Sage

An attractive herbal remedy for the menopause is sage.

Most everyone knows what sage is: a herb that can grow in your back garden that goes great with meats, stuffing, stock, and risotto. But for some menopausal women, it means a lot more. In Latin, sage is known as salvia, which means “to heal” – a promising start when thinking about what herbal remedy to try. Sage has been used for centuries to treat the menopause, and in particular, hot flushes and night sweats. Yet, as it turns out, sage might not be as helpful as its name suggests.

If you buy sage tablets, be sure to read the labels and only buy ‘thujone-free’ sage.

Firstly, for the menopause, sage is typically taken in tablet form. But there are plenty of different kinds of sage, so before you go ahead and buy any and everything, read-on. Some kinds of sage contain a chemical called thujone, which can cause negative side effects like vomiting, vertigo, kidney damage, rapid heartbeat, and seizures, when taken in high amounts. If you buy sage tablets, be sure to read the labels and only buy ‘thujone-free’ sage.

How effective is sage at treating symptoms? At this point it may come as no surprise that, like most herbal remedies, it’s unclear as to whether sage really does anything or if it’s just a placebo. There have been a few studies that seem to prove its effectiveness, though there hasn’t been enough research to really suggest it works. Many women report that it doesn’t do much for them, while others swear by it.

For example, even just 1 tablespoon of fresh sage contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, fibre, and iron…

So where does that leave you? If you are cautious as to which  sage tablets to buy, it doesn’t hurt to try. Fresh sage itself (like the herb you use to cook with), has plenty of other benefits as well. For example, even just 1 tablespoon of fresh sage contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, fibre, and iron (only about 1-3% of your daily value but still valid) – so if anything, it can certainly serve you well in your dishes and nutrition. It can also come in the form of a tea or an essential oil, whereby the benefits include being anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial.

Bottom line: be careful about exactly what you’re taking, and don’t necessarily expect it to cure your problems. For some, of course, it works, but its effectiveness is ultimately unclear. If you’d like to give it a go, consider starting with sage tea – if nothing else, at least you’ll get a good cuppa out of it!

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