Sage helps menopause and memory

Menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, insomnia, night sweating, dizziness, headaches and palpitations. These symptoms reflect the body’s efforts to adapt to estrogen deprivation.

In a study at the Universita degli Studi-Siena in Italy, researchers studied the effects of sage and alfalfa in the treatment of hot flashes in 30 menopausal women. After three months of therapy, hot flashes and night sweating completely disappeared in 20 women; four women showed good improvement and the other six showed a reduction in symptoms. The researchers also found that the herbs had a moderate effect on hormone balance, saying they were “an effective agent in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.”

Studies show sage is also helpful for memory. In a double-blind trial from the Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Institute of Medicinal Plants in Iran, researchers studied the effects of sage on patients aged 65 to 80 with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. In this four-month study, patients received either a placebo or 60 drops of sage extract per day, and were tested throughout the trial for symptoms and side effects.

The researchers found that patients receiving sage extract showed significantly improved cognitive function. Furthermore, there were no noted side effects in the sage group, while the placebo group suffered from more frequent agitation. The researchers concluded that sage extract was helpful in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and also helpful to reduce patients’ symptoms of agitation.

Sources: Minerva Ginecol. 1998 May;50(5):207-11; J Clin Pharm Ther. 2003 Feb;28(1):53-9