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Botanical Name

Salvia officinalis

Common Name

Sage, garden sage



Parts Used


Native To

Southeastern Europe, including areas of Spain, Italy, France, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and coastal areas of northwestern Africa, including Morocco and Algeria

Harvesting Guidelines

Sage, scientifically known as S. officinalis, can be grown from either seeds or cuttings. To grow from seeds, plant them at a depth of ½ inch and expect germination in about three weeks. The Shakers from the 19th century recommended sowing sage in rich, well-drained soil with rows spaced 2 feet apart and thinning as needed. It is also suggested to sow new seeds every 3-4 years. In colder climates, garden sage can be protected during the winter by covering it with straw or mulch.


Sage, a herb with approximately 500 varieties, has been historically used in Western herbalism for its varied health benefits. The Salvia officinalis variety is the primary sage of commerce and its genus name is derived from the Latin word salvus, meaning "healthy". Sage has been used to promote wellness in the nervous, digestive, integumentary, reproductive, and immune systems. In addition to being a common culinary herb used to flavor and preserve foods, sage also serves as a digestive stimulant and choleretic, improving the digestion of fats. It is also used as a carminative to ease gas. (1)

Sage is a versatile herb with a wide range of uses. It can help with a variety of issues, including anxiety, colds, fever, indigestion, migraines, and respiratory congestion. Sage has also been known to aid in balancing irregular menses, menopause symptoms, and excessive perspiration. Additionally, it may help with blood clots, cystitis, depression, diarrhea, flatulence, hot flashes, memory problems, menorrhagia, night sweats, rheumatic pain, and staphylococcus infection . (2)

Sage has been used for centuries in folk herbal traditions for its believed ability to promote longevity and wisdom. It has also been associated with attracting protection and prosperity. In the 16th century, John Gerard noted sage's affinity for the head and brain, citing its ability to improve memory and senses, strengthen sinews, and even alleviate symptoms of palsy and tremors. Sage has a rich history of medicinal and spiritual uses, making it a valuable herb in many cultures.

Sage has been traditionally used for its cognitive-enhancing properties, and modern research has confirmed its effectiveness in improving memory and addressing imbalances and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. The compounds in sage work on the muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic systems, which are involved in cognition and memory processes. Sage also exhibits anti-cholinesterase activity, inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, making it an important supportive herb for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In a study on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, researchers found that taking 60 drops per day of sage extract (1:1, 45%) for only 4 months produced significant improvements in cognition and possibly reduced agitation. (3)

Sage has been used for centuries to help with mild imbalances in cognition and mood, such as mental fatigue and lethargy. It has been traditionally used to lift a "dull and heavy spirit," especially during times of grief and loss. Recent studies have shown that even a single dose of sage extract or dried leaf can improve memory capacity and mood. However, sage doesn't always have to be taken internally. The aroma of sage alone has been found to promote mental alertness, according to herbalist Brigitte Mars.

Sage is a versatile herb that has been used for centuries to alleviate cold symptoms. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make it effective in soothing sore throats and tonsillitis. Additionally, sage contains tannins that help to tighten tissues, making them more resistant to infection. As an expectorant, sage can also help to thin and expel phlegm from the lungs, as well as dry up postnasal drip and runny sinuses. In cases of fever, sage can regulate fluid flow, acting as either a diaphoretic to promote sweating.

Sage has been used for centuries to support oral health, with traditional remedies including using it as a mouthwash or gargle for inflamed sore throats and gum issues. This traditional wisdom has been backed up by modern research, with studies showing that a mouthwash containing 5% sage extract can significantly reduce bacterial colony count. In this study, 50 grams of sage leaves were extracted into a 50% ETOH solvent to create the mouthwash preparation. (4)


Adult Dose (5)

Infusion: 8 fl oz (1-2 teaspoons dried herb in 1 cup boiling water) 3x/day For menopausal night sweats and hot flashes: 1-2 cups (8-16 fl oz) during the day, with another cup taken 1-2 hours before bedtime

Tincture: 2-4 mL (1:5, 40%) 3x/day


Sage is a generally safe herb with rare side effects. However, it does contain thujone, which in high doses may cause convulsions and can negatively affect those with certain health conditions such as epilepsy, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. It is important to note that sage should be avoided during breastfeeding as it is known to decrease milk production. Additionally, pregnant women should avoid large doses of sage as there have been reported cases of miscarriage linked to strong infusions of the herb. Actions




(1) Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications.

(2) Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications.

(3) Akhondzadeh, S., Noroozian, M., Mohammadi, M., Ohadinia, S., Jamshidi, A.H., & Khani, M. (2003). Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: A double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 28, 53–59.

(4) Beheshti-Rouy, M., Azarsina, M., Rezaie-Soufi, L., Alikhani, M.Y., Roshanaie, G., & Komaki, S. (2015). The antibacterial effect of sage extract (Salvia officinalis) mouthwash against Streptococcus mutans in dental plaque: A randomized clinical trial. Iranian Journal of Microbiology, 7(3), 173-177.

(5) Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

(6) Romm, A. (2010). Botanical medicine for women’s health. St. Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone.


Scientific Research:


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