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Although sage has been linked to many cultures worldwide, it is believed to have originated in Syria and spread through the Mediterranean and then to the rest of the world via trade routes. In ancient Egypt, it was used to promote menstruation and increase fertility in women.
True to its Latin name (Salvia means “to heal”) sage has many medicinal properties. Sage is accredited with antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, hypoglycemic, and estrogenic effects. When taken as a tea, sage has a calming effect on sweat glands and reduces perspiration. Sage also shows promise as an herbal treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
When used as a compress, cream, or infusion, sage leaves may benefit some dermatologic conditions. Additionally, an herbal wash of its fresh leaves may have some benefit for sores and wounds. When used as a gargle or mouthwash, it can soothe the mucus membrane of the mouth and throat, and can be beneficial for bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, and bad breath.
Information courtesy of Georgetown University Medical Center