A picture of freshly picked sage in a stock pot.

The medicinal value of sage  is astonishing. It is an easy to grow garden herb, that thrives in most areas, even over the cold winter months. Traditionally, it is used to season pork, squash, root vegetables, beans, and egg dishes. Medicinally, the health benefits are literally shocking. Once you learn of the studies showing the medicinal values of sage, your cooking will never be the same.

The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine reports that sage doesn’t just prevent certain illnesses, it cures them. Most people in the health and wellness world are well aware the dangers of using the word “cure”, as it is most often highly illegal to claim, unless it is fully proven. The journal is not shy saying it can be used, “To prevent and cure illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, depression, dementia, lupus, autism, heart disease, and cancer.”

Traditionally, sage has been used for medicinally treating pain, oxidative stress, free radical damages, angiogenesis (developing new blood cells), inflammation, as well as bacterial and virus infection. 

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The International Journal of Case Reports and Images reported, “The antioxidant properties of sage have been studied intensively, and are found to be related to the presence of rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid. In addition, salvianolic acid which is a rosmarinic acid dimmer, isolated from the sage extract showed a great antioxidant activity and is a very significant scavenger of free radicals. The aqueous extract has shown to have antioxidant and antiviral effect and in a study, after drinking of sage tea for two weeks the liver antioxidant status improved as a result.”

Additionally, a clinical randomized clinical study showed sage was effective in supporting mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. (Akhondzadeh S, et al., Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease: A double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled Trial. J Clin Pharm Ther 2003 Feb;28(1):53–9.)

Picture of sage in the garden

Another study in the British Journal of Nutrition found sage so effective in lowering the plasma glucose levels in those with Type 2 Diabetes that they compared it to using Metformin. They substituted water intake for sage tea intake in diabetic animals for 14 days. They stated sage tea had a Metformin-like effect on fasting blood glucose levels. 

Sage, salvia officinalis, is a member of the mint family. It is a perennial plant which is aromatic when waved in the wind and is known to repel mosquitoes when added to a campfire or simply burning a bunch, or spraying the essential oil. It grows abundantly, with little effort. It is known for being hardy, the more you pick, the more it grows. Different species of sage present different colors of tiny clustering flowers.

Cooking with sage includes many options. If making a large pot filled with meat stock, root vegetables, pork, and squash, sage leaves can be chopped and added to the stock pot while cooking. The longer it cooks, especially when cooked low and slow, the more hearty the flavor. Some use it as a fresh garnish on top of already prepared food, however most prefer to cook sage, making it a more pleasant flavor. It can be added in the last five minutes of cooking to just wilt the leaves. The leaves can also be sauteed or fried like a french fry and eaten as a chip, which is a method preferred by those who don’t favor any hint of  bitter taste. The possibilities are endless, certainly ensuring a flavorful dish, even for the most novice cook. Paired with those in the same family, oregano, rosemary, and thyme, the flavors are deep and satisfying, increasing medicinal quantities. 

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. She serves on the GAPS Board of Directors and has recently been named “The GAPS Expert” by Dr. Natasha and will serve teaching other Certified GAPS Practitioners proper use of the GAPS protocol. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.





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