Are you fed up with your dry, dull, unruly hair?
Do you want a simple, homemade solution?
There’s one herb that can solve your several hair woes: the name is Sage. Yes, nothing fancy, available in all grocery stores, the common sage.
My three-year-old niece was colouring a rainbow. She chose pink as one of the colours. I told her pink is not in a rainbow. She immediately retorted back: ‘It is not a rule’.
Of course, a three-year-old can make her own rules and paint the rainbow the colour she likes.
But when it comes to your haircare, you, too, can form your rules. If you have dull, dry, frizzy hair and want it soft, smooth and shiny, you do not need a list of products; just one herb – sage – can do the trick. What’s more, sage can also darken grey hair and make it look amazing.
In this post, we will look at several uses of sage for hair as well as its health benefits. But before that, let’s get to know a little bit about sage herb.
1. Sage Darkens Grey Hair
2. Sage Moisturises and Hydrates Hair
3. Sage Tames Frizz and Makes Hair Ultra-Glossy
4. Bonus: Ten Amazing Health Benefits of Sage
Sage, also known as garden sage, common sage, true sage or kitchen sage, goes by the botanical name Salvia officinalis. It’s an evergreen shrub with greyish-green leaves and blue-purplish flowers that bloom in August.
Sage is a member of the mint family and native to the Mediterranean region, though now you will find sage growing in many places. Not many of us know sage beyond the cooking herb. In ancient times, and especially during the Roman Empire, sage was considered a “miracle herb” that could not only save you from a snake bite, but give you longevity as well.
There’s an old English saying to glorify sage, ‘He that would live for aye, Must eat Sage in May.’
The highest praise comes from the Salerno Medical School (11th and 12th centuries), which reads: “Why should a Man die if sage grows in his garden? For this reason, sage gets its botanical name ‘Salvia’ from the Latin ‘Salvere’, meaning to be well – referring to the healing properties of the herb.
I will talk more about health benefits later, but first, let’s see how to use sage for healthy hair.
Once upon a time, sage use to be a popular natural remedy to darken grey hair. Sadly, this benefit of sage is nearly forgotten. Maybe, if you ask some senior members of your family, they will tell you more about the herb.
Sage won’t give you the dramatic effect of a dye, but it gently tints your greys to blend in with your natural hair colour. The effect is gradual, your hair gets darker and darker over time. The best thing is you can apply sage tea as many times as you want without having worry about the side effects for you or the environment. Sage is pretty safe :).
A tea infusion made with sage leaves and rubbed into the scalp is all you need to do to cover any grey strands. Sage contains natural pigments that stain the grey hair naturally. Besides, sage is rich in antioxidants that help prevent and reduce the formation of new grey hair.
To make the basic sage tea all you need is sage leaves and water. But you can personalise the tea rinse by adding other optional ingredients given below.
What you will need:
– Sage Leaves: 3 to 4 fresh sprigs (or 1 tablespoon dried sage leaves)
– Water: 2 cups
– Rosemary Leaves: 1 fresh sprig or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (it works with sage to provide richer colour)
– Black Tea: 1 teaspoon (it darkens greys as well as improves shine)
– Clove: 1 (strengthens hair and enriches the colour)
How to make:
Place sage and other herbs in a pan. Add 2 cups of hot water to it. Next, cover and let it infuse until cool. Strain it and use.
You can get organic sage leaves in the supermarket, health food stores or buy online here.
You can use the sage tea two ways:
1. Apply it to freshly washed hair. Work it in from roots to ends. Do Not Rinse. Next, squeeze out the excess liquid and towel dry your hair. Do it 2-3 times a week.
2. You can also apply sage tea onto your scalp and hair and leave-in (don’t rinse out).
Mistakes to avoid:
-Since this is thin liquid, you may want to use a squeeze bottle or a glass spray bottle to apply sage tea.
-Sage tea rinse will stain your towel, so keep a separate one for drying your hair. Also, wear a dark/old top. Once your hair dries, it won’t stain.
How long will it take to darken my hair?
It’s hard to give a definitive timeline since it builds up colour over time. Based on my research and use, it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 months.
Can sage darken everyone’s hair?
The answer is No. Give it a try for 3 months to see if it’s tinting your greys. If it doesn’t, you will at least have softer, shinier and healthier looking hair.
You see, sage tea is great for grey hair, but it’s also a superb moisturiser and conditioner.
Another way to use sage tea is to spray it on your scalp and hair and leave it in.
This lightweight, all natural, leave-in hair spray will restore moisture and give hair softness and an incredible shine, both things that dull, dry hair is lacking. It even helps with detangling your hair.
Besides, sage leaves are loaded with antioxidants and hair nourishing oils that help promote healthy hair growth.
