Plant Chosen: Sage

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Although the sage plant is associated with a range of medical activities, experts have demonstrated that some of these functions are not typical of the evergreen, short, shrubby plant. This occurs after experts did considerable research to determine the sage plant's genuine medical worth and give empirical proof to assure appropriate clinical use (Khalil and Li; Hamidpour, et al). According to study, sage has various chemical components that may have therapeutic properties and can be utilized to cure ailments. However, several chemicals in the plant have no medical benefit and are judged unimportant.This section provides the scientific perspective, including the medical evidence of clinical trials for the efficacy of the sage plant.

Scientific Evidence, Clinical Trials, and Chemical Composition

Chemical Composition

The genus Salvia has over 900 species. The species are differentiated based on their features, which are affected by the climate and the environment in which they grow. Therefore, different Salvia species have a different composition in their essential oils. Some of the chemical components present in Salvia include flavonoids, essential oils, and terpenoids. Evidently, studies have shown that Salvia Officinalis, (common sage) has the highest amount of the essential oils (Khalil and Li). Further analysis of the common sage showed that the plant contains other components including camphor, camphene, borneol, 8-cineole, linalool, and salvianolic acid (Khalil and Li). A study by Crotea showed that salvia’s essential oils are made of approximately 20% camphor (822). The amount of camphor is dependent on the size of the leaves. Hence, as the leaf size increase the amount of camphor in the leaf also increases.

Figure 1: Salvianolic Acid Derived From Salvia Militiorrhiza

Other chemical compounds found in the sage plant include flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds, like caffeic, rosmarinic, and carnosic acid. These compounds have strong antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Most of the phenolic acids found in the sage plant are products of the caffeic acid, a major component of many plant metabolites. On the other hand, the caffeic acid is a critical element in biochemical activities of Lamiaceae. It often occurs as a weaker form of rosmarinic acid. The sage plant has very high concentration of the carnosic and rosmarinic acid (Khalil and Li). These acids have strong antioxidant attributes. Additionally, the sage plant also contains ursolic acid, which has exemplary anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it is often used in determining best concentration for anti-inflammatory agents

Figure 2: chemical Composition of Caffeic Acid

Figure 3: Chemical Composition of Rosmarinic Acid

Some of the most essential chemicals in Salvia are the antioxidants. According to a study by Hussain, the essential oils are critical sources for evaluating antioxidants, antimicrobials, and anticancer agents. The antioxidants are also known for their ability to protect the body from oxidative pressure as well as damages that lead to diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Researchers have conducted extensive research and found that that the antioxidant attributes of Salvia are connected to the presence of rosmarinic and camosic acid.

Treatment of Diseases and Clinical Trials

Since the early days of human evolution, people have attempted to find medicine to cure or mitigate the effects of diseases. Consequently, Salvia Officinalis emerged as a plant that had curative value. According to Khalil and Li, the sage plant was traditionally used to cure digestive and circulative irregularities (8397). In addition, it was used to treat bronchitis, depression, asthma, angina, and excessive sweating. The main curative element in the sage plant was its volatile essential oil (Khalil and Li 8397). Hamidpour et al also supported this concept when they indicate that the sage plant the essential oils of Salvia officinalis was used in the treatment of circulatory, respiratory, and digestive diseases.


Research has shown that the sage plant is an effective remedy against diabetes because it has glucose lowering properties. Christensen et al carried out clinical trials to investigate if the anti-diabetic effects of the common sage plant had any relationship with the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARy) as well as to determine the bioactive components. The scholars used animals as the subject of the study. The results of the study showed that the metabolites of the common sage could activate the PPARy. This meant that the extracts of sage could decrease the amount of glucose in type I diabetic patients. Aqueous extracts of the sage have insulin-like attributes, which is beneficial to diabetic patients.

Drinking herbal tea made from the sage plant increased antioxidant defenses. This leads to the improvement of lipid profile without leading to hepatotosicity or causing inauspicious effects like increased heart rate and body weight. The lack of inauspicious effects is advantageous to diabetic patients who are often affected by increased in body weight, as well as an increase in the heart rate. Additionally, Christensen indicated that the effects of tea made from the sage are similar to those of metformin, an oral antidiabetic medicine for type II patients.


Apart from treating diabetes, the extracts of the sage plant have also been used in cancer patients. Cancerous cells often subdivide and proliferate rapidly and uncontrollably. Cancerous tumors usually have the ability to spread and create new blood vessels in the body. These tumors depend on angiogenesis t spread and move to different parts of the body. However, a study conducted by Keshavarz et al indicated that utilization of pharmacological sage extracts often inhibits the process of angiogenesis, thus inhibiting the growth of cancer in the body. The scholars conducted trials using a chicken chorioallantoic membrane to determine the anti-oxidation effects of sage extracts. The results of the study showed that extracts of the sage plant prevent metastasis thus suppressing the colonization of cancer.

