Common Sage, Dalmatian Sage, Feuille de la Bergère, Garden Sage, Herbe Sacré, Meadow Sage, Salvia lavandulaefolia, Salvia officinalis, Sauge, Sauge Ananas, Sauge des Prairies, Sauge Divinatoire, Sauge Divine, Sauge Domestique, Sauge Officinale, Scarlet Sage, Spanish Sage, True Sage, Vraie Sauge.
Overview InformationSage is an herb. The leaf is used to make medicine. There are many species of sage. The two most common species are common sage (Salvia officinalis) and Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia).
Sage is used for digestive problems, including loss of appetite, gas (flatulence), stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn. It is also used for reducing overproduction of perspiration and saliva; and for depression, diabetes, high cholesterol, and a condition in which there is too little blood flow to the brain (cerebral ischemia). It is also used to improve mental performance and memory, to reduce pain after surgery, for Alzheimer's disease, and to prevent lung cancer.
Women use sage for painful menstrual periods, to correct excessive milk flow during nursing, and to reduce hot flashes during menopause. Sage is also used by men to reduce hot flashes during certain treatment for prostate cancer called androgen deprivation therapy.
Sage is applied directly to the mouth or throat for cold sores, gum disease (gingivitis), sore mouth, throat, or tongue, swollen, painful nasal passages, and swollen tonsils. It is also applied to the skin after sun exposure to prevent sunburn.
Some people inhale sage for asthma. As an aromatherapy, some people use sage to improve memory and brain function.
In foods, sage is a commonly used spice.
In manufacturing, sage is used as a fragrance component in soaps and cosmetics.
How does it work?Sage might help with chemical imbalances in the brain that cause symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. It might also improve how the body uses insulin and sugar.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Alzheimer's disease. Taking extracts of two different sage species, common sage and Spanish sage, for 4 months seems to improve learning, memory and information processing in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
- Mental performance. Taking a single dose of common sage extract or Spanish sage essential oil by mouth seems to improve memory, alertness, and attention in healthy adults. When the essential oils of these sage species are used as aromatherapy, it seems to improve alertness, but not attention and memory.
- Diabetes. Taking common sage leaf extract three times daily for 3 months lowers fasting blood sugar and average blood sugar over time (HbA1c) in diabetes patients.
- High cholesterol. Taking common sage three times daily for 2 or 3 months reduces "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides, and increases "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, in people with high cholesterol or high triglycerides.
- Memory. Taking a single dose of common sage extract or Spanish sage essential oil by mouth seems to improve memory in healthy adults. However, these sage species do not seem to improve memory when used as aromatherapy.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Pain after surgery. Early research shows that using an oral rinse made of common sage along with pain medications is less effective for reducing pain after surgery compared to using the drug benzydamine hydrochloride. Also, using a mouth rinse containing common sage seems to increase the risk for infection after surgery.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Hot flashes in men due to prostate cancer treatment. Early research shows that taking common sage extract three times daily for 4 weeks reduces the severity and frequency of hot flashes in prostate cancer patients who are being treated with androgen deprivation.
- Cold sores. Applying a cream containing common sage and rhubarb to cold sores may be about as effective as acyclovir (Zovirax) cream. Acyclovir cream heals the cold sores in about 6 days. It takes the sage and rhubarb cream about 7 days to heal them. Sage and rhubarb together work faster than a cream containing only sage.
- Lung cancer. People who regularly use sage as a spice seem to have a 54% lower chance of developing lung cancer compared to those who don't use sage as a spice.
- Menopausal symptoms. Early research shows that taking common sage extract (Sage Menopause, Bioforce AG) for 8 weeks improves symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes.
- Sore throat. Using a specific spray (Valverde Salvia Rachenspray) containing common sage extract 15% reduces throat pain in people with a sore throat. However, sprays containing higher (30%) and lower (5%) amounts of common sage extract do not seem to reduce throat pain. Other early research shows that using a throat spray containing common sage and echinacea for up to 5 days improves sore throat symptoms similarly to a common sore throat drug spray.
- Sunburn. Applying an ointment containing common sage extract to the skin after exposure to UV light seems to reduce the development of skin redness.
- Swelling of the tonsils (tonsillitis). Early research shows that using a throat spray containing common sage and echinacea for up to 5 days improves symptoms of tonsillitis similarly to a commonly used drug.
- Loss of appetite.
- Stomach pain.
- Dry mouth.
- Painful periods.
- Excessive sweating.
- Other condition.
Side Effects & SafetySage is LIKELY SAFE in amounts typically used in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts, for up to 4 months.
However, sage is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses or for a long time. Some species of sage, such as common sage (Salvia officinalis), contain a chemical called thujone. Thujone can be poisonous if you take too much. This chemical can cause seizures and damage the liver and nervous system. The amount of thujone varies with the species of sage, the time of harvest, growing conditions, and other factors.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking sage during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE because of the possibility of consuming thujone, a chemical found in some sage. Thujone can bring on a woman's menstrual period, and this could cause a miscarriage. Avoid sage if you are breast-feeding, too. There is some evidence that thujone might reduce the supply of mother's milk.
Diabetes: Sage might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use sage. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use Spanish sage.
High blood pressure, low blood pressure: Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure. On the other hand, common sage (Salvia officinalis) might lower blood pressure in people with blood pressure that is already low. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure.
Seizure disorders: One species of sage (Salvia officinalis) contains significant amounts of thujone, a chemical that can trigger seizures. If you have a seizure disorder, don't take sage in amounts higher than those typically found in food.
Surgery: Common sage might affect blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using common sage as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with SAGE
Sage might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking sage along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Medications used to prevent seizures (Anticonvulsants) interacts with SAGE
Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Sage may also affect chemicals in the brain. By affecting chemicals in the brain, sage may decrease the effectiveness of medications used to prevent seizures.
Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with SAGE
Sage might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking sage along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For treating Alzheimer's disease: 1 gram of sage per day. A dose of sage extract, gradually increased over time to 2.5 mg three times daily, has also been used.
- For improving mental performance or memory: 25-50 mcL of Spanish sage essential oil or 333 mg of common sage extract have been taken as a single dose before mental tests.
- For diabetes: 500 mg of common sage extract has been used three times per day for 3 months.
- For high cholesterol: 500 mg of common sage extract has been used three times per day for 2 or 3 months.
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