Common sage, also known as Salvia officinalis, has been used throughout history to treat or cure a wide variety of illness and disease. Many people still rely on it today for multiple uses, including relief for headaches, abdominal and digestive difficulties, women's health and menopause symptoms, oral health, to control excessive perspiration, to give relief from joint pain, and as a memory aid.
Compresses made from a hot sage tea can be applied to the abdomen to relieve cramping. Because of its bitterness, when taken internally as a tea, it stimulates the fluids in the digestive tract, aiding in digestion and preventing intestinal problems. It can also act as a diuretic and be taken as a cold tea to relieve diarrhea.
Women's Health Issues
Drinking hot sage tea will hasten women's menses in case of amenorrhea. It will also help with dysmenorrhea, which is usually caused by painful contractions of the uterus. Additionally, it is especially useful in menopausal women as the cold tea will help with symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, dizziness and headaches.
Swelling and Joint Pain
Hot compresses of sage tea may be applied to insect bites to take away itching and reduce swelling. It can be rubbed on other injuries or can be taken internally, again as a tea, to act as a general anti-inflammatory in the manner of ibuprofen. A cream made of sage extract, when applied externally, can help to relieve swelling and joint pain caused by sprains and various forms of arthritis.
Sage is particularly useful in maintaining oral health. Gargle with a cooled sage tea to stop bleeding gums, soothe mouth ulcers and canker sores, and relieve sore throat. In parts of India it is used as a toothbrush/toothpaste as it not only cleans the teeth, but strengthens the gums.
Cooling and Antiperspirant Effects
Sage can also be used to prevent excessive sweating and is useful for anyone experiencing night sweats. It can be used to reduce fevers, although it is not recommended for fevers caused by regular colds where the body may be producing the fever to fight off infection.
Sage tea is considered to be a good treatment for the fevers and excitement from brain diseases and nervous diseases when given in frequent small doses. A good, strong cup of the tea or a hot compress of the leaves dipped in the tea will relieve tension headache. Because its relaxing effect, it can be used to treat anxiety, excitability and vertigo. It can also help to strengthen a weak nervous system. Sage contains natural memory aids. Studies have shown that sage, in combination with rosemary and other herbs, may help prevent the effects of Alzheimer's disease.
Anyone who suffers from epilepsy or other seizure disorders should not use sage or should use it very sparingly as its properties can sometimes trigger seizures. Likewise, pregnant women should not use this herb as its effects on the fetus cannot be determined.