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Sage has a long history of being used as a spice and for health purposes. It was used in ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek medicine. Among Native Americans, dried sage was burnt in rituals to promote healing, wisdom, protection and longevity.

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Today, sage is used as a supplement for digestive problems, sore mouth or throat, memory loss, and depression.

› Health Benefits

Not much is known about the health effects of sage because little research has been done. There have been a few studies on usage for sore throat, mood, memory and cholesterol levels, but the findings are preliminary, and some of the research is of poor quality.

› How much do I need?

The dosage varies depending on age and what it is being used for. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels, and consult your pharmacist, physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Some species of sage contain thujone, which can affect the nervous system. Extended use or taking large amounts of sage leaf or oil may result in restlessness, vomiting, vertigo, rapid heart rate, tremors, seizures or kidney damage. Twelve or more drops of the oil is considered a toxic dose.

› Dietary supplements

Sage leaves or their extracts are available in liquids, throat sprays, tablets, lozenges and capsules.

Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Please consult your health care provider before making changes to your vitamin/supplement regimen.

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