Sage (Salvia officinalis), is a small, evergreen perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region. Basic constituents include volatile oil, diterpene bitters, camphor, thujone, tannins, resin, triterpenoids, estrogenic substances, flavonoids, phenolic acids, including rosmarinic and caffeic acids, and saponins.
Sage Herb Medicinal Effects and Benefits
Sage has stimulant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and expectorant activities. The German Commission E (an official government agency similar to the FDA), approve Sage for loss of appetite, inflammation of the mouth, excessive perspiration.
Early research showed that sage may boost insulin action and be beneficial to treat non-insulin dependent diabetes. This herb was among twenty-four herb tested that were found to increase insulin activity two- to fivefold or more in patients with Type II diabetes. A German study on Sage shows that diabetics who drank infusions of sage on an empty stomach reduced their blood sugar levels. In a new study, Cristovao F. Lima and colleagues concluded that the use of sage mimics the standard diabetes medication Metformin. Sage, contains a compound (rosmarinic acid) that provide blood sugar regulating properties, according to a research reported in the March 2011 edition of the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
Volatile oils made from sage have anti-bacterial activities and may be helpful in mouthwash or toothpaste form. A mouthwash combination that includes sage oil, menthol, peppermint oil, chamomile tincture, expressed juice from echinacea, clove oil, myrrh tincture, and caraway oil has been used to treat gingivitis. In 2009, a study assessed the relative efficacy of a sage/ echinacea spray and a chlorhexidine/lidocaine spray in the therapy of acute sore throat. The sage/ echinacea therapy was a little better at reducing sore throat symptoms than the chlorhexidine/lidocaine therapy during the first 3 days.
Sweating is a normal reaction when your body’s working harder and needs to cool itself down. Excessive sweating is generally defined as sweating an amount out of proportion with the temperature of a room or your activity level. An unpublished German study; with individuals suffering from excessive perspiration found that either an infusion of the leaf or dry leaf extract reduced sweating by as much as 50%. Taken cold, will help to reduce night sweats in menopausal women. The Sage may be more effective when combined with alfalfa. A study reported in in the “Italian journal Minerva Ginecologica” in 1998, demonstrated that all women who took alfalfa and sage had relief from night sweats, with approximately 67% of these women experiencing complete relief.
Sage is used to develop memory and cognition. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, study in 2008 examined the acute effects on cognitive performance of a standardized extract of sage in healthy participants between 65-90 years of age. The study found that application of sage extract can improve cognitive function in healthy older individuals. Sage appears to have an efficacy on acetylcholine ( is found in lower levels in patients with Alzheimer’s disease), one of the chemical messengers in the brain and supplementing with sage has resulted in a important development in cognitive function. Lab experiments have shown that sage contains chemicals that interfere with a natural enzyme in the body named acetylcholinesterase that breaks down acetylcholine. In a study of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, supplementing with sage for 4 months resulted in a important development in cognitive function, compared with a placebo. The amount of herb used was 60 drops per day of a 1:1 tincture. (Sage ethanolic extract 333 mg has been investigated in Alzheimer disease. Dried leaf has been studied in memory studies at doses of 300 mg and 600 mg).
Oral herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (also termed HSV-1, type 1 herpes simplex virus, or oral herpes).In a study with plant extracts, a sage extract and a rhubarb root extract demonstrated a promising activity.Applying a cream containing sage and rhubarb to cold sores may be as effective as Zovirax (acyclovir) cream. A study of 149 people with recurrent oral herpes compared the effectiveness of cream containing Zovirax against cream containing rhubarb and sage, and cream containing sage alone. The combination of rhubarb and sage showed to be equally effective to Zovirax cream. The mean time to healing in all cured patients was 7.6 days with the sage cream, 6.7 days with the sage-rhubarb cream and 6.5 days with Zovirax cream.
This herb should not be prescribed to pregnant and nursing women or to people who have epileptic fits. Sage oil must not be taken orally. The thujone content of sage essential oil can be toxic in high amounts.