Sage Enhances Memory and More, According to Research

Sage boosting our memory is not folk lore. For centuries herbalists have been saying that sage is good for the brain and memory. In 1597, John Gerard, herbalist wrote: “singularlygood for the head and brain and quickeneth the nerves and memory.” Now modern research has proven what these old herbalists knew from experience.

The Latin name, Salvia lavandulaefolia, means to protect the ‘chemical messengers’ which carry information in the brain necessary for the memory.


Improves Memory

In a memory test, those who had taken the sage oil capsules achieved better results than those who hadn’t.

In another study in Sept 2003, there were 44 healthy adults; some were given sage oil capsules and others placebos. Again, those who consumed the sage oil capsules had improved memory results.

“This proves how valuable the work by the old herbalists is, and that they shouldn’t just be ignored because they were writing centuries ago.  This research has serious implications for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as it will inform drug research and development.” said research team leader Nicola Tildesley.

Alzheimer’s Treatment

Since research found sage to be helpful with memory, it was only natural to test it out with Alzheimer’s patients. In a study, people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were given either sage extract or a placebo for 4 months. There was a very good improvement in cognition as well as a reduction in agitation compared with the placebo group.

Lowers Cholesterol

The Department of Pharmacology and Applied Medicine did a study with a group of 67 people; 34 took a sage extract capsule every 8 hours for 2 months. Those who took the sage saw a noteworthy improvement of 19 percent in cholesterol levels while the control group had no significant changes.

Helpful for Diabetics

Research found that participants with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes had a positive effect after taking sage. After 2 hours of fasting, blood sugar levels were significantly decreased compared with the control group.

Helps Menopausal Hot Flashes Disappear or Lessen

Thirty women who had menopausal hot flashes and night sweats were given an extract of sage and alfalfa. In 20 women, all symptoms disappeared and the remaining 10 showed some improvement.

Then in 2011, studies following 71 women with at least five hot flashes a day were given a dose of fresh sage daily for 8 weeks; the hot flashes decreased by 50 percent after 4 weeks and 64 percent after 8 weeks.

Useful for Treatment of Herpes Cold Sores 

A combination of sage and rhubarb extracts were used in a study of 149 patients, the results showed that it was more effective than Zovirax cream, a prescription medicine used for lessening herpes cold sores.

Healing for a Sore Throat

Sage throat spray used in a study of 286 patients to compare the usefulness against a placebo for very sore throats.  The 15 percent sage spray was found to be more effective in getting rid of throat pain.

Additional Benefits

Wisdom throughout history says that sage is a healing herb curative for snake bites, epilepsy, intoxication, worms and intestinal problems and even as an aphrodisiac.

Also, sage tea is said to be good for treating colds, fevers, headaches and indigestion.


Sage Nutrition:  Sage has a many volatile oils, (including apigenin, diosmetin and luteolin), and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  Also, it is an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A. For more information: Sage Nutrient Details.

How to Select and Store:  Fresh sage is best, better than dried for flavor. Make sure the leaves are fresh and a vibrant green-gray with no darks spots or yellowing.

When buying dried sage, select organically grown sage so you know that it has not been irradiated.

Wrap fresh leaves in a damp paper towel inside a lightly closed plastic bag in the refrigerator; it will keep fresh for a few days.  Keep dried sage in a tightly sealed glass jar in a cool, dark, dry place for about six months. 

Tips for eating or cooking:

Sage has a very delicate flavour so add it near the end of the cooking to preserve its essence.

Use it fresh or dried (whole or ground), adding some sage to a dish will enhance the flavor with no added calories or sodium.

Boost your memory by adding some sage to your stews and soups or drink some sage tea.


Savoury Healing Sage Tea 

This sage tea is simple to make, all you need is fresh or dried sage leaves, water, and honey or stevia, if you want to sweeten the strong flavor.


2 teaspoons of fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon of dried sage leaves)
1 cup of water
Lemon (to taste)
Honey or stevia (to taste) 


  1. Boil water.
  2. Add sage leaves (fresh or dried) to the water, steep for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture to remove the sage leaves as you pour into a mug.
  4. Add lemon, and honey or stevia to taste and enjoy!

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