Sage is a fragrant herb often used in cooking. The leaves have been used to improve digestion and mental function. Sage has also been used to lower cholesterol and ease throat pain. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. Sage can also be made into a tea or used as an essential oil.
There are no advised doses for sage.
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe for most adults to use sage products and to take sage orally in small doses for a short time. Large doses may not be safe. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use sage. F1 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:
A. Acute Pharyngitis
A1. Hubbert M, Sievers H, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of a spray with Salvia officinalis in the treatment of acute pharyngitis - a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with adaptive design and interim analysis. Eur J Med Res. 2006 Jan 31;11(1):20-26.
B. Alzheimer Disease
B1. Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, et al. Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2003 Feb;28(1):53-59.
B2. Miroddi M, Navarra M, et al. Systematic review of clinical trials assessing pharmacological properties of Salvia species on memory, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2014 Jun;20(6):485-495.
C1. Kianbakht S, Dabaghian FH. Improved glycemic control and lipid profile in hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetic patients consuming Salvia officinalis L. leaf extract: a randomized placebo. Controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2013 Oct;21(5):441-446.
D1. Kianbakht S, Abasi B, et al. Antihyperlipidemic effects of Salvia officinalis L. leaf extract in patients with hyperlipidemia: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2011 Dec;25(12):1849-1853.
E. Memory and Attention in Older Adults
E1. Scholey AB, Tildesley NT, et al. An extract of Salvia (sage) with anticholinesterase properties improves memory and attention in healthy older volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008 May;198(1):127-139.
F1. Ahmed M, Hwang JH, et al. Safety classification of herbal medicines used among pregnant women in Asian countries: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Nov 14;17(1):489.
G. Sore Throat
G1. Schapowal A, Berger D, et al. Echinacea/sage or chlorhexidine/lidocaine for treating acute sore throats: a randomized double-blind trial. Eur J Med Res. 2009;14(9):406-412.
H. Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
H1. Ahangari F, Farshbaf-Khalili A, et al. Comparing the effectiveness of Salvia officinalis, clotrimazole and their combination on vulvovaginal candidiasis: A randomized, controlled clinical trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2019 Apr;45(4):897-907.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 3/30/2020
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