Sage herb health benefit (Salvia officinalis) by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
September 1 2016


There are many species of the sage herb, each with its own characteristics that make them have different uses.
Common types of sage herb are garden (Salvia officinalis), Spanish sage herb (Salvia lavandulaefolia) and glutinous sage herb (Salvia glutinosa). The leaves of sage herb (Salvia officinalis) are reported to have a wide range of biological activities, such as anti-bacterial, fungistatic, virustatic, astringent, eupeptic and anti-hydrotic effects. Spanish sage herb has been studied for its mood and memory improving potential. Sage herb has blood sugar lowering activity and antioxidants which have liver protective properties.


Historical Thoughts

Sage herb (Salvia) has a longstanding reputation in British herbal encyclopaedias as an agent that enhances memory.


Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition and Alzheimer's

Butyryl- and acetyl-cholinesterase inhibitory activities in essential oils of Salvia species and their constituents have been found.


Cancer protection
Adv Pharm Bull. 2013. Inhibitory and cytotoxic activities of salvia officinalis Extract on human lymphoma and leukemia cells by induction of apoptosis. Salvia officinalis L., also known as Maryam Goli, is one of the native plants used to Persian medicinal herbs. Hence, the objective of this study was to examine the in vitro cytotoxic activities of a standardized crude methanol extracts prepared from Salvia officinalis, on a non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma (Raji) and human leukemic monocyte lymphoma (U937), Human acute myelocytic leukemia (KG-1A) and Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial (HUVEC) cell lines. Sage extract was found dose and time-dependently inhibits the proliferation of lymphoma and leukemic cells possibly via an apoptosis-dependent pathway.


Sage and Memory
Scientists at the Universities of Newcastle and Northumbria tested 44 people, who were either given sage herb or a dummy placebo pill. They found that those given the sage oil tablets performed much better in a "word recall test". The Medicinal Plant Research Centre (MPRC) at the universities are testing many old-fashioned claims about the healing powers of herbs and flowers. Sage is often referred to in ancient texts - in 1597 the herbalist John Gerard said that it was "singularly good for the head and quickeneth the nerves and memory."
     Salvia officinalis (sage) has been shown to possess in vitro cholinesterase inhibiting properties, and to enhance mnemonic performance and improve mood.


Semen health
Cryo Letters. 2015. Sage (Salvia officinalis) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) improve cryopreserved boar epididymal semen quality study. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of fennel and sage extracts and the influence of the egg yolk source (fresh or pasteurized) on the success of freezing boar epididymal spermatozoa. In experiment 1, epididymal sperm was recovered by flushing and cryopreserved in a lactose-egg yolk solution supplemented with various concentrations (10, 5 and 2.5 g/L) of sage or fennel. Sperm quality was evaluated (motility, viability, HOST and acrosome integrity) at 0 h and 2 h after thawing. Fennel 10 g/L and sage 5 g/L and control (no extracts) were selected for experiment 2 which also compared fresh or pasteurized egg yolk in the freezing extender and measured DNA integrity of the frozen sperm. Results showed that the interaction between fennel and sage antioxidants with fresh egg yolk significantly improved post thaw sperm quality and protected boar epididymal spermatozoa from cryopreservation damage as a result of oxidative stress.


Constituents of Sage Plant

There are a number of chemicals within the sage plant including terpenoid constituents 1,8-cineole, camphor, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, borneol, caryophyllene oxide, linalool and bornyl acetate. The amount of rosmarinic acid in borage leaves is similar compared with Sage plant - Salvia officinalis (15 mg/g).


Availability of Sage plant

The sage leaves and stems are used in cooking for flavoring sausages, pork, sauces, cheese, dressings and stuffing. Sage tea is also brewed. Italian cooks have used sage for centuries to add a flavorful and healthful kick to vegetable and meat dishes. Americans all know sage from the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinners


Sage Plant Research
An Acad Bras Cienc. 2016. Pharmacological perspectives from Brazilian Salvia officinalis Sage: antioxidant, and antitumor in mammalian cells. Sage has been used in south of Brazil as a diary homemade, in food condiment and tea-beverage used for the treatment of several disorders. Given the results presented here, Brazilian Salvia officinalis used as condiment and tea, may protect the body against some disease, in particularly those where oxidative stress is involved, like neurodegenerative disorders, inflammation and cancer.

Positive modulation of mood and cognitive performance following administration of acute doses of Salvia lavandulaefolia essential oil - sage plant - to healthy young volunteers.
Physiol Behav. 2005. Tildesley NT, Kennedy DO, Perry EK, Ballard CG, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB.
Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Members of the Sage family, such as Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia, have a long history of use as memory-enhancing agents coupled with cholinergic properties that may potentially be relevant to the amelioration of the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. The current study utilised a placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced, crossover design in order to comprehensively assess any mood and cognition modulation by S. lavandulaefolia. Twenty-four participants received single doses of placebo, 25 microl and 50 microl of a standardised essential oil of S. lavandulaefolia in an order dictated by a Latin square. Doses were separated by a 7-day washout period. Results: These results represent further evidence that Salvia is capable of acute modulation of mood and cognition in healthy young adults. The data also suggest that previous reports of memory enhancement by Salvia may be due to more efficient retrieval of target material.


Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) enhances memory in healthy young volunteers.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003. Tildesley NT, Kennedy DO, Perry EK, Ballard CG, Savelev S, Wesnes KA. Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Based on known pharmacokinetic and binding properties, it was hypothesised that acute administration of sage would enhance memory in young adult volunteers. Two experiments utilised a placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced, crossover methodology. In Trial 1, 20 participants received 50, 100 and 150 microl of a standardised essential oil extract of Salvia lavandulaefolia and placebo. In Trial 2, 24 participants received 25 and 50 microl of a standardised essential oil extract of S. lavandulaefolia and placebo. Doses were separated by a 7-day washout period with treatment order determined by Latin squares. Assessment was undertaken using the Cognitive Drug Research computerised test battery prior to treatment and 1, 2.5, 4 and 6 h thereafter. The 50 microl dose of Salvia essential oil significantly improved immediate word recall in both studies. These results represent the first systematic evidence that Salvia is capable of acute modulation of cognition in healthy young adults.


Can a sage supplement be taken the same day as resveratrol?
   I don't see why not if the dosages are low.


Sage is found in Good Night Rx which currently is not in stock.