Here’s how to make Sage Hair Mist
– Sage tea: 1/2 cup
– Spray bottle
You can also add:
– Ylang ylang essential oil: 5 drops (it balances scalp oils and calms irritation)
-Vegetable Glycerine: 1 teaspoon (due to its humectant properties it grabs moisture from the air and holds it inside the hair shaft, keeping the hair soft and shiny)
-Jojoba oil: 1 teaspoon (it helps seal the moisture and adds gloss to hair; you can use any other lighter oil such as argan)
Prepare the sage tea as instructed above. Pour it into a spray bottle. You can re-use an old spray bottle or buy glass spray bottle such as these.
How to use:
Shake before each use. Spray on damp or dry hair.
Shelf life: Keep refrigerated, and it will last for about a week.
Note: Wear a dark/old t-shirt/top when spraying your hair. Once it dries, it won’t stain.
Like I said before, sage was one of the most important medicinal herbs in olden times. It was regarded as a panacea for every disease under the sun. From snake bite to plague as well as everyday ailments like stomach upset, muscle spasm and indigestion, sage could cure it all.
Even the Chinese preferred Sage tea to their own tea, at one time bartering for it and giving thrice the quantity of their finest tea in exchange.
Not that popular these days, sage is still valued in domestic and folk medicine. Here are top 10 benefits of sage that you can make use of:
1. Calms Your Mind
If you are feeling stressed or overtired, a cup of sage tea can be just what you need to help soothe your nerves. It works to balance moods and ease stress.
2. Helps Boost Memory
Sage has a long-standing reputation for improving memory. In 1652, English botanist and physician Nicholas Culpepper wrote that sage “heals the memory, warming and quickening the senses.”
Now modern research has proven that sage can enhance memory and cognitive process, confirming what these old herbalists knew from experience. It has shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s patients, as well as treating symptoms of depression.
3. Brings Relief from Cough, Cold and Sore Throat
A gargle made warm sage tea and honey can soothe a sore throat, hoarseness and cough. It’s an excellent oral antiseptic and beneficial for inflammation of mouth and throat.
Sage can also be used to expel phlegm and decrease mucus. To bring relief, you can drink sage tea once or twice a day or use sage infusion as a vaporiser.
4. Improves Oral and Dental Health
Sage tea is highly effective as a mouth rinse. It helps to soothe inflamed and bleeding gums as well as is beneficial for mouth ulcers and bad breath.
The antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties of sage improve the state of the teeth. The fresh leaves rubbed on the teeth is said to cleanse them and strengthen the gums.
5. Relieves Muscle Spasm and Joint Pain:
A warm compress with sage can ease muscle pain and sciatica and loosen stiff and painful joints. Some herbalists use it to treat sprains and swelling.
Soak a cloth in an infusion of sage and apply to the painful area.
6. Helps Menopausal Women
Menopausal women may find relief from drinking sage tea as this herb has an “estrogenic effect” on the body. Sage reduces menopause symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes.
Moreover, sage acts as a general tonic, helping to soothe the irritability and mood swings.
7. Controls Excessive Sweating
Sage seems to have a calming effect on sweat glands and works to reduce excessive perspiration whether they occur in the underarm area, on hands, feet or the entire body.
Make a cup of sage tea using fresh or dried leaves. Drink in small quantities throughout the day to bring relief.
8. A Remedy for Insect Bites
Sage is an instant remedy for wasp sting and insect bites, reducing pain and irritation. Crush the sage leaves and apply them to the area.
Also, the sage plant placed in a room discourages flies.
9. Good for Liver Health
Sage is good for liver diseases. A natural cleanser and purifier of the blood, sage may be useful for detoxifying.
It can also improve digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes.
10. Useful to Treat Skin Problems
Sage is beneficial for a variety of skin problems like acne, rashes, eczema, dermatitis and warts. Because of the presence of tannin compounds, it’s also helpful to heal cuts, wounds, and raw abrasions.
You can add fresh crushed sage leaves in baths (in small mesh bags). Or you can apply crushed leaves directly to the area.
Add Sage to your Cooking
Sage is a delicious spice. You can add fresh or dried sage leaves when making pasta sauce, soups, stews or stir-fry. It will not only enhance the flavour of your dish, but also improve its health benefits.
Drink Sage Tea
Pour a cup of boiling water over 5 to 7 fresh sage leaves and strain it after 5 minutes. You can add a teaspoon of molasses and some lime juice to enhance the taste.
So, sage is truly fabulous, but not everyone is an ideal candidate for sage…
Herbs are natural, but each herb has certain compounds which may not agree with everybody.
-Avoid sage during pregnancy as it stimulates the muscles of the uterus.
-Women who are nursing should only drink sage tea if they want to decrease their milk supply.
-Avoid sage if you have epilepsy/convulsion.
-It may lower your blood sugar levels.
-A cup of sage tea can be taken daily for 2-3 weeks. Then give it a gap of a week or so. This is because sage contains thujone and can be harmful if taken for a long period of time.
-If you have any medical condition, talk to your doctor to see if it is safe for you to consume.