The Benefits of Drinking Sage Tea

Sage tea

Sage tea is made from the leaves of the sage plant (Salvia officinalis). Often used as a culinary herb, sage is also a popular remedy in herbal medicine. Proponents claim that drinking sage tea can help with a number of health problems, as well as promote weight loss and improve hair health.

The Benefits of Sage Tea

While research on the health effects of sage is very limited, there's some evidence that drinking sage tea may provide certain benefits.

Here's a look at some of the research on sage tea:

1) Milk Supply

Some proponents suggest that drinking sage tea can aid breastfeeding mothers. Thought to reduce milk supply, sage tea is typically recommended to breastfeeding mothers dealing with an oversupply of milk (or to those attempting to wean their baby).

Although there is a lack of scientific research on the use of sage tea in breastfeeding and/or weaning, breastfeeding education groups such as La Leche League International state that sage tea may help mothers deal with oversupply of milk.

2) Menopause

There's some evidence that sage leaves may be beneficial for reducing hot flashes associated with menopause. For instance, in a study published in the Italian journal Minerva Ginecologica, researchers assigned 30 menopausal women to three months treatment with a combination of sage-leaf extract and alfalfa. Results showed that hot flushes completely disappeared in 20 women, while an additional four women showed "good improvement" in hot flashes.

Related: Natural Approach to Menopause.

3) Hair

While some proponents suggest that applying a hair and scalp rinse made from combination of sage tea and apple cider vinegar can promote hair growth or darken gray hair, there is no scientific support for these claims.

Related: Biotin for Hair

4) Excessive Sweating

Although sage tea is said to stop excessive sweating by inhibiting the secretion of sweat, there is currently a lack of scientific studies testing the use of sage tea as a treatment for excessive sweating.

5) Weight Loss

Sage tea is sometimes recommended as a natural remedy for speeding up your metabolism and, in turn, promoting weight loss. However, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that sage tea can help you lose weight.

6) Cholesterol

Sage tea may help keep cholesterol in check, according to a small study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in 2009. After four weeks of regular consumption of sage tea, six healthy female volunteers showed a reduction in LDL ("bad") cholesterol and an improvement in total cholesterol levels. The study also found that sage tea may help increase antioxidants activity.

Related: Remedies for High Cholesterol

Why Do People Drink Sage Tea?

In addition to the conditions above, safe is said to aid in the treatment of sore throat, digestive problems, such as diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn, painful menstrual periods, depression, insomnia, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, cold sores, and for reducing the overproduction of saliva.

Where to Find It

Widely available for purchase online, sage tea can be found in many natural-foods stores.

Possible Side Effects

Sage is commonly used in cooking, which may lead you to believe that it's completely safe. While sage is believed to be safe in the amounts typically used in food, it naturally contains thujone and camphor, chemicals that have the potential to be harmful if taken in high enough amounts. Some of the known adverse effects include seizures and liver damage.

A preliminary study published in Chemical Central Journal suggests that three to six cups of sage tea could be consumed daily without reaching toxicological thresholds, however, further research is needed before a safe limit can be established. Also keep in mind that the amount of thujone and camphor can vary depending on the variety, manufacturing process, and brewing method.

Pregnant women shouldn't take sage (thujone may induce a woman's period). Women who are breastfeeding should consult their healthcare providers before taking sage. The thujone in sage may reduce the milk supply in nursing women.

Sage may lower blood pressure (Spanish sage is believed to increase blood pressure), and it may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. There's also some concern that some varieties of sage, such as Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia), may have a similar effect to estrogen. People with hormone-sensitive conditions shouldn't take sage.

If you're considering taking sage tea to treat any health problem, talk with your healthcare provider first to weigh the pros and cons and to discuss whether it's appropriate for you. 

The Takeaway

While sipping safe tea may help enhance your overall health by keeping you hydrated and increasing your antioxidant intake, it's too soon to recommend sage tea as a treatment for any condition. 


De Leo V, Lanzetta D, Cazzavacca R, Morgante G. Treatment of neurovegetative menopausal symptoms with a phytotherapeutic agent. Minerva Ginecol. 1998 May;50(5):207-11.

Lima CF, Andrade PB, Seabra RM, Fernandes-Ferreira M, Pereira-Wilson C. The drinking of a Salvia officinalis infusion improves liver antioxidant status in mice and rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 28;97(2):383-9.

Sá CM, Ramos AA, Azevedo MF, Lima CF, Fernandes-Ferreira M, Pereira-Wilson C. Sage tea drinking improves lipid profile and antioxidant defences in humans. Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Sep 9;10(9):3937-50.

Walch SG, Kuballa T, Stühlinger W, Lachenmeier DW. Determination of the biologically active flavour substances thujone and camphor in foods and medicines containing sage (Salvia officinalis L.). Chem Cent J. 2011 Jul 21;5:44. 

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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