July 18, 2019
Science > Sage

Common Name


Scientific Name

Salvia officinalis L.


Sage is a small, evergreen and perennial shrub that grows naturally from Spain along the Mediterranean coast. S. officinalis specie is native to central Asia and the Mediterranean areas. Today this plant is naturally grown throughout the world especially in Europe and North America.

1. Regulating Blood Pressure

Researchers did a study in 2009 and its results were published in International Journal of Molecular Science which effect of sage tea on blood pressure and the other biological parameters were investigated. In this experiment the healthy women were volunteer; they consumed sage tea to 300 ml twice a day. Observations have shown that consumption of sage tea for 4 weeks significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure.

2. Improving Brain Function

Based on studies, the extract of sage leaf improves memory. Ingredients of this plant are effective on control Alzheimer`s through affecting cholinergic system and protection against toxicity of beta amyloid protein (a protein with neurological complications). A study was conducted in 2003 to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the fixed dose (daily, 60 drops) sage extract in 65-80 years old patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer`s disease and its results were published in Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. The results have shown consumption of sage extract for 4 months had better effect on cognitive function than placebo and consumption of it for 16 weeks significantly improved the levels of cognition and understanding.

3. Regulating Blood Glucose Levels

A study was done to consider the anti-diabetic effect of sage extract in diabetic rats and its results were published in Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews. Observations have shown that consumption of sage extract in densities of (2 and 4 g/kg of body weight) for 14 days increased plasma insulin and significantly reduced glucose level, triglyceride, total cholesterol level, urea, and uric acid, creatinine, aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase in blood serum. Based on the results of this study the extract of this plant with dose dependent activity has shown that it is comparable with anti-diabetic drug of glibenclamide.  This effect of sage can be due to the ingredients of plant that protect beta cells of pancreas and stimulate secretion of insulin. Also the results of a clinical experiment on 80 patients that were published in Journal of Renal Injury in 2013 showed level of blood glucose and cholesterol in patients with type-2 diabetes that were under treatment with sage significantly reduce in comparison with control (witness) group.

4. Anti-Inflammatory

In 2010, the effects of pain killer and anti-inflammation of alcoholic and aqueous extracts of leaves of sage in laboratory mice were studied and its results were published in journal of Pharmaceutical Biology. The observations of this research showed that alcoholic and aqueous extracts of sage leaf have effects of pain killer and anti-inflammation which this subject confirms the traditional use of this plant to reduce pain.

5. Anti-cancer

Ursolic acid content in sage effectively prevents attacking of cancer cells and causing metastasis. This compound in an experiment in vitro condition was done that destroyed implantation of cells of melanoma B16 in lung. In 2010 the results of considering the effect of sage tea on preventing colon cancer in rats were published in journal of Biomed Central Proceedings that based on this aqueous extract of sage significantly reduced damage of DNA caused by H2O2. Some extracted di-terpenoids from root of sage have the effects of cytotoxic (destructive cancer cells) and destroy DNA in cancer cells of Caco-2 of colon in human. In 2007 anticancer activity of sage oil in cancer cells samples and in laboratory condition were considered and its results were published in journal of Anticancer Research. Based on results the part of sesquiterpene of sage contains alpha humulene that shows strong cytotoxic activity against cancer cells line of LNCap of prostate in human. Also trans- caryophyllene that is the most important sesquiterpene of sage showed strong cytotoxic activity against cancer cells of skin and kidney.

6. Boosting Immune System

The results of considering the effect of safety polysaccharide of sage that were published in International Journal of Biological Macromolecules in 2003 have shown these compounds with stimulation thymocytes lymphocytosis in rats strengthen immune system. In this research it was observed that polysaccharide components that usually are rich in arabinogalactan, pectin and related polymers to glucuronoxylan can induce proliferation thymocytes lymphocytosis.

7. Regulating Blood Cholesterol Levels

Sage extract activates activated receptors with peroxisome reproducer (PPARY) and regulates genes involved in energy consumption and metabolism of lipids and glucose. In addition, sage improves HDL to LDL ratio and reduces level of triglyceride content in serum. The effect of sage and its active ingredients on activity of lipase pancreas enzyme and lipid digestion have been considered. In 2004 a study on carnosic acid effect of this plant was done and its results were published in journal of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters that methanolic extract of sage leaves significantly inhibited activity of pancreas lipase and inhibits increasing serum triglyceride in mice that consumed olive oil. Carnosic acid and carnosol are two ingredients of sage extract that have inhibition activity on lipase pancreas enzyme.

8. Relieving Menopause Symptoms

In a clinical trial that was done in 2011 and its results were published in journal of Advances in Therapy, sage effect on treatment hot flush during menopause was proved. The use of sage extract once a day has shown a good clinical worth in terms of immune and effectiveness on treatment hot flush and acute symptoms of menopause.

9. Improving Digestive System Function

Based on the research findings in 2011 there are ingredients in sage that relieve intestinal muscles and with decreasing intestinal movement have anti diarrhea effect. Action mechanism of anti-diarrhea and anti-spasm of this plant probably is related to the work of voltage sensitive channels of potassium ion. The results of this research that were published in Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology have shown the sage can be used to medical treatment of disorders of overactive intestine as diarrhea.

10. Improving Liver Function

In 2005, the biological safety and antioxidant potential of brewed sage was evaluated through determination of amount of enzymes activity of transaminase plasma and glutathione s-transferase (GST) of liver and activities of enzyme of glutathione reductase (GR) and its results were published in Journal of Ethno pharmacology. Based on the results a significant increase in activity of liver enzyme of glutathione s-transferase (GST) in laboratory animals that used brewed sage was observed.


Thujone, Picrosalvin, Bornyl Acetate, Camphene, Camphor, Humulene, Limonene, Rosmarinic acid, Ellagic acid, Carnosic acid, Chlorogenic acid, Rutin, Quercetin, Apigenin, Luteolin.

In traditional medicine of Iran, sage was used as sedative, anticancer, anti-Alzheimer`s, antimicrobial, anti-sweat, antioxidant, lactation reducer in pregnant women, sexual desire reducer, menstruation creator, high blood pressure reducer and remover of indigestion, pain and bloating. Sage tea is used to treat dysmenorrhea (perilous menstruation), diarrhea, stomach inflammation, tonsillitis and throat pain and its dried leaves also smoked to treat asthma.