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SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Salvia officinalis L. (Dalmatian sage),S. lavandulaefolia Vahl. (Spanish sage). Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae
COMMON NAME(S): Garden sage, true sage, scarlet sage, meadow sage
Sage is a silvery-green shrub with very fragrant leaves. The most commonly cultivated species of sage originally came from the area around the Mediterranean but now also grows in North America. The leaves of this common kitchen herb are used in medicine as well as in cooking.
Dried sage leaf is used as a culinary spice and as a source of sage oil, which is obtained by steam distillation. Traditionally, sage and its oil have been used for the treatment of a wide range of illnesses; the name Salvia derives from the Latin word meaning "healthy" or "to heal" Extracts and teas have been used to treat digestive disorders, as a tonic, and as an antispasmodic. The plant has been used topically as an antiseptic and astringent and to manage excessive sweating.Sage has been used internally as a tea for the treatment of dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, gastritis, and sore throat. The dried leaves have been smoked to treat asthma. Despite these varied uses, there is little evidence that the plant exerts any significant pharmacologic activity. The plant's fragrance is said to suppress fish odor, Sage oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and perfumes. It is a widely used food flavoring, and sage oleoresin is also used in the culinary industry.
Botany :- Sage is a small, evergreen perennial plant with short woody stems that branch extensively and can attain heights of 0.6 to 0.9 m. Its violet-blue flowers bloom from June to September. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and grows throughout much of the world. Do not confuse the plant with red sage or the brush sage of the desert.
Uses of Sage
An ancient herb, Sage is popular as a potent condiment for meat, fish, Mediterranean dishes, English Sage Derby Cheese, and as a basis for sage tea, taken to counteract sweating. Infusion of Sage can used to treat depression, nervous anxiety and liver disorders; homeopathic preparations can be given for circulation and menopausal problems. The leaves are also antiseptic, used in gargles for laryngitis and tonsillitis, and as a mouth freshener and tooth cleanser. It also provides an essential oil which can be used in perfumery.
Side Effects of SageThe only side effects reported with the ingestion of sage include cheilitis, stomatitis, dry mouth, or local irritation.
For a variety of conditions including mouth inflammation, gingivitis and sore throats, add 3 grams of sage leaf to 150 ml of boiling water, strain after 10 minutes and then let cool. The resulting tea can then be used as a mouthwash or gargle a few times a day. As an internal supplement 5 ml of fluid extract can be diluted in a glass of water and taken three times a day.
Although sage oil contains thujone, the oil does not have a reputation for toxicity, The oil is nonirritating and non sensitizing when applied topically to human skin in diluted concentrations. Cheilitis and stomatitis have been reported in some cases following sage tea ingestion. Others have reported that ingestion of large amounts of the plant extract may cause dry mouth or local irritation.
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