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Literature promoting the healthful effects of herbal supplements is extensive. Many of these studies indicate that the anti-diabetic effects of herbs are comparable to those of medications, in some cases. Sage, which packs a wide range of vitamins and minerals, may be among the most useful plant remedies in the prevention of diabetes.
With this information in mind, researchers have sought to assess the effects of sage extracts on both cholesterol and blood sugar.
One study did this by focussing on 40 patients with diabetes and high cholesterol who were administered sage tea extract for three months.
The results, published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, collated through the three-month period, revealed that participants had lower fasting glucose and lower average glucose levels.
In terms of cholesterol, their total cholesterol measures, triglycerides and harmful LDL cholesterol were also reduced.
The authors of the trial concluded that “[sage] leaves may be safe and have anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-improving effects in hyperlipidemic and type 2 diabetic patients”.
Another double-blind clinical trial yielded similar results while trying to assess the effects of sage extract on 80 individuals with poorly controlled diabetes.
After two hours of fasting, researchers observed positive effects on blood sugar levels, compared to the control group.
The results, published in the Journal of Renal Injury Prevention, suggested that higher doses of sage extract might be necessary to decrease fasting blood glucose.
According to these studies, the compounds in sage tea appear to exert anti-inflammatory actions throughout the body too.
One particularly potent ingredient in sage is rosmarinic acid, which has been shown to provide numerous benefits in animal studies.
This compound is believed to be responsible for combatting both inflammation and blood sugar.
It is also believed that the extract improves insulin sensitivity, with an effect comparable to that of rosiglitazone.
Camphor, which gives sage its unique aroma, has been shown to stimulate nerve endings when applied as an oil.
Many of the plant’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are owed to canonic and phenolic acids too.
These acids directly activate molecules that help regulate blood sugar, lipids, and inflammation, among other things.
Studies on rodents, for instance, have shown that sage may increase the circulation of anti-inflammatory compounds in the blood.
Inflammation, which happens in all humans to some extent, is important to control as it acts as a gateway to disease.
While all these health benefits can be reaped from eating sage raw, other uses exist that may be more conducive.
Studies suggest that drinking one cup of sage twice daily, for example, could significantly increase antioxidant defences.
Caution is warranted, however, as drinking extremely large amounts of sage tea could trigger heart problems, kidney damage and vomiting.
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