The genus, Salvia is the largest in the mint (Labitae), family with over 800 species represented. Salvia derives from the Latin salvere (“to save”), referring to the long-held belief in the herb’s healing properties. Pliny the Elder was the first author known to describe a plant called “Salvia” by the Romans. It has ben used widely as a culinary herb and medicinal plant for a long list of functions. The plant has trichomes or hair like structures on the undersides of the leaves that when broken release stores of volatile oils which impart characteristic flavor and properties. Sage was officially listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1840 to 1900.
The German Commission E approved internal use for mild gastrointestinal upset and excessive sweating as well as for external use in conditions of inflamed mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. Sage conatins high amounts of volatile oils with antioxidant properties. The rosmarinic acid in sage functions with antioxidant properties. The leaves and stems of the sage plant also contain antioxidant enzymes, including SOD (superoxide dismutase) and peroxidase. The ability of sage to protect oils from oxidation has also led some companies to experiment with sage as a natural antioxidant additive to cooking oils that can extend shelf life and help avoid rancidity. Polysaccharides naturally found in Sage, have immune supportive characteristics that help the membranes of the throat support a normal inflammatory response. It is also helpful in supporting normal transition in women through the cooling properties it provides. Research indicates that it may also support healthy prostate function.
Uses of Sage
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.