The Benefits of Burning Sage

Very Well Mind – By Arlin Cuncic – Re-posted on October 08, 2019

Are you curious about burning sage in order to improve air quality in your home, improve your health, or reduce your depression or anxiety?

Sage (Salvia) has been used in traditional medicine as a spice and also as a way to improve health. It has a long history of use in Egypt, Rome, and Greek medicine, as well as within Native American healing traditions. As far as burning sage is concerned, dried sage is burned as a possible way to heal, protect, increase wisdom, and boost defense against disease.

Types of Sage

What are the different types of sage? Sage is also known as common sage, garden sage, true sage, Spanish sage, and Chinese sage. The botanical term for common sage is Salvia officinalis.
Benefits of Using Sage Internally

Sage is used today for numerous purposes depending on the method of use. Sage used internally may be taken for any of the following purposes. Burning sage, also known as smudging, involves literally burning the sage leaves and letting the smoke purify the air in your home. Sage can also be taken internally as a liquid, spray, lozenge, capsule, or tablet.

Note that while there is some research evidence to suggest the benefits of sage for each of these uses, it remains preliminary and more research is needed to define the benefits of sage for each of these purposes.

Overall, it is thought that the phenolic and flavonoid compounds present in sage are helpful in terms of having an antioxidant effect and reducing free radicals. This is further thought to relate to the presence of rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid in sage.

Below are some of the purported benefits of using sage internally.

pain relief
reducing oxidative stress on the body
protecting against free radical damage
reducing inflammation
protecting against bacterial and viral infections
treating minor illnesses
as a dietary supplement for digestion
sore throat relief
protecting against memory loss
reducing depression or improving mood
preventing obesity
for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer

Benefits of Burning Sage

The purpose of burning sage differs slightly from the reasons for taking it internally. The burning of sage is a historical spiritual ritual also known as smudging.

Poor air quality may be linked to various health conditions. In this way, burning sage is seen as a cost-effective way to purify the air (to an extent). This is because sage is thought to have antimicrobial properties that help kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that burning sage will create smoke, which can cause health problems for individuals who are prone to asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Just as with taking sage internally, Some practitioners of alternative medicine believe that burning sage can help to release so-called “negative energy”. In addition to burning sage, some people use a cleansing spray in their homes.

Some of the purported benefits of burning sage include the following.

removing bacteria from the air
repelling insects
improving intuition
purifying specific objects
improving mood and reducing stress and anxiety

Research on the Use of Sage for Mental Health

Overall, not enough research has been conducted on the use of sage for its proposed benefits as they relate to mental health. Because of this, there is not clear support for its use for any mental health condition. However, based on preliminary research, there may be support for the use of sage for the following mental health-related purposes.

One area in which there is specific preliminary support for the use of sage is that of mood and memory.

A 2005 study showed that common sage improved memory and cognition (thinking ability). In addition, increased dosages were related to improvements in mood, and feeling alert, calm, and content.

It has been suggested that sage has a protective effect against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, because of the active compounds it contains.

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Posted by Teri Perticone


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