Sage (Salvia) - aromatic perennial herbaceous plants and shrubs of the family Lamiaceae, native
which is the Mediterranean, from where it spread and were introduced successfully around the world.
The genus Salvia has about 700-900 species and subspecies of herbaceous and woody plants.
The most common and well-known species of sage are:
Shrubs sage reach up to 120 cm in height and have a rough, or wrinkled fluffy, gray-green or white-green oval leaves. Flowers sage depending on the species may be purple, white or red shades. The fruits of the plants are small, 2, 5 mm diameter nuts brown.
The composition of sage include:
- Essential oils (thujone, borneol, cineole, camphene, humulene, and pinene al.);
- Diterpene alkaloids;
- Calcium oxalate;
- Phosphoric acid;
- Minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, etc.);
- Vitamins A and C;
The use of sage
Widespread use of salvia has received in cooking, where it is used as herbs and spices from the late 17th century. As a sage seasoning blends well with meat and poultry dishes, fish, apples, tomatoes, eggs and cheese.
In Italy Dried sage added to pizza and macaroni and cheese, while in France it is sprinkled with toasted bread with garlic, drizzled with olive oil. Sage is also added to the home stuffing, pies and sausages, vegetable soups, salads, tomato sauces and pastas, omelets, bread, beans and desserts.
Sage leaves in a small amount is added to salads, tea, meat, stews, fish and a variety of toppings. You can also freeze an infusion of sage leaves in ice cubes for the preparation of soft drinks.
a sage can be stored up to 6 months in a glass container in the form of fresh if stored properly sage leaves will save useful properties and aroma of up to 2 weeks.
In America, the long Thanksgiving turkey with sage flavored traditional, and in medieval Europe, sage tea was considered the best means to strengthen the memory.
In medicine, the use of salvia became popular in the late 19th century, but long before this plant is considered a cure all kinds of diseases. On its basis in the home can be an effective means for the relief of pain in the throat and destruction of oral infections.
Elixirs of clary sage relieves stress and depression weaken cold, remove bad breath, and improve digestion. Essential oils from medicinal sage is used as a cough balms rubbing.
Ointments based on medicinal sage have antiseptic properties and are used for cuts and wounds. The use of sage as a means for rinsing hair helps to restore the natural color and reduce hair loss.
In cosmetology sage is used as a flavoring agent in the manufacture of soaps and cosmetics.
Useful properties of sage
Sage is a source of vitamin A, calcium, iron and potassium, which are particularly important for maintaining healthy teeth, bones and skin.
Preparations based medicinal sage used in the treatment of diabetes, gynecologic diseases and allergies, herpes, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, and loss of appetite, gingivitis, flatulence, Alzheimer's disease, memory loss, and to reduce hot flushes during menopause.
To the beneficial properties of sage may also include the presence therein of antioxidants that protect cells from damage by oxidation, which can lead to the formation of cancer cells.
Prolonged use of high doses of sage is unsafe. Some species of sage contains a poisonous substance called thujone, which is able to accumulate in the body. This chemical can cause seizures, liver damage and nervous system.
Pregnancy and lactation are contraindications to the sage, because the use of thujone can cause loss of milk and lead to abortion.
Hypertension should exclude the use of sage, since this plant increases blood pressure.
Contraindications to Sage also epilepsy, as thujone can cause convulsions. It is not necessary to combine the use of sage with drugs for diabetes mellitus, because the mixture can significantly reduce blood sugar.
The use of warfarin and other anticoagulants is a contraindication to the sage, as part of the coumarin plant in combination with these drugs can cause bleeding.