‘Mind’ is not one particular place. Every cell in the body has its own intelligence. And every cell remembers the complex amalgamation of the influences in your life – spiritual and physical. Mind is not an information bank – this is just the brain. That is why ailments of the mind are so complex – even advanced medicine cannot explain them, therefore it cannot cure them.
Globally, especially in Greek, Indian, and Chinese cultures, species of sage are traditional herbs for creating enhancing tonics for mind or brain.
Sage is not one species – there are many species and varieties. For example, in Greece and in some seaside places of Turkey there is Salvia fruticose, a sage with an irresistible sweet aroma. Why are sage plants are so different? Because the main ingredient is their essential oil, hence the aroma can be many different. Salvia fruticosa usually has a-, b-thujone as a main ingredient, but Salvia officinalis usually has camphor or 1,8-cineole. This is why the second has an intense, bitter flavor in contrast with the sweet flavor of the first species.
According to recent research, the effects of sage include antidepressant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neurotropic, and cholinergic activities.
Traditionally it has been a ‘panacea herb’ for relief from depression, dementia, obesity, diabetes, lupus, heart disease, and cancer. It protects the body from oxidative stress and free radicals causing cancer. Sage truly protects the brain from neurodegeneration. That is the reason cognitive activity – memory, attention, learning – is potentially enhanced by sage in diseases like dementia.
Sage tea has been traditionally used for the treatment of digestive and circulation disturbances, bronchitis, cough, asthma, angina, mouth and throat inflammations, depression, excessive sweating, skin diseases, and many other diseases. Excessive sweating or hot flashes due to menopause can be reduced by sage tea. Sage extracts and essential oils are helping cognition and mood, but there is still ongoing research on the best ways you can use them safely.
Drinking tea with some sage (pure sage tea is too strong and bitter) every other day for a week can help you with the above – then take a break for a few weeks and begin again, because it is too powerful for the kidneys and liver.
For boosting your brain, you can mix it with lemon balm and ginkgo biloba, and in cooking try adding sage to butternut squash, roasted chicken, turkey, tomato sauce, or a white bean soup.
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology