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Sage extract, a concentrate from the wild sage herb, is an herbal remedy used to treat a number of physical ailments. Native to the Mediterranean, sage is cultivated worldwide to treat sore throat, fever, and other complaints. Also known as salvia, the herb is often used in many styles of cooking.
Home herbal remedies have been created from the sage plant since ancient times. As a gargle, it has been used to treat sore throat. The herbal remedy is also known for its soothing properties against upset stomachs and fever. High in antioxidants, sage is considered a healthful herb overall. These antioxidants are due to the presence of labiatic acid and carnosic acid within the herb.
The extract of sage can be used as an astringent as well as a stimulant. Herbalists have prescribed the remedy for tonsillitis, headaches, gingivitis, and night sweats. It may also help relieve frequent flatulence. Chinese herbalists have recommended the herb for people with weak digestive systems.
Cosmetically, sage extract can be used in mouthwash to help remedy bad breath. It can also be used in decreasing body odor as a deodorant. Garden sage has the ability to help decrease perspiration, making it a natural choice that some people opt to use rather than commercial antiperspirants.
If prescribed for health purposes, a typical dosage of sage extract includes two to four tablespoons (28 to 56 grams) of fresh sage leaves daily. The remedy may also be taken in dried alcohol or water extract, capsule, or dried leaf form. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and children should seek a physican's advice before self-medicating with this or any herbal remedies.
In traditional English folktales, sage extract was used to treat snake bites. It was also rumored to help increase the memory and to cure palsy. The validity of these uses remain unsubstantiated. In France, sage extract has been used to lessen grief, while Italians have traditionally used the herb to maintain overall health.
Folklore also maintained that abundant growth of garden sage in a yard indicated a wife who ruled her household, which led to husbands often pruning the sage from their gardens. The sage herb also served as a sign of whether or not a household would prosper. Healthy herbs represented a financially stable home, while wilted, dying plants signified a family that would know poverty.
A hardy shrub throughout the year, sage is known for its purple flowers arranged in spirals. These typically bloom in August. Sage has a distinctive, heady herbal aroma, and is often used to flavor or preserve meats, poultry, cheeses, and dozens of other dishes. Sage extract may be used to add flavorings to butters, oils, and other cooking ingredients as well.
Sage is great, but remember, it's a powerful treatment, so there are things you need to be careful about.
Some people think if it's not a "real" medication that they can just take as much as they want without consequences, but it simply doesn't work that way.
Sage has it's side effects just like anything else. For example, many people actually find that sage leaf can actually exacerbate stomach problems if taken on an upset stomach, and others develop contact dermatitis just by touching it.
More seriously, those who are pregnant or nursing should not take sage or eat things with sage leaf in them, since it can induce contractions, and has also been known to dry
up breast milk.
So just remember, just because it's not pharmaceutically based doesn't mean that you can take it at will. You should consult a doctor before beginning any kind of sage supplement or infusion, just as you would with any other kind of medicine.
I don't know what I would do without my sage oil -- that and my echinacea and astragalus extract. It's really amazing that people will take all these chemicals to treat conditions, and yet turn their noses up at a natural cure that's better for their body.
I think it's great @rallenwriter that some European governments are starting to accept it as an official medication.
People have been using herbal extracts for centuries with documented, powerful effects, and sage is one of the most commonly found ones. I'm glad that more and more people are finally realizing just what this amazing herb can do for them.
I love sage leaf extract -- it is one of my favorite herbs, medicinal or culinary. I really love using sage oil extract for my mouthwash, since it doesn't give you that nasty alcohol taste, and it's also a great addition to tea when I've got a headache.
Did you know that salvia/sage extract has also been accepted as a "real" medication by several governments in Europe? In Germany, sage tea is approved for use for mild stomach pain and excessive sweating.
So you see, this really is a great herb -- even if it's not officially recognized in the States yet, sage extract is a powerful and helpful herb.