Sage is a small aromatic plant very rich in nutrients and active substances that give it numerous properties, especially for women in menopause and in case of digestive problems. Here are the properties of sage and the tips for using it at its best.
Sage is a small perennial medicinal plant widely spread throughout our peninsula. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family and the species we commonly find is called Salvia Officinalis.
This plant, typical of European countries with a mild climate, was already widespread at the time of the Romans and derives its name from the term “salus” which in Latin means health. In fact, since ancient times, the beneficial properties of sage have been known, which over the years have been deepened and studied.
Today sage leaves are used to improve various conditions, such as digestive discomfort or menopausal heatworms. In this regard, the leaves can be used whole or you can use different herbal remedies, as we will see together in the next paragraphs.
Sage: nutritional properties
In this paragraph we will deepen the nutritional properties of sage. We will see together how numerous and abundant the minerals that we can find in this small aromatic plant are. We must remember that the quantities that we will see refer to 100 g of food and that in our dishes we are not used to consume such quantities of aromatic herbs. However, we can draw an important conclusion: enriching our dishes with smells and flavors coming from sage or other spices allows us to prepare unique and tasty dishes and to fill up on nutrients. A portion of sage is considered to be the equivalent of about 5 grams of fresh leaves or 2 grams of dried leaves.
Sage, like most vegetables, does not contain a high amount of proteins or lipids: the only moderately represented macronutrients are complex carbohydrates (about 15 g per 100 g of food) and fiber (just under 15 g per 100 g of food).
As for micronutrients, sage is a real treasure: very rich in iron and calcium. In fact, 100 g of fresh sage contains just under the iron requirement of an adult man and about half of the calcium requirement.
As far as vitamins are concerned, the B vitamins and in particular Niacin and vitamin B6 are well represented. In the table below we will report all the nutritional values per 100 g of fresh sage, as stored in the IEO database.
Nutritional values per 100g of Sage:
- Calories: 145 kcal
- Proteins: 3.9 g
- Lipids: 4.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.6 g
- Fiber: 14.7 g
- Soccer: 600 mg
- Iron: 10.3 mg
- Sodium: 4 mg
- Phosphorus: 33 mg
- Potassium: 390 mg
- Zinc: 1.7 mg
- Niacin: 5.7 mg
- Vitamin B6: 1.21 mg
- Beta carotene: 1290 ug
Sage: the health benefits
In addition to the nutrients we have just listed, sage leaves contain numerous other substances such as tannins, essential oils, flavones, phenol acids, diterpenes and triterpenes. All these molecules contribute to the benefits of the plant: the properties of sage, in fact, range from the reduction of sweating, to the remedy for sore throats, to the improvement of the regularity of the menstrual cycle, to the improvement of digestion, up to the improvement of mental abilities. So let’s see together in detail what sage is used for.
✓ Appetite and digestion
Sage can be considered an excellent digestive remedy as the essential oils contained in it relax the muscles of the human gastrointestinal system, thus improving digestion. Furthermore, the presence of bitter substances helps to stimulate the appetite.
✓ Cognitive performance
The effect of sage on cognitive abilities and mood has been studied in several studies. Such studies show a beneficial result of sage on cognitive performance and in particular on memory improvement. These benefits of sage are evident in both healthy and cognitively impaired people and there are some promising early results in Alzheimer’s disease.
✓ Anti-inflammatory action
Among the benefits of sage we find its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action. For this reason, this plant is useful in inflammations of the respiratory tract, as well as in those of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, in the form of compresses, sage is useful in the case of wounds.
✓ Female reproductive system
Among the healing properties of sage, one of the best known is its effect on the female reproductive system as it has an estrogenic-like action. For this reason, sage is suitable for all cases of low menstrual flow and menstrual irregularities. It is also widely used in menopausal women prone to hot flashes, especially at night as sage seems to have a direct effect on sweat centers, reducing sweating and excessive salivation.
How to use sage in the kitchen: practical tips and combinations
In the kitchen this spice can be used both fresh and dried to flavor our dishes. Its use is frequent to flavor second courses: this aromatic plant in fact has a very strong flavor, which goes well with roast meats; in fact, a few fresh leaves are enough to flavor each recipe.
Frequently, sage can also be used to flavor the sauce (based on oil, or more frequently butter) of stuffed pasta, such as ravioli. In this case, those who do not like to eat sage leaves, could opt for the use of dried sage.
Sage leaves in vegetarian cuisine can be used to flavor legumes (both natural and in the form of soups) or tofu, a vegetable cheese that goes well with the flavor of sage. Sage leaves can also be fried, after having breaded them. It is an inviting and tasty appetizer, to be consumed in moderation. Finally, sage can also be used for the preparation of some desserts, especially those based on citrus fruits, such as lemon and sage ice cream.
Sage in herbal medicine: how and why it is used
As we mentioned before, sage can be used both for external use and for internal use. We can directly use sage leaves, fresh or infused, or herbal preparations such as mother tincture and fluid extract. Let’s see in more detail.
- Infusion of sage: the infusion of sage, prepared with a dozen leaves of fresh sage or 1-2 teaspoons of dried sage per cup of boiling water, leave to infuse 10 minutes before consuming it. To benefit from the properties described above, we recommend consuming at least 3 or 4 cups of infusion per day. You can find sage among the ingredients of our purifying teas or digestive teas.
- Mother tincture: mother tincture can be used in case of problems of menstrual irregularity or sweating: in this case you can take 10 to 40 drops 2 times a day, as recommended by the trusted professional.
- Fluid extract: the non-alcoholic fluid extract can be used in case of excessive salivation or sweating: also in this case the quantity is suggested by a trained professional.
As for the external use, sage can be used in the form of dry leaves in case of wounds or as a mouthwash when there is inflammation of the throat. Finally, always for external use, it is possible to use sage in the form of hydrosol to benefit from its properties also on skin and hair. In particular, sage hydrolate is useful against oily skin, acne and dandruff, but not only. For further information we invite you to read our article dedicated to the properties and uses of sage hydrosol.
Contraindications of sage
In general, the contraindications of sage are limited: pay attention where you have previously had undesirable effects and in the few cases that we present below. Due to its estrogen-like action, we recommend that you pay attention to the use of sage in all cases where this action is not required and, in the event of menstrual irregularities, always consult your doctor before taking it. Also be careful in case of breastfeeding because it could reduce milk production and in the first months of pregnancy as some unconfirmed studies attribute an abortive action to some components of sage.