Struggling with menopausal hot flushes? Sage could be the herb you need.
A popular kitchen herb belonging to the mint family, sage is also important medicinally.
Known as the guardian of herbs, its traditional use in healing is even reflected in its Latin name, Salvia, which means 'to be healthy'.
How does it work?
Sage leaves contain a number of antioxidant polyphenols and essential oils which, together, have antiseptic and perspiration-inhibiting properties that can relieve menopausal hot flushes and night sweats.
Whether these actions are due to the presence of plant oestrogens, or an ability to stimulate natural oestrogen production, is unclear.
Sage is also used to boost memory and concentration, through an ability to inhibit cholinesterase – an enzyme that deactivates some neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry messages between cells) in the brain.
What can it help?
Sage leaf herbal extracts are mainly used to support health in later life and to boost wellbeing, but are also traditionally used to improve memory and to help lift mood.
Sage leaves contain oestrogen-like plant hormones and extracts that have been found to reduce the frequency of hot flushes. In a study involving 71 women with menopausal hot flushes, taking a sage leaf tablet daily halved the intensity of flushes within four weeks and reduced them by almost two-thirds (64 per cent) within eight weeks.
The average number of hot flushes per day also decreased, and other menopausal symptoms improved.
Sage leaf extracts are a traditional remedy for improving memory. Tests involving 20 volunteers aged 65 or over found that those given sage leaf extracts had significantly improved memory recall accuracy when tested at one, two and a half, four and six hours after treatment.
By contrast, when taking a placebo, they showed a normal drop in performance over the course of the day.
In a study of 30 healthy volunteers, sage leaf extracts improved mood, reduced anxiety and increased alertness, calmness and contentedness, compared with those given a placebo.
Botanical water-extracted sage, described as a natural phytoestrogen
- Powerful natural botanical extract of sage leaf
- One-a-day tablet, equivalent to 2000mg whole sage leaf
- A natural plant oestrogen and the perfect partner to Black Cohosh Menopause Relief
How much should I take?
400mg concentrated extracts (equivalent to 2,000mg whole leaf) daily.
Available forms: Tinctures, tablets, capsules, tea (to make your own, add 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves to a cup of boiling water and infuse for 20 minutes before drinking).
Watchpoints: Do not take sage supplements during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, except under medical advice. Avoid if you have epilepsy.
Perfect partners: Soy isoflavones, evening primrose oil, royal jelly.