Sage is a staple herb in various cuisines around the world.
Its other names include common sage, garden sage and Salvia officinalis. It belongs to the mint family, alongside other herbs like oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme.
Sage has a strong aroma and earthy flavor, which is why it’s typically used in small amounts. Even so, it’s packed with a variety of important nutrients and compounds.
Sage is also used as a natural cleaning agent, pesticide and ritual object in spiritual sage burning or smudging.
This green herb is available fresh, dried or in oil form — and has numerous health benefits.
Here are 12 surprising health benefits of sage.
Does It Have Side Effects?
Sage is considered safe with no reported side effects.
However, some people are concerned about thujone, a compound found in common sage. Animal research has found that high doses of thujone may be toxic to the brain.
That said, there is no good evidence that thujone is toxic to humans.
What’s more, it’s nearly impossible to consume toxic amounts of thujone through foods. However, drinking too much sage tea or ingesting sage essential oils — which should be avoided in any case — may have toxic effects.
To be on the safe side, limit sage tea consumption to 3–6 cups a day.
Otherwise, if you are concerned about thujone in common sage, then you can simply consume Spanish sage instead, as it does not contain thujone.
The Bottom Line
Sage is an herb with several promising health benefits.
It’s high in antioxidants and may help support oral health, aid brain function and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
This green spice is also easy to add to almost any savory dish. It can be enjoyed fresh, dried or as a tea.