The sage plant grows easily in gardens, and the leaves can be harvested to make a delicious and healthy sage tea that is very easy to make. There are many varieties of sage, and it has been used all over Europe as a home remedy for centuries to treat cold and flu viruses and for oral inflammation. Scientific studies have shown sage to may help improve cognition, reduce throat inflammation, and lesson menopausal symptoms. It may also help with blood sugar and cholesterol levels. More research is warranted. Some research is listed below the recipe.
Sage Tea Ingredients
1 ounce of fresh sage leaves, organically grown with no pesticides or pollutants, gently rinsed clean
2 ounces of honey
2 lemons, quartered
8 cups of water
Sage Tea Instructions
Bring the water to a boil. Turn off heat. Add the sage, honey, and lemons, and cover with a lid. Let set for 20-30 minutes. Strain and drink.
Sage used in small amounts as a spice or to make a tea is generally safe, however taking large quantities and condensed extractions can interfere with certain medications or health conditions.
Some Research on Sage
COGNITION / MEMORY / ALZHEIMER’S
In a systematic review of multiple human studies, both S. officinalis and S. lavandulaefolia improved cognitive function in healthy patients as well as those with Alzheimer’s / dementia, however higher methodological standardized human clinical trials are needed. From: Miroddi, M., Navarra, M., Quattropani, M. C., Calapai, F., Gangemi, S., & Calapai, G. (2014). Systematic Review of Clinical Trials Assessing Pharmacological Properties of S alvia Species on Memory, Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, 20(6), 485-495.
In this randomized, placebo controlled, double blind, cross over study with 20 older adults, a 333 mg extract of sage improved memory and attention. From: Scholey, A. B., Tildesley, N. T., Ballard, C. G., Wesnes, K. A., Tasker, A., Perry, E. K., & Kennedy, D. O. (2008). An extract of Salvia (sage) with anticholinesterase properties improves memory and attention in healthy older volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 198(1), 127-139.
In a study of 45 healthy young adults, Salvia officinalis and Saliva lavandulaefolia aroma improved memory performance compared to the control group. From: Moss, M., Rouse, M., & Moss, L. (2014). Aromas of salvia species enhance everyday prospective memory performance in healthy young adults. Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science, 4, 339-346.
In this double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of 44 adults, a combination of sage, rosemary, and melissa ethenal extracts taken internally improved verbal memory, especially in the older age group. From: Perry, N. S. L., Menzies, R., Hodgson, F., Wedgewood, P., Howes, M. J., Brooker, H. J., … & Perry, E. K. (2017). A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial of a combined extract of sage, rosemary and melissa, traditional herbal medicines, on the enhancement of memory in normal healthy subjects, including influence of age. Phytomedicine.
In a randomized controlled trial of 420 patients receiving a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy, an oral rinse containing sage post surgery had an antinociceptive effect. From: Lalićević, S., & Djordjević, I. (2004). Comparison of benzydamine hydrochloride and Salvia officinalis as an adjuvant local treatment to systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in controlling pain after tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, or both: an open-label, single-blind, randomized clinical trial. Current therapeutic research, 65(4), 360-372.
In a randomized controlled triple blind trial of 84 women, sage reduced the frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women. From: Sadeghi, A., Bakhshi, M., Behboodi, Z., Goodarzi, S., & Haghani, H. (2013). Effect of Sage extract on hot flashes in postmenopausal women. Complementary Medicine Journal of faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, 2(4), 324-335.
This multicenter clinical trial of 71 patients showed a fresh sage preparation to reduce hot flushes. From: Bommer, S., Klein, P., & Suter, A. (2011). First time proof of sage’s tolerability and efficacy in menopausal women with hot flushes. Advances in therapy, 28(6), 490-500.
ANTIDIABETIC / HYPOLIPIDEMIC ACTIONS
In this double blind clinical trial of 80 patients with type 2 diabetes, intake of sage significantly reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels. From: Behradmanesh, S., Derees, F., & Rafieian-kopaei, M. (2013). Effect of Salvia officinalis on diabetic patients. Journal of renal injury prevention, 2(2), 51.
In a randomized placebo controlled study of 40 patients with high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, intake of a 500 mg sage extract daily for three months lowered cholesterol and blood sugar levels. From: Kianbakht, S., & Dabaghian, F. H. (2013). Improved glycemic control and lipid profile in hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetic patients consuming Salvia officinalis L. leaf extract: a randomized placebo. Controlled clinical trial. Complementary therapies in medicine, 21(5), 441-446.
In a pilot study of healthy females, drinking 300 mL of sage tea twice a day for 4 weeks reduced cholesterol and LDL. From: Sá, C. M., Ramos, A. A., Azevedo, M. F., Lima, C. F., Fernandes-Ferreira, M., & Pereira-Wilson, C. (2009). Sage tea drinking improves lipid profile and antioxidant defences in humans. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 10(9), 3937-3950.
Extracts of cloves, ground Jamaican allspice, and cinnamon showed the strong antidiabetic activity in vitro, likely due to phenolic content. Other potent herbs tested included sage, marjoram, tarragon, and rosemary. From: Dearlove, R. P., Greenspan, P., Hartle, D. K., Swanson, R. B., & Hargrove, J. L. (2008). Inhibition of protein glycation by extracts of culinary herbs and spices. Journal of medicinal food, 11(2), 275-281.
Carnosic acid and carnosol constituents from rosemary and sage had a blood sugar lowering effect. From: Rau, O., Wurglics, M., Paulke, A., Zitzkowski, J., Meindl, N., Bock, A., … & Schubert-Zsilavecz, M. (2006). Carnosic acid and carnosol, phenolic diterpene compounds of the labiate herbs rosemary and sage, are activators of the human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. Planta medica, 72(10), 881-887.
Tea preparations from the following plants showed in vitro antidiabetic, antioxidant activities: green tea, peppermint, black, thyme, olive leaf, sage, absinthium, blackberry, and roselle. From: Büyükbalci, A., & El, S. N. (2008). Determination of in vitro antidiabetic effects, antioxidant activities and phenol contents of some herbal teas. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 63(1), 27-33.
The combined topical sage-rhubarb preparation was more effective than aciclovir in treating Herpes labialis.From: Saller, R., Büechi, S., Meyrat, R., & Schmidhauser, C. (2001). Combined herbal preparation for topical treatment of Herpes labialis. Forschende Komplementärmedizin/Research in Complementary Medicine, 8(6), 373-382.
Extracts from lemon balm, peppermint, prunella, rosemary, sage, and thyme showed action against Herpes types 1 and 2. From: Nolkemper, S., Reichling, J., Stintzing, F. C., Carle, R., & Schnitzler, P. (2006). Antiviral effect of aqueous extracts from species of the Lamiaceae family against Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitro. Planta medica, 72(15), 1378-1382.
Against oral bacteria, Australian tea tree, peppermint, and sage oil as well as the thymol and eugenol constituents were potent. From: Shapiro, S., Meier, A., & Guggenheim, B. (1994). The antimicrobial activity of essential oils and essential oil components towards oral bacteria. Oral microbiology and immunology, 9(4), 202-208.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist, LMT
This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use. These statements are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. The information at this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult a Doctor before using herbs and essential oils if you have medical conditions, are taking medications, or have questions.