This Week’s Herbalicious: Sage

If you’ve been following the blog this month, you’ve learned all about the nutritional, healing benefits of herbs like lavender and oregano. This week’s focus is the herb sage, a perfect complement to fall flavors and Thanksgiving recipes.

10. Those darn Mediterranean folks are at it again!

Between the olive oil and the fish and the vegetables and the red wine, the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest around. Sage, or salvia, was originally cultivated in this region. Now grown and enjoyed all over the world, sage is a versatile recipe ingredient as well as a natural treatment for many minor health issues.

9. An antiseptic green.

Sage has powerful antiseptic properties. If you’re out of hydrogen peroxide or prefer not to use chemical-based medicines, apply a fresh, damp sage leaf to minor cuts and burns for healing.

8. Repellent.

Sage is distasteful to many insects and pests, so it’s a nice alternative to harmful DEET or expensive candles. Burn a little sage in a fire-safe dish at your next cookout, or rub sage-infused lotion into your skin for a natural repellent.

7. Gas relief.

Sage leaves and sage tea may ease intestinal discomfort or digestion troubles. Sage can help reduce gas and bloating.

6. Menstrual relief.

Sage has been used for thousands of years for the relief of cramps and symptoms of PMS. (Note: sage can cause contractions of the uterus, so pregnant and lactating women should avoid it.)

5. Menopause relief.

Sage can ease hot flashes and other uncomfortable side effects of menopause. It is as safe or even safer than some natural supplements (such as those containing soy, yam, and black cohosh). However, people with nervous disorders should avoid sage as a therapy because it can trigger vertigo.

4. Clear the air.

Many people “smudge” their homes with a smoldering stalk of fresh or dried sage leaves in order to clear away odors and stagnant or negative energy. It can’t hurt! Burn sweet sage or even cedar and oregano to clear the air and restore a gently sweet smell to your home.

3. Flavor.

Sage is a delicious herb with a woody, earthy, gamey bite. It fills out vegetable and meat dishes equally well, and tastes especially wonderful with fall’s yams, fowl, and cranberries. Sage adds instant elegance and depth to gravies and soups.

2. Yeast infections.

Sage, having antiseptic and antifungal properties, makes a useful wash for those suffering from yeast infections like candida. Sage has even been shown to help reduce the symptoms of herpes.

1. Lowered blood glucose.

Early research shows an added benefit of sage: reduced blood glucose levels. Adding sage into your diet on a weekly basis is a smart idea. Sage is easy to grow and incredibly versatile in its many uses, so don’t miss out!

Sutton Hoo Photo on Flickr

Be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow – we’ll be sharing some last minute tips and recipes for a healthy Thanksgiving!

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