Scientific Name/Common Name:Salvia officinalis / Sage

Part(s) Used:Leaf

Constituents/Active Ingredients:3-8% salviatannins, condensed catechin-type tannins; phenolic acids including rosmarinic, hydroxycinnamic, caffeic, chlorogenic, ferulic, and gallic acids; 1-3% flavonoids including apigenin and luteolin derivatives; 1.5-2.8% essential oil containing several monoterpenes including alpha- and beta-thujone; camphor, cineole, humulene, alpha-pinene, camphene, limonene, linalool, and bornyl acetate; diterpenoid bitter compounds; triterpenoids including oleanolic and ursolic acids; and resin.

Overview:The leaves of sage are velvety and contain numerous oil glands. Sage leaf tea was traditionally used to aid digestion, treat flatulent dyspepsia, soothe coughs and hoarseness, and externally to clean ulcers and sores and stop bleeding of wounds. The German Commission E also lists sage leaf tea for treating excessive perspiration. Menopausal women popularly use the tea to treat hot flashes and night sweats under the direction of Medical Herbalists in the United Kingdom. A 2 month clinical trial in Switzerland found that a sage leaf extract significantly decreased hot flashes as well as other associated menopausal symptoms. The oil extract of sage leaf is also strongly antibacterial and an effective antioxidant for stabilizing culinary oils and extending their shelf life. Sage water extract was found to have a remarkable capacity in retarding lipid oxidation.

Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems:Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a carminative, to help provide relief of upset stomach and flatulence, to reduce hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, or perspiration as well as reduce hot flushes/flashes, and/or night sweat associated with menopause.

Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): American Botanical Council. 2000.

Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone; 2000.

Bommer S, Klein P, Suter A. First time proof of sage's tolerability and efficacy in menopausal women with hot flushes. Adv Ther. 2011 Jun;28(6):490-500.

Disclaimer:This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.