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Sage Tea

Health Benefits, Uses & More

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Updated August 02, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Sage tea is a natural substance made from the leaves of the sage plant (Salvia officinalis). Often used as a spice, sage is also a popular remedy in herbal medicine. Proponents claim that drinking sage tea can help with a number of health problems, as well as promote weight loss and improve hair health.

Health Benefits of Sage Tea

While research on the health effects of sage is very limited, there's some evidence that drinking sage tea may provide certain benefits. Here's a look at the science behind sage tea:

1) Cholesterol

Sage tea may help keep cholesterol in check, according to a small study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in 2009. After four weeks of regular consumption of sage tea, six healthy female volunteers showed a reduction in LDL ("bad") cholesterol and an improvement in total cholesterol levels. The study also found that sage tea may help increase antioxidants activity.

See Remedies for High Cholesterol for natural methods to lower cholesterol.

2) Hot Flashes

There's some evidence that sage leaves may be beneficial for reducing hot flashes. For instance, in a study published in the Italian journal Minerva Ginecologica, researchers assigned 30 menopausal women to three months treatment with a combination of sage-leaf extract and alfalfa. Results showed that hot flashes completely disappeared in 20 women, while an additional four women showed "good improvement" in hot flashes.

Find out more about taking a Natural Approach to Menopause.

3) Hair

While some proponents suggest that applying a combination of sage tea and apple cider vinegar to the scalp can promote hair growth, there is no scientific support for this claim.

Get the scoop on other remedies, such as Biotin for Hair and Amla Oil for Hair.

4) Weight Loss

Sage tea is sometimes recommended as a natural remedy for speeding up your metabolism and, in turn, promoting weight loss. However, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that sage tea can help you lose weight.

See other Natural Approaches to Weight Loss.

5) Excessive Sweating

Although sage tea is said to stop excessive sweating by inhibiting the secretion of sweat, there is currently a lack of scientific studies testing the use of sage tea as a treatment for excessive sweating.

6) Breastfeeding

Some proponents suggest that drinking sage tea can aid breastfeeding mothers. Thought to reduce milk supply, sage tea is typically recommended to breastfeeding mothers dealing with an oversupply of milk (or to those attempting to wean their baby off breastfeeding).

Although there is a lack of scientific research on the use of sage tea in breastfeeding and/or weaning, breastfeeding education groups such as La Leche League International state that sage tea may help mothers deal with oversupply of milk.

Why Do People Drink Sage Tea?

Sage is said to aid in the treatment of many health conditions, including:

In addition, sage tea is purported to stimulate hair growth, support weight loss, aid in the weaning process, and enhance enhance mood.

Where to Find Sage Tea

Widely available for purchase online, sage tea can be found in many natural-foods stores.

When Should You Use It?

Although it's too soon to recommend sage tea for the treatment of any health problem, it's possible that drinking sage tea may help enhance your overall health by increasing your antioxidant intake.

Sources

De Leo V, Lanzetta D, Cazzavacca R, Morgante G. "Treatment of neurovegetative menopausal symptoms with a phytotherapeutic agent." Minerva Ginecol. 1998 May;50(5):207-11.

Lima CF, Andrade PB, Seabra RM, Fernandes-Ferreira M, Pereira-Wilson C. "The drinking of a Salvia officinalis infusion improves liver antioxidant status in mice and rats." J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 28;97(2):383-9.

Sá CM, Ramos AA, Azevedo MF, Lima CF, Fernandes-Ferreira M, Pereira-Wilson C. "Sage tea drinking improves lipid profile and antioxidant defences in humans." Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Sep 9;10(9):3937-50.

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