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Sage, Salvia officinalis

Sage has many healing properties as well as some warnings.


Possibly Effective for:

Sage: Sage was known for its therapeutic properties in the Middle Ages and was even used to help prevent the plague. Sage’s name is derived from a Latin word meaning “to save.” Research indicates that sage can improve brain function and memory, particularly in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The brain’s acetylcholine level drops during Alzheimer’s disease. Sage blocks acetylcholine degradation. During a 4-month study of 42 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, sage extract significantly improved cognition. Sage has also been shown to improve memory function in both young and old people.

  • Diabetes.   In diabetes patients, common sage leaf extract taken three times daily for 3 months lowers fasting blood sugar and average blood sugar over time (HbA1c).
  • High cholesterol. Sage is effective at reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and blood fats (triglycerides) when taken three times daily for 2 to 3 months. Also, it increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is good for people with high cholesterol.
  • Alzheimer disease. 
  • Two types of sage extract, common sage and Spanish sage, have been shown to improve learning, memory, and information processing in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.
  • Symptoms of menopause.
  • Taking sage extract for eight to twelve weeks appears to alleviate symptoms of menopause, including night sweats and hot flashes
  • Sage might help with chemical imbalances in the brain that cause symptoms of Alzheimer disease. It might also improve how the body uses insulin and sugar.
  • Sage is available in many varieties with medicinal properties. Here we discuss common sage. It belongs to the Laniakea (Mint) family and can be grown easily in a garden.
    Description: Common sage grows up to 2 feet (0.6m) tall and wide. It produces lavender, purple, pink or white flowers in late spring or summer. Its leaves are oblong, approximately 2 1/2 inches (3.75 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Gray-green leaves are wrinkled on top and covered in short, soft hairs on the underside.

Edible Use: Sage is commonly used as a cooking herb.
Medicinal Use:

  • Sage relieves menopause symptoms, relieves neuropathic pain, improves memory, lowers blood glucose levels, and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Sage is an excellent all-purpose herb.

Digestion Aid:

  • In addition to aiding in digestion of rich, fatty meats, Sage’s stimulant properties move fats through the digestive system smoothly and prevent indigestion. Balances Hormones for Women and Men: It is used to promote normal menstruation and to treat symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, and mental confusion. In addition, it can be used to treat premature ejaculation in men.

Sore Throats:

  • Gargling is the most effective remedy, but many people dislike the taste. We have therefore added a recipe below for a throat spray that is as effective as it is tasty. Both remedies contain several herbs that fight infection and soothe sore throat inflammation.

Speed Healing in Wounds:

  • You can use sage infusion to make a compress for slow-healing wounds. Hold the cotton pad in place with tape or a clean cloth or gauze. Sage infusions relieve pain almost immediately, fight infection, and promote healing by increasing blood flow.

Hair Growth: Sage essential oil improves blood circulation to the scalp and roots of the hair. This encourages thick hair growth and is often paired with rosemary essential oil.

Warning: Sage can significantly reduce the amount of milk produced in nursing mothers. Avoid its use when breastfeeding. 

I acquired these recipes from a brilliant woman I highly respect and admire and hope to follow her when it comes to natural remedies. I believe I already in a past blog shared how to make infusions.

Recipes. Sage Throat Spray: 3 tablespoons dried or fresh sage leaves, 3/4 cup boiling water, 1/4 cup Echinacea Extract, 1 tablespoon raw honey. Pour the boiling water over the sage leaves and allow it to steep for 30 minutes. Strain out the leaves. Add the
Echinacea extract and raw honey. Store in a bottle with a spray top, preferably with a fine mist. Spray in the back of the throat as often as needed.

Sage Gargle for a Sore Throat: This gargle doesn’t taste great, but it works! 1 tablespoon dried sage leaves, 1 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon goldenseal root powder, 5 drops Cayenne Infusion, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, with live culture.

Pour the boiling water over the dried sage and allow it to steep for 45 minutes. Strain out the leaves and add the goldenseal root powder, cayenne infusion, and vinegar. Gargle with this mixture every hour for as long as you can stand it. Spit out the gargle.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Following surgery, there is pain. A recent study showed that using an oral rinse made of common sage along with pain medications is less effective for reducing pain following surgery than using benzylamine hydrochloride. Additionally, using a mouth rinse containing common sage may increase the risk of infection after surgery.

Insufficient Evidence for Hot flashes in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for Prostate cancer. Early research shows that taking common sage extract three times daily for 4 weeks reduces the severity and frequency of hot flashes in men receiving this treatment.

Lung cancer. Some research suggests that people who use sage as a spice may have a 54% lower chance of developing lung cancer than those who don’t use sage as a spice.

Memory. Taking a single dose of common sage extract or Spanish sage essential oil by mouth seems to improve some measures of memory in healthy adults. But these sage species do not seem to improve memory when used as aromatherapy.

Sore throat. (pharyngitis). Using a spray containing common sage extract 15% reduces throat pain in people with a sore throat. But sprays containing higher (30%) and lower (5%) amounts of common sage extract do not seem to reduce throat pain.

A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (PCOS). Some research shows that taking sage helps to reduce some, but not all, symptoms in people with PCOS.

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). Cold sores (herpes labialis). Loss of appetite. Stomach pain. Painful periods. Asthma. Gas. Bloating. Excessive sweating. Other condition.

More evidence is needed to rate sage for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Sage is LIKELY SAFE in amounts typically used in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts, for up to 4 months. But 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.

When applied to the skin: Sage is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin for up to one week.

When inhaled: Sage essential oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when inhaled as aromatherapy.

Special Precautions

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 Lavandula folia) 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 Lavandula folia) 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 (Antidiabetic 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, Glynes Presta, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diamines), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orianses), 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 (Myslin), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interact 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 (Donatell), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For Alzheimer 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 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.
  • For symptoms of menopause: 300 mg of common sage extract has been used daily for 12 weeks. Also, 280 mg daily of a specific thujone-free common sage extract (Sage Menopause, Bioforce AG) has been used for 8 weeks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      April Albright