Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Salvia officinalis

Requests: If you need specific information on this remedy - e.g. a proving or a case info on toxicology or whatsoever, please post a message in the Request area so that all users may contribute.

Therapeutics and Pharmacology:

Salvia has an antispasmodic action which reduces tension in smooth muscle, and it can be used in a steam inhalation for asthma attacks. It is an excellent remedy for helping to remove mucous congestion in the airways and for checking or preventing secondary infection. It may be taken as a carminative to reduce griping and other symptoms of indigestion, and is also of value in the treatment of dysmenorrhoea. Its bitter component stimulates upper digestive secretions, intestinal mobility, bile flow, and pancreatic function, while the volatile oil has a carminative and stimulating effect on the digestion. The thujone has a vermifuge action. There also seems to be a more general relaxant effect, so that the plant is suitable in the treatment of nervousness, excitability and dizziness. It helps to fortify a generally debilitated nervous system.

Salvia has a strong antihydrotic action, and was a traditional treatment for night sweats in tuberculosis sufferers. Its appreciable oestrogenic effect make it particularly beneficial for the night sweats of the menopause (it should never be used to suppress perspiration in fevers). Its oestrogenic effects may also be used to treat some cases of dysmenorrhoea and menstrual irregularity or amenorrhoea. It is effective in reducing milk production, and can be used during the process of weaning an infant off the breast.

Caution: Alcoholic extracts of Salvia have quite a high concentration of thujone which can have toxic effects in large doses. The herb should be avoided during pregnancy because it is a uterine stimulant. The essential oil should always be used with great care as even small doses can be poisonous.
The thujone in the volatile oil has an antiseptic and antibiotic action and, when taken as a mouthwash, Salvia deals effectively with throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums and mouth ulcers. It can also be applied to external wounds. The essential oil, heated in a vaporiser, will disinfect sick-rooms. The phenolic acids in Salvia are particularly potent against Staphylococcus aureus . In vitro, sage oil has been shown to be effective against both gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including Escherichia coli and Salmonella species, and against filamentous fungi and yeasts such as Candida albicans. Salvia also has an astringent action due to its relatively high tannin content and can be used in the treatment of infantile diarrhoea. Its antiseptic action is of value where there is intestinal infection. Rosmarinic acid contributes to the herb's anti-inflammatory activity.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Sage is feebly tonic, astringent, expectorant, and diaphoretic, and has properties common to aromatics. An infusion is beneficial in flatulence connected with debility, and will, when the skin is soft and relaxed, the extremities cold, and the circulation enfeebled, prove efficient in restraining exhausting sweats. Should the sweating be preceded by hectic fever, and dry harsh skin, it is less likely to prove beneficial. The infusion may be taken cold throughout the day; it may likewise be used warm, as an anthelmintic, and for the purpose of causing diaphoresis in some febrile diseases. The warm infusion will cause active diuresis by checking its diaphoretic tendency. Dr. James Anton, of Lebanon, Ohio, considered it an excellent remedy for spermatorrhoea; also a valuable anaphrodisiac to check excessive venereal desires. It may be used in connection with moral, hygienic, and other aids, if necessary. Van Swieten stated that a vinous infusion forms an excellent fomentation to the breasts, when it is desirable to cheek the flow of milk. The infusion, either alone or combined with vinegar, honey, alum, or sumach berries, is much used as a gargle for inflammation and ulceration of the throat, and relaxed uvula. The oil may be used in small doses as a carminative and stimulant; and externally, applied with friction in rheumatism.

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2003 Feb;28(1):53-9.  Related Articles, Links  
Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial.
Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, Ohadinia S, Jamshidi AH, Khani M.
Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Institute of Medicinal Plants, Iranian Academic Centre for Education, Culture and Research, Tehran, Iran.

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a slow, progressive decline in cognitive function and behaviour. Acetylcholine esterase inhibitors are the only agents approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. All other agents prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease are used on an off-label basis. Current research into new drugs is focused on agents that will prevent, slow down and/or halt the progress of the disease process. Salvia officinalis has been used in herbal medicine for many centuries. It has been suggested, on the basis of traditional medicine, its in vitro cholinergic binding properties and modulation of mood and cognitive performance in humans, that Salvia officinalis might potentially provide a novel natural treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of Salvia officinalis extract using a fixed dose (60 drops/day), in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, over a 4-month period. METHODS: This was a 4-month, parallel group, placebo-controlled trial undertaken in three centres in Tehran, Iran. Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease aged between 65 and 80 years (n = 42, 18 women) with a score of > or = 12 on the cognitive subscale of Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog) and < or = 2 on the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) were randomized to placebo or fixed dose of S. officinalis extract. Over the 16 weeks, the main efficacy measures were the change in the ADAS-cog and CDR-Sum of Boxes scores compared with baseline. In addition, side-effects were systematically recorded throughout the study using a checklist. RESULTS: At 4 months, S. officinalis extract produced a significant better outcome on cognitive functions than placebo (ADAS-cog: F = 4.77, d.f. = 1, P = 0.03) (CDR-SB: F = 10.84, d.f. = 1, P < 0.003). There were no significant differences in the two groups in terms of observed side-effects except agitation that appears to be more frequent in the placebo group (P = 0.09). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate the efficacy of S. officinalis extract in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, S. officinalis may well reduce agitation of patients but this needs to be confirmed.

J. Agric. Food Chem., 46 (12), 4869 -4873, 1998. 10.1021
November 17, 1998
Antioxidative Phenolic Compounds from Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Mingfu Wang, Jiangang Li, Meera Rangarajan, Yu Shao, Edmond J. LaVoie, Tzou-Chi Huang, and Chi-Tang Ho*
Department of Food Science, Cook College, Rutgers University, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855, and Department of Food Science and Technology, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, 912 Pingtung, Taiwan


Ten phenolic compounds were isolated from a butanol fraction of sage extracts. Their structures were determined by spectral methods (NMR, MS, IR). Among them, a novel compound, 4-hydroxyacetophenone-4-O--D-apiofuranosyl-(16)-O--D-glucopyranoside, was identified. Two test systems, DPPH free radical scavenging activity and radical cation ABTS+ scavenging activity, were used to evaluate their antioxidant activity. The most active compounds were found to be rosmarinic acid and luteolin-7-O--glucopyranoside.

The addition of antioxidants to food is an effective way to prevent the development of various off-flavors and undesirable compounds that result from lipid oxidation. The possible toxicity as well as general consumer rejection led to decreasing use of synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (Namiki, 1990). Antioxidants with natural origins, therefore, have drawn more and more attention. Among the plants reported to have antioxidative activities, rosemary and sage are widely known. The main antioxidant activity of sage was reported to be attributed mainly to carnosic acid, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid (Cuvelier et al., 1996). However, the chemical components of sage are very complex. Many components such as diterpenes, triterpenes, and flavonoids have been isolated from sage (Brieskorn and Buchberger, 1973; Brieskorn and Kapadia, 1979, 1980; Karl et al., 1982; Djarmati et al., 1992; Cuvelier, 1994, 1996; Tada, 1997). Most of the compounds are phenolic compounds and may have a significant contribution to the total antioxidant activity of sage. Since there is no report on the highly polar components of sage, we examined the chemical components of the butanol-soluble fraction of sage. Here we report the structures of 10 phenolic compounds and their antioxidative activity in two test models