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.