MAY 2015

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Page 79 of 120 | MAY 2015 77 diabetes had lowered fasting glucose readings after a trial period of ingesting sage extract when compared with their counterparts who were taking a placebo. But it's perhaps in the area of mental health where sage might prove cutting-edge critical. A groundbreak- ing 2003 study from the Medicinal Plant Research Centre at the Universities of Newcastle and Northum- bria in the U.K. found that subjects who took sage oil capsules performed signifi cantly better in word recall tests. Reinforcing that fi nding was a 2006 study in the neuroscience unit of the same universities, which dis- covered that mood and cognitive performance were improved in typical subjects using sage extract. This research has big implications for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A study in 2003 at the Iranian Academic Centre for Education, Culture and Research found that subjects with mild to moderate AD who were given sage extract demonstrated better cognitive function than those who were given a place- bo. The study also suggested that sage might reduce agitation in patients. Researchers believe that the herb might have a positive impact on levels of the chemical messenger acetylcholine, which drop in Alzheimer's patients. In fact, some current pharmaceutical formu- lations for AD contain compounds similar to dan shen, or Chinese sage. Research is now investigating the use of sage—natural or synthetic—for new medications. Perhaps renowned herbalist John Gerard, who said in 1597 that sage was "singularly good for the head and quickeneth the nerves and memory," will at last be scientifi cally proven correct! Andrea Renskoff is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contraindications and restrictions exist with the use of any herb. Consult a qualifi ed herbalist or natural medicine professional regarding proper use. • Use FreeInfo #38 © GETTY IMAGES

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