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Sage for Menopause: Does It Work?

Sage for Menopause: Does It Work?

  • Nina Wragg

 All women experience menopause in middle age. This is where the ovaries secrete less female hormones, especially estrogen, causing a variety of physical and mental changes.

According to Harvard Medical School, up to 80% of women can struggle with anxiety, insomnia, loss of bone density, weight gain and problems with memory and concentration. That said, the most common changes are hot flushes (also known as hot flashes) and night sweats.

Sound familiar? If so, we have good news for you — sage can supposedly remedy some of your menopausal symptoms.

What is Sage for Menopause?

First things first, what is sage? Well, it’s a herb that belongs to the mint family — and there are over 900 types.

In fact, the most common types (Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulifolia) are often used in cooking recipes and dietary supplements.

Then there’s sage tea, which has been traditionally used for managing digestive and circulatory issues, coughs and throat inflammation.

However, according to Healthline, women can also use sage to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings.

 Does Sage for Menopause Work?

The following studies confirm that sage is effective in reducing the severity of multiple menopausal symptoms in women.

  • A 2019 study was conducted with 71 menopausal women in Switzerland, which involved them taking capsules of fresh sage once a day for eight weeks. Individuals later reported a decreased intensity and frequency in their hot flushes and associated symptoms.
  • An older clinical study conducted with 30 menopausal women in Italy discovered that taking sage with alfalfa daily had an effect in reducing their hot flushes and night sweats.
  • There was another 2019 study performed on 30 menopausal women who were referred to the healthcare centre of Darab, Iran. Participants received sage extract daily for four weeks and were asked to take note of their symptoms. It was concluded that sage altered the severity of some menopausal symptoms quite remarkably.

How does sage for menopause work? The truth is, the molecular mechanism of how sage can minimise hot flushes and sweating isn’t known. 

According to some research done in cell models, the oestrogenic flavonoids present in sage could have an anti-flush effect. On the other hand, there are studies to suggest that the modulation of neurotransmitters is responsible for the reduction of hot flushes.

Either way, sage extract has been believed to have anti-sweating properties for centuries. 

The Benefits of Sage for Menopause

There are several reported benefits when it comes to taking sage for menopause.

It Significantly Reduces Hot Flushes

The studies we mentioned previously all concluded that sage has the ability to decrease general menopausal symptoms. That said, it’s particularly effective in reducing hot flushes and night sweats.

It Works Fast 

Every study that has championed sage has found that improvements in the intensity of hot flushes have been noted within four weeks. Although, optimal results came after eight weeks.

It Can Be Used as an Alternative to HRT 

Several women turn to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as a way to treat their hot flushes, especially if these symptoms are disrupting their day-to-day lives.

However, HRT has many proven (and serious) side effects, such as heart attacks, stroke, coronary artery disease, hypertension and breast cancer.

Sage can be used as a safer, healthier alternative.

 There Aren’t Any Reported Side Effects

The great thing about sage is that there are currently no reports of negative side effects.

Even so, be wary of drinking sage leaf tea in excess because this can cause a rapid heart rate, seizures and vertigo. Stick to 3-6 cups daily.

 You should also avoid consuming sage during pregnancy and lactation due to its potential oestrogenic effects.

It Can Be Taken Easily as a Daily Supplement

 Sage is easily accessible in supplement form and available in different amounts.

Keep in mind that some suppliers state the amount provided by the daily dose; whereas, others state the amount of sage from which the extract was originally prepared.

Regardless, always follow the dosage recommendation on the bottle. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.

The Takeaway

Research shows that sage has a positive effect in reducing menopausal symptoms in women, especially hot flushes and night sweats.

Take it as a daily supplement and you’re likely to notice a difference within four to eight weeks.

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