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The many health benefits of sage (02.02.17)

Albanian Medicinal Herbs Albania is well known for being the world’s largest exporter of sage and one of the leading exporters of medicinal herbs and spices in Europe. Albania’s Mediterranean climate and traditional agriculture methods is a ideal environment for more than 250 medicinal and aromatic plants

This herb grows to a height of a foot or more. It has greyish green lance shaped leaves with a silvery bloom and prominent vein running throughout. The flowers are generally blue, purple, pink or white in color with a pleasant aroma. They mostly blossom in August. In fact, all parts of the plant have a strong odor and a warm and somewhat bitter flavor due to the presence of volatile oils in its tissues. The amazing health properties of this legendary herb have made it a staple in traditional European and Chinese medicines. Besides, due to its uniquely pleasant aroma, it is used as a fragrance in the manufacture of soaps and cosmetics. It is available in fresh, dried, and powdered forms throughout the year.

There are countless varieties of sage, of which the most common varieties grown for medicinal or culinary purposes include the following:

Clary Sage: It is characterized by strongly aromatic leaves and mostly used in throat gargle infusions and perfumeries.

Three-Lobed Sage: This is a large perennial shrub with lobed leaves. Native to the Mediterranean countries, it is mostly used for making sage tea.

• Pineapple Sage: The fresh leaves of this variety are used to add flavor to drinks and desserts.

Azure Sage: This variety is native to Mexico. It is a large plant with blue flowers and is used as herbal panacea.

Skin Benefits Of Sage:
Sage can keep your skin healthy and beautiful Its plant derived chemical compounds, essential oils, and vitamins make it beneficial in skin care in the following ways.

1. Anti-ageing Benefits:
The antioxidants in sage reverse the signs of ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. These antioxidants provide protection against free radicals that damage skin cells, causing premature ageing of the skin. This herb is loaded with calcium and vitamin A, which protect your skin against the assault of free radicals and aid in daily cell regeneration, minimizing and delaying the onset of facial wrinkles.

2. Toner for Oily Skin:
Sage oil benefits as a great toner by regulating sebum production in oily complexion. You can prepare a home-made toner by boiling a spoonful of sage in about 250 ml water. Steep for 30 minutes and strain the concoction. Dab it on your face after cooling.

3. Treatment of Skin Problems:
The antibacterial properties of this amazing herb prevent the occurrence of skin infections. It also possesses antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help cure acne as well as relieve the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.

Hair Benefits Of Sage:
Sage herb and its extracts have been found to be beneficial for hair in many ways. Some of the benefits of sage for hair are as follows.

4. Treatment of Hair Loss:
Sage has been used since ancient times to combat hair loss and baldness. Sage contains beta-sitosterol, a 5-alpha reductase compound which has been found to be effective in treating male pattern baldness. It is advisable to mix 3 to 4 drops of sage essential oil with equal amounts of rosemary and peppermint essential oils and dilute in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Massage your scalp with it twice a day.

5. Sage Hair Rinse for Shiny Hair:
Sage tea can be used as a hair rinse to impart shine and luster to your locks. You can prepare it by boiling 1 tablespoon of dried sage leaves in a cup of water. This sage herb tea benefits to ward off dandruff.

6. Stimulates Hair Growth:
A combination of sage and rosemary is excellent for making your hair thicker, shinier and stronger. Sage is particularly effective in encouraging new hair growth as it improves circulation to the scalp, providing more nutrition to the hair follicles. A sage rosemary hair rinse can be prepared by boiling the two herbs in water. This herbal rinse can improve the quality of your hair and can revitalize dry and thinning hair. This can be used daily for one week or once or twice a week to maintain hair shine and thickness. Being an astringent, it reduces dandruff and prevents clogged hair follicles too.

7. Darkens Hair:
Sage can be used to darken and intensify hair color. All you need to do is use it as a final rinse after shampooing. An infusion of fresh sage leaves can darken grey hair as well as deepen the color of brown or black hair and impart shine to it.

8. Sage Lotion:
Sage can be used to prepare a setting lotion to make your hair manageable and improve its texture. Simply combine a handful of sage leaves with equal amount of rosemary. Boil them in about 6 oz. water and simmer for 3 minutes. Allow it to steep for 3 hours and massage your hair with this mixture before styling.

Health Benefits Of Sage Herb:
Sage is literally a boon when it comes to the various health benefits it offers. From the Arabs to the Chinese, everyone has recognized this herb as a key to a healthy life. In fact, due to its health benefiting properties, it was awarded the title of “Herb of the Year” by the International Herb Association in 2001. Given below are some of the powerful health benefits of this aromatic herb.

9. Anti-inflammatory Properties:
According to research conducted by the University of Vienna in Austria, sage possesses amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Sage tea is often used as a rinse or gargled for soothing inflammations. Sage extracts, tincture and essential oil are easily available in medical stores. They are used in medicines meant for the treatment of mouth and throat inflammation. This herb has been recommended for external use by the German Commission for treating inflamed mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.

10. Treatment of Excessive Sweating:
A recent German study has indicated that taking either a dry leaf extract or an infusion of sage leaf can reduce sweating by as much as 50%. It is a great deodorizer that dries perspiration and helps to eliminate body odor.

11. Treatment of Indigestion and Dyspepsia:
Sage can be used internally for the treatment of mild gastrointestinal problems and dyspepsia. It is a great stimulant tonic which can treat debility of stomach and weakness of digestive system. Sage tea or infusion is particularly effective in this regard. Its carminative effect can remove symptoms of indigestion by stimulating upper digestive secretions, bile flow, intestinal mobility and pancreatic function.

12. Treatment of Sore Throat:
Sage infusion has been found to be effective in the treatment of inflamed throat and tonsils as well as ulcerated throat. For this purpose, you can boil a pinch of dried sage leaves in about 100 ml of water and infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the concoction and sweeten it with some honey. Using this as a gargle twice a day will provide relief.

13. Dental Health:
This herb can play an important role in your dental routine. It can be used as an effective mouthwash to treat gum disease, throat infections, and cankers. If you are troubled by cankers, you can simply gargle strong sage tea or freeze it into ice cubes. Pop one of these cubes in your mouth to soothe cankers.

COURTESY: http://www.healthbeckon.com/sage-herb-benefits

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