Sage, salvia officinalis, is a perennial plant that belongs to the mint family and has a longstanding use as a culinary and medicinal herb. Sage is easily grown from cuttings taken from existing plants, can grow to 2 feet high or more, and can easily take over a large corner of a garden if allowed to grow unchecked for years. As it grows, the stems of the plant become hard and woody and leaves grow from stem ends and side shoots.
Sage is a fragrant herb that pairs well with both fish and pork dishes, and is one of the four essential cooking herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme.) But in addition to its uses as an herb in food, it can, like mint, be used to make tea. And that tea has been used throughout history for numerous purposes.
1. Ameliorating Hot Flashes and Symptoms of Menopause
Women who drink sage tea on a regular basis experience fewer hot flashes and less severe symptoms of menopause. That may be because it exerts an estrogenic effect on the body. And that would explain why sage tea also plays a role in reducing the milk supply in breastfeeding mothers.
2. Lowering Cholesterol
Some preliminary research has indicated that regular consumption of sage tea may help reduce overall cholesterol levels. Sage is also a potent source of antioxidants.
3. Stimulates Appetite
Sage tea has been renowned for its ability to stimulate appetite.
4. Eases Digestive Difficulties
Sage has anti-inflammatory qualities and has been used to soothe upset stomachs and aid in digestion. It also has been used to treat flatulence, diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn.
5. Soothes Sore Throats
As with other teas, sage tea can be taken to help ease the pain from sore throats. Sage extracts have long been used to treat oral conditions such as cold sores and swelling of the mouth, throat, or tongue.
How to Make Sage Tea
Sage tea can be made by steeping 2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried sage leaves in 1 cup of water. You can add honey or lemon juice to taste.
Sage contains thujone, the same potent neurotoxin that is found in wormwood. Consuming too much sage tea (more than 3-6 cups per day) can be detrimental to your health, especially if consumed on a regular basis, and can possibly lead to seizures or organ failure over the long term. Especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you may want to consult a doctor before drinking sage tea, since sage can reduce milk supply and thujone can cause uterine contractions.