Sage (scientific name Salvia officinalis) is an herb with gray-green leaves that have a slightly bitter flavor and a distinctive aroma. It is sold as fresh sprigs or dried leaves. In ancient times, Greeks and Romans used it to cure snake bites and to strengthen the mind and body. Sage was a sacred ceremonial herb of the Romans and was associated with immortality.
Sage is believed to increase mental sharpness. Also, it is used to treat colds, fevers, liver trouble, memory loss (especially those with Alzheimer’s disease), and eye problems.
Nowadays, the biggest usage of sage in the world is noted in the Mediterranean countries where it is cultivated the most. Italy is the top consumer of sage in the world, they use it in foods as a spice to flavor poultry and meat dishes, especially veal. Sage is used in cosmetics too, in perfumes and soaps specifically. Lastly, sage can be used as an essential oil to treat skin problems or to drink as a tea.
Mediterranean countries – top suppliers of sage
To grow sage requires warm climates protected from the winds, usually in limestone cliffs. Mediterranean countries are the perfect lands for the sage to cultivate and then export. Turkey is one of the top producers and suppliers of wholesale sage in the world.
Also, Albania has been one of the world’s leading sage producers and exporters in other countries. Other countries that supply sage in wholesale quantities in the world are Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Poland, Romania, etc.
Sage used as an essential oil
Sage essential oil has extraordinary values against mold, microbes, bacteria, inflammation, and toxins, as well as has a stimulating effect on all of the system’s organs. Sage is one of the most heard names in the cosmetics industry, especially regarding skin treatment. Countless beauty products contain sage oil in their contents. Besides, the important role in cosmetics, sage essential oil has health benefits. It is used against a series of skin diseases, wounds or cuts, or dangerous irritations, and against the infections of the ear, nose, throat, eye, genital organs, large intestine, etc.
Sage essential oil is used largely in the treatments against aging. It is enriched with antioxidants, that destroy the free radicals in the system, that cause early aging. Anti-oxidants, slow the aging and prevent the formation of wrinkles, the loss of toned muscles, loss of eyesight, or other mental disorders.
Sage tea – benefits and side effects
Sage tea is made from the leaves of common sage. Although sage is best known as a culinary herb, the leaves are rich in antioxidant compounds such ellagic acid (also found in strawberries, raspberries, and walnuts) and rosmarinic acid (found in rosemary and basil). Sage tea can help with certain health conditions, like heartburn, excessive sweating, age-related cognitive decline, hot flashes, insomnia. Also, gargling with sage tea has long been used as a remedy for sore throat and coughs. Sage tea promotes weight loss and hair growth too.
While sage is generally considered safe when used in the amounts typically found in food recipes, sage contains thujone and camphor, essential oils that have the potential to be harmful if taken orally in high enough amounts, with serious adverse effects such as seizures and organ damage. Taking sage tea in high does result in health problems like mild digestive complaints, nausea, vomiting, agitation, wheezing, skin rash, high or low blood pressure, and allergic reactions.
A study published in Chemical Central Journal suggests that three to six cups of sage tea could be consumed daily without reaching toxicological thresholds. However, another study says that the daily intake of sage tea should be lower based on their findings.
Sage ‘Made in Albania’
The Albanian sage makes up 80% of the total medicinal herbs exported to other countries worldwide. The cultivation of sage is spread throughout Albania, from limestone cliffs to mountain sites, like Korab, in the Alps, Puke, Mirdita, Leskovik, Saranda, etc. It takes an area of 500 km2.
The Albanian sage is very required worldwide. According to statistics, 70 % of all sage imported to the U.S.A. comes from Albania, where is considered a unique and autochthonous Albanian herb. Also, almost 15% of Albanian sage is re-exported from Germany and Turkey to other markets.
Source/ Recipe Land, American Botanical Garden, Chemical Central Journal, Very well fit, Agro news
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