- Indications with possible efficacy:
- Indications with possible, but poorly documented efficacy:
Herpes labialis - topical
Nose and throat mucous membrane inflammation - topical
- Other indications with no proof of efficacy:
- Risk of Drug Interactions:
- Adverse Effects:
Part of the plant used: leaves
Sage is a subshrub cultivated in Europe and America. Sage contains 1% to 2,8% of volatile oil that appears to be responsible for its therapeutic effects. However, this oil is rich in thujone, a potentially toxic compound. Sage is often mixed with other plants to prepare infusions and decoctions.
Direction of use
- Alzheimer's disease:
1 g of sage per day, provided by salvia officinalis hydroalcoholic extract or salvia lavendulaefolia extract titrated up to 2.5 g 3 times daily.
- Digestive problems, excessive perspiration:
Tea - steep 1 to 3 g of dried leaves in 150 ml boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, three times a day
Dry extract - 180 to 360 mg of dry extract (5,5:1) three times a day.
- Nose and throat mucous membrane and gum inflammation:
Mix 2.5 g of leaves or 2 to 3 drops of essential oil in 100 mL of water or dilute 5 mL of liquid extract in 100 mL of water. Use as a gargle or rinse three times a day.
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that sage is effective in any other indication.
- Side effects
At recommended doses, sage is associated with few adverse effects: dry mouth, local irritation, nausea and abdominal pain. However, prolonged used or large amounts can induce fatigue, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, tremors, seizures and kidney damage.
Use with caution if you are suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or seizures.
Sage may interact with anticonvulsants and oral hypoglycaemic agents. Before taking sage, check with your pharmacist to make sure that there are no interactions with your regular medication.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Sage is not recommended during pregnancy because it may be abortive. Its use during lactation may reduce production of milk.
- Ingesting sage oil can induce seizures and may be toxic to the nervous system because of its high thujone content, a compound found in absinth. Sage oil should never be taken orally.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
- Blumethal M et al. The Complete German Commission E monographs, 1998
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2010
- Passeportsanté.net. Sauge. www.passeportsante.net
- Barnes J. et Al. Herbal Medicines, 2e édition, Pharmaceutical Press, 2002
- Natural Therapeutics Pocket Guide, 2000-2001
- The Review of Natural Products, 6th Edition, 2010