Could a mysterious and dangerous coronavirus, which as a scarecrow, bypass all current Internet discussions be treated with herbs? Unfortunately, I will not give you a positive answer to that. But I will offer you an herb that very reliably helps against various infections (albeit bacterial rather than viral), inflammation and problems associated with respiratory diseases, such as sore throat and cough: our well-known sage.
It is a plant from the family Nepetoideae. There are many other medicinal and aromatic plants in this subfamily, such as lemon balm, lavender, basil, thyme, hyssop, rhinoceros, mint or shanta. Botanical studies show that there are almost 1,000 species of sage in the world. In the Czech Republic, the following are original: forest sage, Ethiopian, meadow, horsetail, Austrian and non-traditionally yellow-flowering sage sticky.
Sage comes from the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. Its healing effects were already known in ancient Egypt and Rome, where Pliny the Elder writes about it, for example. Its Latin name proves its amazing healing effects: salvare = heal, save, save. During Caroline France, it began to spread throughout Central Europe during the 9th century, where it was grown in newly established monastic gardens. It was scientifically described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. He gave it the Latin nickname officinalis, which refers to its use in "official" medicine. Officina was a room in monasteries where the then known and generally accepted medicinal herbs were stored.
Sage is a small (30–80 cm tall) woody shrub with many “hairy”, greenish-gray to violet-colored leaves. The shape and color of the leaves, as well as the overall shape and growth of the plant, may vary depending on the cultivar of the plant in front of us. The inflorescence is usually arranged in short lichoclases. The flowers are short-stemmed, bisexual, with fused covers, the calyx is bell-shaped. The crown consists of five fused crown leaves and has a typical double-leafed structure and violet coloration for the deafblind. Of the four rods, the two lower ones are converted into so-called staminoids, which serve as a lever mechanism for dusting pollinating insects with pollen from the upper fertile rods. The plant blooms from May to July. The fruits are brown hardies.
If you want to grow sage in the garden, put it in the warmest, most sunny place possible and cover it with hawthorn or non-woven fabric for the winter so that it does not freeze. Otherwise, it is undemanding, it doesn't even show too many nutrients in the soil. The soil should be lighter and rather alkaline, but some cultivars mind almost nothing…
Sage contains a number of medicinal substances, which are produced mainly by trichomes, those hairs that we can see on the leaves. Therefore, the whole, mostly non-flowering stem is collected. The essential oil contains mainly monoterpenes - thujone (α-thujone and β-thujone, 8–43 %), camphor (3–9 %), cineole (6–13 %), borneol, limonene, alpha- and beta-pinene, geraniol, linalool, sesquiterpenes (caryophyllene, humulene, salven, viridifol), triterpene acids (oleanolic and ursolic), flavonoids (quercetin, luteolin, apigenin glycosides), condensed and hydrolyzable tannins (3–8 %), saponins, diterines 12-methyl ether of deoxycarnosol, rosmarol, 7-methyl ether of rosmarol), resins, various organic acids (eg rosemary, caffeic, chlorogenic, ferulic acid), vitamin B3 (niacin), mineral and hormonally active substances (phytoestrogens).
In natural medicine, sage is known for its disinfectant, antibacterial and antiviral effects. If we get a cold, cough, cold, flu, sore throat and other respiratory diseases, sage tea can be a great help. This herb also has very beneficial effects on our digestion. It helps against flatulence, stimulates the stomach and gallbladder function. It is a well-known and functioning accelerator in the treatment of gastric and intestinal catarrh and food poisoning.
Another proven use is in mental and physical exhaustion, has a calming effect and generally strengthens the body. It also reduces excessive sweating, especially that caused by hormonal changes (in menopause). It is also recommended in diabetes, the expected effect is inhibition of gluconeogenesis or glycogenolysis in the liver. A reduction in fasting blood sugar has also been shown in healthy patients, so sage can be recommended for prevention in patients with the development of diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
Externally, a decoction is used for rinsing the mouth and gargling in infectious inflammations of the mouth, bleeding gums, sore throats, sore throats, purulent wounds and non-healing skin defects. The infusion used in the form of a bath or compress cures various fungal problems and fungal skin diseases.
The essential oil of this plant, which is obtained by steam distillation from fresh or dry leaves, has a similar use. It is sparse and almost colorless. It has a medium-strong herbal aroma, slightly sweet, sometimes camphorous or reminiscent of fruit. It is used to treat the oral cavity (wounds, periodontitis, aphthae), remove skin blemishes, improve the healing of scars, even the older ones, and treat acne, ulcers and wounds. It can be used for massages because it relaxes muscles and has an anticonvulsant effect. Or add to the mixture in the home production of shampoos, shampoos and deodorants - it treats the skin, removes dandruff and unwanted odors. Adding a few drops to the aroma lamp will bring a good mood, slightly stimulate, it is suitable during periods of mental exhaustion,
decreased moods and nervousness.
Traditional use has mostly been confirmed by modern medicine - leaf extract has been shown to reduce blood pressure, fungicidal, spasmolytic and antiviral effects in animal experiments. Rosemary acid has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, tannins are astringent. Significant bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity has been demonstrated against Bacillus cereus (contaminates rice and pasta, can lead to food poisoning), Aeromonas hydrophila (lives in water, is immune to chlorine, causes digestive problems), A. sobria Klebsiella oxytoca (causes infections and sepsis) ) and others. A 2003 study showed effectiveness in combating Alzheimer's disease - sage significantly improves short-term memory (which can also be useful for students and mentally working people), and patients' unrest has been reduced.
Sage is part of many medicines (syrups and lozenges for cough and sore throat, dandruff shampoos, acne ointments, gargles, mouthwashes and toothpastes). In addition, it is often used in the kitchen as a spice for lamb and veal, wilderness, in various fillings, chopped and to flavor minced meat, fish, as well as various vegetable dishes and herb mixtures for grilling. We will also use it in the production of herbal vinegars, oils and butters. Formerly popular in Western Europe, "Cold Sage Sauce" is still used as one of the herbs in turkey stuffing for Thanksgiving and is the main ingredient in English Sage Derby cheese, a semi-hard cheese with a green mosaic made up of sage leaves.
Finally, a warning: the thujone contained in higher doses and with long-term use can cause seizures similar to epileptic seizures, nervousness, vertigo, vomiting, tremor, feeling hot, tachycardia and kidney damage. The use of sage may affect the effect of medicinal products that act on GABA receptors (eg barbiturates, benzodiazepines), therefore concomitant treatment with these medicinal products is not recommended. There is a risk of liver damage when taken with alcohol. After four weeks of use, it is advisable to stop for two weeks, I recommend making maximum use of external influences (gargling, rinsing). It is not suitable for pregnant women, it can reduce the production of breast milk by breastfeeding women (which can be a positive for some, but almost a disaster for others).
If you want to grow sage in the garden, put it in the warmest, most sunny place
Sage is part of many medicines