phytochemicals Phytochemicals

More plants with phytochemicals



Salvia officinalis

What is sage?

Sage is a perennial evergreen shrublet. Sage grows about 60 cm high. The sage stems are square and hairy, and bear opposite pairs of grey leaves. The sage leaves are textured with network of veins on both sides. At the end of the summer the sage plant forms attractive purplish flowers. All parts of the sage plant have a strong and typical scent.

Parts used

Mainly the sage leaves are used. The phytochemicals of sage are concentrated in the yellow or greenish-yellow volatile oil with a penetrating odour.


These are typical phytochemicals found in sage: thujone, monoterpenes, carnosol, rosmanol, rosmarinic acid, flavonoids, tannins.

Benefits of sage

Sage is used as stimulant, antiseptic, antipasmodic and carminative.
The gargle made from an infusion from dried sage is used to treat bleeding gums and to prevent an excessive flow of saliva. Sage as antiseptic properties, making it suitable to treat ulcers and sore troat. The sage leaves can be used as tooth cleaners, by rubbing a leaf over the teeth and gums.
Sage is used as a stimulant tonic and has been used as antidiabetic herb.
Sage is used to treat typhoid fever, kidney troubles, liver complaints, colds in the head and sore throat.

Other facts

Sage originates to the northern shores of the Mediterranean and is cultivated commercially in Eastern Europe, Asia and USA. The sage flowers are often visited by bees. Sage honey has a very nice and typical aroma but is quite expensive.
The name Salvia is derived from the Latin salvere, which means to be saved. This refers to the medicinal properties of the sage plant, which was in olden times celebrated as a medicinal herb. During the middle ages sages was often used as medicine: Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia crescit in horto?, which means 'why should a man die while sage grows in his garden'.
Sage is easily propagated by pulling off the young shoots from three-year-old sage plant in spring.
Sage is also used as herb in the kitchen and as a colorant to darken the hair.

Other names

Sawge, sauja, garden sage, red sage, broadleaf sage, common sage, salvia, salie

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