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SAGE

Salvia officinalis L. Text by Armando González Stuart, Ph.D., 2003

Common name in Spanish: Salvia. Medicinal parts: Leaves and stems

History This species is much used as a folk remedy in many countries against a great variety of ailments, especially menstrual problems and those associated with menopause, such as low estrogen and hot flashes.

Active principles · · · · · · Volatile oils (cineole, camphor and thujone) Tannins Diterpene bitter principles Triterpenes Flavones and flavone glycosides Steroids (Santos and Fernandes, 2003).

Applications in herbal therapy · · · · · · · · · To relieve menstrual problems such as cramps, as well as to regulate the menstrual cycle in amenorrhea. Applied topically, it is used as a skin antiseptic and an insect repellant. As a hair rinse, it purportedly maintains natural color and slows down the graying process and hair loss. As a vaginal douche against fungi that cause candidiasis. As a topical cream against herpes skin infections (Saller et al., 2001). Experimentally, as a potential option in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (Akhondzadeh et al., 2003; Perry et al., 1999; Perry et al., 1998). As an oral antiseptic applied as a mouth rinse (Pitten and Kramer, 1999; Shibley et al., 1997). Decrease occurrence of hot flashes during menopause (De Leo et al., 1998). As an appetite enhancer and to promote digestion.

Safety/Precautions · · · · · · Do not use in pregnancy and lactation, since its thujone content may cause uterine motility. Do not use internally in small children. Do not use internally in patients with nervous disorders, since large doses may cause CNS seizures and vertigo. Tachycardia may be a side effect in hypersensitive people. Use only under professional supervision in diabetic patients. The volatile essential oil may cause epileptiform convulsions if taken internally. Herb/Drug interactions · · Some of the plant's constituents have affinity to human brain benzodiazepine receptors in vitro (Kavvadias et al., 2003). This herb's possible interactions with estrogens used in hormone replacement therapy are unknown at this time.

Literature cited Adame J, Adame H. Plantas Curativas del Noreste Mexicano. Monterrey: Castillo; 2000. Aguilar, A. Plantas Medicinales del Centro de México. Mexico City: Guías prácticas México Desconocido; 1999. Argueta A. Atlas de las Plantas de la Medicina Tadicional Mexicana. 3 Vols. México City: Instituto Nacional Indigenista; 1994. Arteche, A and Vanaclocha, B. Fitoterapia: Vademécum de Prescripción 3rd ed. Barcelona: Masson; 1998. Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M. et al. Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer' disease: a double blind, s randomized and placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2003; 28(1):53-59. Berdoncés, JL. Gran Enciclopedia de Las Plantas Medicinales Barcelona: Tikal; 1998. Brinker, F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions 3rd ed. Sandy, Oregon: Eclectic Medical Publications; 2001. Cabrera, R. Yerbario mexicano. Mexico City: Gomez-Gomez Hnos; 1988. De Leo V, Lanzetta D, Cazzavacca R, Morgante G. Treatment of neurovegetative menopausal symptoms with a phytotherapeutic agent [Article in Italian]. Minerva Ginecol. 1998; 50(5):207-211. González M. Plantas Medicinales del Noreste de México. Monterrey, Mexico: IMSS-Vitro; 1998 Gruenwald J. PDR for Herbal Medicines. New Jersey: Medical Economics; 2000. Kavvadias D, Monschein V, Sand P. et al. Constituents of sage (Salvia officinalis) with in vitro affinity to human brain benzodiazepine receptor. Planta Med. 2003; 69(2):113-117. Martínez M. Las Plantas Medicinales de México. Mexico City: Editorial Botas; 1989. McCann, J. Herbal Medicine Handbook 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott; 2003.

Perry EK, Pickering AT, Wang WW. et al. Medicinal plants and Alzheimer' disease: from s ethnobotany to phytotherapy. Pharm Pharmacol. 1999;51(5):527-534. Perry EK, Pickering AT, Wang WW. et al. Medicinal plants and Alzheimer' disease: s Integrating ethnobotanical and contemporary scientific evidence. J Altern Complement Med. 1998;4(4):419-428. Pitten FA, Kramer A. Antimicrobial efficacy of antiseptic mouthrinse solutions. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1999;55(2):95-100. Saller R, Buechi S, Meyrat R, Schmidhauser C. Combined herbal preparation for topical treatment of Herpes labialis. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2001;8(6):373382. Santos-Gomes PC, Fernandes-Ferreira M. Essential oils produced by in vitro shoots of sage (Salvia officinalis L.). J Agric Food Chem. 2003; 51(8):2260-2266. Shibly O, Ciancio SG, Kazmierczak M. et al. Clinical evaluation of the effect of a hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse, sodium bicarbonate dentifrice, and mouth moisturizer on oral health. J Clin Dent. 1997;8(5):145-149. Skidmore-Roth, L. Handbook of Herbs and Natural Supplements. Saint Louis: Mosby; 2003.

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