Other scholars have also proven that the use of sage extracts is helpful in the slowing of cancerous growth such colorectal cancer (Khalil and Li). Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the western society ad contributes to the high mortality rate in these developed nations. It often develops due to genetic mutation, specifically epigenetic alteration that transforms normal colon cells into cancerous cells. Using sage tea may slow down this process of cancerous growth and mitigate the effect of the mutation. Hence, it reduces the chances of colon cancer. The Lebanese sage (Salvia labanotica), is a species of the sage that has been widely used to treat stomach pain and indigestion. This species is popular for treating these diseases because it has high levels of antimicrobial elements. The species is also used in treating cancer because it has a high level of anti-tumor compounds that prevent the growth of cancerous tumors.


The sage plant has also been used in the treatment and disinfection of wounds. This is mainly because the plant has exemplary antibacterial effects, which kills and eliminates bacteria from the wounds, thus ensuring faster healing without infection. A study carried out to determine the antibacterial potency of the sage plant against the food spoiling bacteria showed that the sage aqueous extracts of the sage plant suppressed bacterial activity effectively (Khalil and Li). The bacteria was highly effective against the Bacillus mycoids Proteus species, and Enterobacter cloacae. This effect on bacteria has made the sage a perfect substitute as an antibiotic. This conclusion is in line with the notion that extracts of the sage plant have an inhibitory effect on dental bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Streptococcus mutans. For this reason, many traditional physicians used extracts from the sage plant to treat mouth and teeth-related diseases.

Anti-Diarrhea and Stomach Spasms

Sage has also been tested and used as a treatment of stomach spasms and diarrhea. A study by Khan et al indicated that extracts from the sage plant have inhibitory effects on abdominal motility. In the study the researcher food that crude extracts of sage have components that prevent diarrhea as well as spasmodic activities. based on the findings of this study, it was clear that sage could be used on a pharmacological basis to cure diarrhea and other hyperactive abdominal disorders such colic.


Khan and Li were also of the opinion that the sage plant mitigated effects of diseases that cause memory disorder. Iuvone et al supported this notion when they indicated that sage could be used therapeutically to improve the condition of patients suffering from mild Alzheimer's. In Iuvone et al study the authors evaluated the impacts of sage’s active ingredients, the rosmarinic acid in patients with Alzheimer's. The results showed that sage could be used to treat patients with mild Alzheimer's because it had a neuroprotective effect (Iuvone, et al.).


Science has proven that sage extracts have a variety of medicinal value. Part of the reason for this is that sage ha numerous chemical compounds such as caffeic and rosmarinic acids, as well as antioxidants, which have curative effects to the human body. For this reason, sage has been used in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, because its extracts have similar effects to insulin. In addition, Sage has been used to treat cancer because of the anti-tumor effect found in the extract of the plant. Research has also shown that sage can cure wound by preventing bacterial infection and improve the memory of Alzheimer’s patients due to its neuroprotective effect.

Works Cited

Christensen, K,B, et al. "Activation of the nuclear receptor PPARγ by metabolites isolated from sage (Salvia officinalis L.)." J Ethnopharmacol. 132.1 (2010): 127-133.

Crotea, Rodney, et al. "Relationship of Camphor Biosynthesis to Leaf Development in Sage." Plant Physiology 67 (1981): 820-824.

Hamidpour, Rafie, et al. "Chemistry, Pharmacology and Medicinal Property of Sage (Salvia) to Prevent and Cure Illness Such as Obesity, Diabetes, Depression, Lupus, Dementia, Autism, Heart Disease, and Cancer." Global Journal of Medical research Pharma, Drug Discovery, Toxicology and Medicine 13.7 (2013).

Iuvone, T, et al. "The Spice Sage and Its Active Ingredient rosmarinic acid protect PC12 cells from amyloid-beta peptide-induced neurotoxicity." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 317.3 (2006): 1143-1149.

Keshavarz, Maryam, et al. "Anti Tumor Activity of Salvia officinalis is Due to Its Antiangiogenic, Anti-migratory and Anti-proliferative effects." Cell Journal 12.4 (2011): 477-482.

Khalil, Rami and Zheng-Guo Li. "Antimicrobial activity of essential oil of Salvia officinalis L. collected in Syria." Journal of Biotechnology 10.2 (2011): 8397-8402.

April 13, 2023

Science Education



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