What Are the Health Benefits of Sage Tea?

sage tea
2 glasses of sage tea. (Image: oyaboya/iStock/Getty Images)

Sage, or salvia officinalis, as it is scientifically called is a plant native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Sage has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The leaves of this small ever green, perennial plant are used as a popular culinary herb. Sage oil is extracted by distillation from its dried leaves and sage leaves make a soothing cup of tea which provides many health benefits.

Properties of Sage

Sage has many medicinal properties. It is a stimulant, a diuretic and an expectorant, it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and also serves as an appetite enhancer. Because of these characteristics of sage, sage tea provides many health benefits.

Antioxidant Effects

Antioxidants act as scavengers to clean up the free radicals of metabolism and other environmental toxins like smoke and pesticides in the body. Antioxidants work to prevent free radicals from attacking the cell tissues, prevent the signs of early aging and the risk of conditions like cancer and heart disease. Sage tea is a potent source of antioxidants, according to a study published in "Frontiers in Pharmacology" in 2011. These antioxidants help to stave off these damaging effects of free radicals.

Effects on Diabetes

Sage is among the herbal plants that’s considered being of benefit to patients with diabetes. A study by researchers C. F. Lima, M. F. Azevedo, et. al., was done at the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, August, 2006. Entitled, "Metformin-Like effect of Salvia officinalis (common sage): is it useful in diabetes prevention?" The purpose of the study was to verify the anti-diabetic effects of an infusion of sage tea in mice. The results showed sage tea infusion effects on the fasting glucose levels in normal animals and its metformin -- a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes -- like effects on rat liver cells suggest sage may be useful as a food supplement in preventing Type 2 diabetes by lowering the blood glucose of individuals at risk.

Additional Benefits

Sage tea is beneficial in treating fevers and colds, sore throat and headaches as well as indigestion and gastro-intestinal upsets.

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