Sage has been used for centuries to make medicinal teas. These teas were used to treat coughs, colds, sore throats and bronchitis, according to Natural News. Sage has also long been used as a brain food and anti-inflammatory. There are oils and tannins in sage containing thujone and rosmarinic acid. These compounds turn the popular Thanksgiving herb into an antiseptic, antiperspirant, antiviral, antioxidant and antifungal.
The volatile oil in sage is composed of camphor, cineol and pinene. Camphor is recognized as a property in many over-the-counter medicines. It is found in petroleum jellies and used on the chest to break up congestion. Camphor is also found in medicine used to treat itchy insect bites. Cineol is found in hundreds of plants and herbs, usually in small amounts, and has antiseptic properties. Pinene is a liquid hydrocarbon which can be chemically altered for use as an insecticide.
Recent studies show that sage helps halt the memory loss in Alzheimer's patients. There is also a current clinical trial ongoing to determine how beneficial sage can be in treating Alzheimer's, sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
Sage has dozens of applications in natural or holistic medicine. This perennial, evergreen shrub grows well throughout Georgia, blooming all summer with purple spikes of fragrant flowers. The leaves can be used fresh or dried as a spice in cooking or in making natural medicines.
Pregnant women and those taking medication for high blood pressure should not use sage as medicine. Always consult a family physician before beginning an alternative treatment for any illness or chronic disease.
Do plant sage in the garden or in flower beds or herb gardens. The plant is attractive and fragrant, drawing hummingbirds and butterflies. Sage is beneficial in aromatherapy and can be found in some perfumes and colognes.