Sage leaf is an herb that you may have used to flavor food, but it can also be taken medicinally, and is thought to have numerous benefits. Sage leaf may reduce sweating, particularly from menopause hot flashes. It is considered good for the digestion, and a relaxant, so it can help with cramps and stomach pain. It may increase antioxidant activity in the body. Sage leaf may also help to lower blood glucose. You should not take sage leaf in medicinal doses if pregnant or nursing, or if you are an epileptic or taking anti-depressants. Here are some ways to include sage leaf in your diet.
1. Drink Sage Leaf Tea
One of the easiest and most commons ways of adding sage to your diet is to drink it as a tea. You can drink up to three cups of sage leaf tea per day. Add one teaspoon of dried sage or several fresh leaves to hot water and let it brew for up to 10 minutes before drinking. Sage can be grown in the garden and is a hardy perennial, so it can provide fresh leaves throughout the year.
2. Add Fresh or Dried Leaves to Food
Sage is a delicious herb and is used traditionally in Middle Eastern and Italian cuisines, among others. Add fresh or dried leaves to stuffing recipes for turkey or chicken. Fresh sage can also be added to salads or to stir fries, or even fried on its own and eaten with potatoes.
3. Make Sage Flavored Oils and Vinegars
Fill a bottle with sage leaves, preferably fresh ones and pour over a good quality olive oil or vinegar, and then seal the bottle. You should store it in the fridge and use in salad dressings or with bread, or to cook vegetables. These can also be sprinkled over other foods to add flavor.
4. Taking Sage Supplements
Sage is available in a wide variety of supplement forms and these can be taken as an alternative for those who don't like sage tea. They are particularly useful for women going through menopause. Sage herb extract can be found as a liquid, which is taken several times per day, or in pill or capsule form. It can be included in multivitamins, particularly those targeted toward women. Sage essence or sage oil is also available but you should dilute it in water according to directions.
5. Chewing Sage Leaves
Sage leaf is used as a breath freshener, and you can rub fresh leaves over your teeth and gums in a scrubbing motion, eat fresh leaves on their own, or chew them and spit them out. Water with sage oil or chopped up leaves can also be used as a mouthwash, as sage is antibacterial and can help with gingivitis and preventing plaque.
Sage leaves have many beneficial qualities and can be added to the diet in many different ways. The wide variety of methods for cooking sage leaves allows them to be a regular part of your diet without much effort, or if necessary, sage can be taken in larger doses through drinking sage tea, or taking supplements.