Can you eat sage leaves?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “Can you eat sage?” and discuss its various health benefits.

Yes, you can eat sage leaves. Sage, scientifically called Salvia officinalis, is an aromatic shrub belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae), which also include herbs such as oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil.

It is a herb native to the Mediterranean. It is also called common garden sage, or garden sage.

Sage was used for medicinal and culinary purposes in the past. It was an important part of Roman ceremonies. The word “sage” means “wise” because it was thought to increase wisdom and memory.

The name of this herb carries significance because it was thought that it enhances memory and alleviates depression. It has been used extensively for treating brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. But in recent times, it has proved these usages as it helps increase alertness, calmness, and it also improves memory.

It has a long history of medicinal uses for the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments to mental disorders, but in modern times its usage has extended to being used as an ornamental garden plant.

Sage’s medicinal features lie in its volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acid. The essential oil extracted from sage has also some medicinal benefits; it contains cineole, borneol, and thujone. Its leaves contain tannic acid, oleic acid, carnosol, acid, niacin, nicotinamide, flavones, flavonoid glycosides, and estrogenic substances.

Health benefits of sage

Some of the health benefits of eating sage leaves are::

Alzheimer’s treatment

Studies have shown that certain species can affect the brain positively and may even be neuroprotective. It can also have a positive effect on memory, increasing it in young and adults.

Sage herb is specifically useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease, in which acetylcholine levels decrease. Compounds in sage can decrease the breakdown of acetylcholine and thus help elevate its levels in the brain, causing significant improvement in complications.

Support memory and brain health

Antioxidants in sage can improve brain health and can help support your brain and memory in several ways.

A study showed that when Alzheimer patients consumed sage for four months, increased improvement in memory, reasoning, and cognitive abilities was seen.

May alleviate diarrhea

Traditionally, sage was used for the remedy of diarrhea and also helped relax the gut with its aromatic properties.

May support bone health

Sage is a good source of vitamin K which is important for bone health.

May combat skin aging

Various compounds in sage can help fight aging.

Lower blood glucose and cholesterol

Sage is useful in lowering glucose in the blood and has been used traditionally for this purpose. It can lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.

Thus, the leaves of sage are used for hyperglycaemic conditions and to improve cholesterol in the body.

Support oral health

Some of the compounds found in sage help mitigate inflammation. Recent studies have suggested their potential use in the inflammation of specific cells of gingival fibroblasts. Hence, used in dentistry for inflammatory purposes.

Ease menopause symptoms

Sage has compounds that have estrogen-like properties and are thus used to reduce menopause symptoms.

A female body experiences various symptoms during menopause and also a decline in estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes, excessive sweating. Sage can greatly help in resolving these symptoms.

How to add sage to your diet

You can add sage to your diet in several ways:

  • Sprinkle as a garnish on soups.
  • Mix into stuffing in roast dishes.
  • Combine chopped leaves with butter to make sage butter.
  • Add chopped leaves to tomato Sauce.
  • Serve it with eggs in an omelet.

Nutrition in sage leaves

There are numerous beneficial nutrients and vitamins in this small herb, but they are present in small quantities. The carbohydrates, proteins, and calories are not too high in the sage herb.

One teaspoonful of ground sage still contains several powerful nutrients, including:

  • 2 calories
  • 3 milligrams (mg) of magnesium
  • 1 mg of phosphorus
  • 7 mg of potassium
  • 2 micrograms (mcg) of folate
  • 24 mcg of beta-carotene
  • 41 international units (IU) of vitamin A
  • 12 mcg of vitamin K

Other beneficial anti-inflammatories and antioxidant compounds include:

  • 1,8-cineole
  • Camphor
  • Borneol
  • bornyl acetate
  • Camphene

Side effects of eating sage

Sage has many health benefits but if you consume it in high doses for a long time, it potentially becomes unsafe because of some chemicals found in it. Thujone has the potential to cause seizures and liver damage when taken in large quantities. It can also damage nerve cells. Its quantity is different in various species.

Therefore, it is recommended to limit sage consumption to 3–6 cups a day. In this way, you will be able to benefit the most from this herb.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat sage leaves?” and discussed its various health benefits.

References

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-504/sage
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sage
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266480

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.