible that your mother is retaining water due to a change in diet or exercise or that she is currently going through menopause? Both of those factors can cause one to feel bloated and also cause an increase in weight.
I would suspect from your mentioning night sweats that we are dealing with menopause. Menopause is a natural change of life that most commonly takes place when a woman is in her late 40s or early 50s. Women who have not had a menstrual period for a year are considered postmenopausal. Symptoms may include hot flashes, decreased sex drive, depression, vaginal dryness, anxiety and/or insomnia. While Sage is a good product to take while going through menopause, I would suggest that your mother supplements her diet with Vitamin E and also considers taking Black Cohosh instead of Sage Leaf.
Many years ago, researchers studied the effects of vitamin E supplementation in reducing symptoms of menopause. Most, but not all, studies found vitamin E to be helpful. Many doctors suggest that women going through menopause take 800 IU per day of vitamin E for a trial period of at least three months to see if symptoms are reduced. If helpful, this amount may be continued. Using lower amounts for less time has led to statistically significant changes, but only marginal clinical improvement.
Small German clinical trials support the usefulness of black cohosh for women with hot flashes associated with menopause. A review of eight clinical trials found black cohosh to be both safe and effective for symptomatic relief of menopausal hot flashes. Other symptoms that improved included night sweats, insomnia, nervousness, and irritability.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."