Orally, sage is used for loss of appetite; excessive
perspiration; painful periods; diarrhea; gastritis;reducing
discharge from the breast; reduction of saliva secretion; and
digestive problems including flatulence, bloating, and dyspepsia.
It is also used for depression, cerebral ischemia, memory
enhancement, and Alzheimer's disease.
Topically, sage is used for herpes labialis, laryngitis,
pharyngitis, stomatitis, gingivitis, glossitis, minor oral
injuries, and inflammation of the nasal mucosa.
In foods, it is used as a culinary spice.
In manufacturing, sage is used as a fragrance component in soaps
No concerns regarding safety when used orally in amounts commonly
found in foods. Sage is approved for food use in the
No concerns regarding safety when used orally in therapeutic
doses, short term. Sage seems to be safe when taken orally for up
to 4 months.140,141 No concerns regarding safety when
Pregnancy and Lactation: Traditionally used to dry up breast
feeding. Avoid in breast feeding mothers.
Alzheimer's disease. Taking extracts of Salvia officinalis and
Salvia lavandulaefolia orally seem to improve cognitive function
in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease when used
for up to 4 months.140,141
Herpes labialis (cold sores). Topical treatment of herpes
labialis with a cream containing sage and rhubarb (Rheum
officinale and Rheum palmatum) may be about as effective as
acyclovir (Zovirax) cream. Acyclovir cream provides healing of
lesions in 6.3 days; the sage and rhubarb cream provides healing
of lesion in 7.2 days. The combination of sage and rhubarb
appears to improve the time to healing and to reduce pain,
compared with sage alone.142
INSUFFICIENT RELIABLE EVIDENCE to RATE
Memory. Single doses of Salvia lavandulaefolia might enhance
memory in a dose-dependent manner in young adults.143
More evidence is needed to rate sage for this use.
Mechanism of Action:
The applicable part of sage is the leaf and volatile oil.
Orally, sage can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain,
Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:
Interactions with Drugs:
Interactions with Foods:
Dr Clare’s Blends: 1 gm/day
Usual dose: 1-12 gms /day in divided doses.
Sage is a rich source of beta-carotene.144
Specific References: SAGE
139. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of
Premarket Approval, EAFUS: A food additive database. Available
140. Perry NS, Bollen C, Perry EK, Ballard C. Salvia for dementia
therapy: review of pharmacological activity and pilot
tolerability clinical trial. Pharmacol Biochem Behav
141. Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, et al. Salvia
officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to
moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomized and
placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther 2003;28:47-9.
142. Saller R, Buechi S, Meyrat R, Schmidhauser C. Combined
herbal preparation for topical treatment of Herpes labialis.
Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 2001;8:373-82.
143. Tildesley NT, Kennedy DO, Perry EK, et al. Salvia
lavandulaefolia (Spanish Sage) enhances memory in healthy young
volunteers. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2003;75:669-74.
144. Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd
ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.