Sage has been used in Europe for centuries as a spice and a medicine. There are many different species of sage, with some reports describing over 500 species. Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia/Salvia lavandulifolia are two species covered in this monograph; both are used interchangeably in commerce.
However, Salvia officinalis is more commonly used medicinally, horticulturally, and commercially and although Salvia lavandulifolia is a related species, it is unclear whether the actions of S. officinalis and S. lavandulifolia are interchangeable.
Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) extracts have demonstrated anticholinesterase, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, oestrogenic and sedative effects; all of which are relevant to the treatment of dementia.
In a study at Northumbria University in the U.K, sage oil was found to improve memory. Scientists took 44 healthy, young adults and gave 24 sage oil and 20 placebo. The volunteers then took part in a word recall test. Results showed that those who had taken the sage oil consistently performed better than those who had taken placebos.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) has been investigated as a potential treatment for AD after research discovered that it inhibits acetylcholinesterase. In a double-blind Iranian study of AD patients, supplementing with sage for four months resulted in a significant improvement in cognitive function.
The History and Common Uses of Sage
Sage is a popular European treatment for inflammations of the mouth and throat, upset stomach) and excessive sweating, in addition to other uses.
An extract of sage (Salvia libanotica) native to the Mediterranean region has been noted as a popular plant remedy used by Middle Eastern people as a soporific and antimicrobial and to treat colds, influenza, abdominal pain, headaches, heart disorders, and gall stones.
Sage has a long history of use against inflammation of the oral cavity and throat when used as a mouthwash or gargle, especially in Europe.
The strongest evidence for the use of sage comes from clinical trials conducted with sage for Alzheimer’s disease, menopausal discomfort, pharyngitis, herpes infections, and to improve mood, cognition, and memory. Potential uses of sage include decreasing menopausal symptoms and for lung cancer prevention.