With a sharp flavor, sage herb or garden sage has been grown as a pot herb since ancient Roman times. Famous as being the guardian over all other herbs, sage has many virtues, both culinary and health promoting. Chinese and traditional European medicines have been using it for its disease preventing properties.
Growing all over Mediterranean and south-eastern Europe regions, sage is an evergreen perennial shrub belonging to Lamiaceae family, genus Salvia and hearing the scientific name Salvia officinalis.
Sage is rich in chemical compounds, essential oils, minerals and vitamins, all contributing to promoting health and preventing diseases.
The primary biologically active component of common sage appears to be its essential oil, which chiefly contain ketones; α-thujone, and β-thujone. In addition, sage leaf contains numerous other compounds, including cineol, borneol, tannic acid; bitter substances like cornsole and cornsolic acid; fumaric, chlorogenic, caffeic and nicotinic acids; nicotinamide; flavones; flavone glycosides and estrogenic substances. These compounds are known to have counter-irritant, rubefacient, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties.
Three lobe sage (S. triloba) composes flavone called salvigenin. Research studies found that vascular relaxant effect of salvigenin may offer benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Fresh sage leaves are a good source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin C; contain 32.4 or 54% of RDA. Vitamin C helps in the synthesis of structural proteins like collagen. Adequate levels in the body help maintain integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.