Common Name: Sage
Scientific Name: Salvia officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Origin: Albania, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, Turkey, France, China, Italy, Turkey, France, China and USA
Synonyms: Garden sage, true sage, Dalmation sage
Essential Oil Properties and Characteristics
Sage is an evergreen, shrubby, perennial herb up to 80 cms high with a woody base, soft, silver, oval leaves and a mass of deep blue or violet flowers.
There are several different species and cultivars which have been developed, such as the Mexican sage (S. azurea grandiflora) and the red sage (S. colorata) both of which are used medicinally. Essential oils are also produced from other species including the Spanish sage (S. lavendulaefolia) and clary sage (S. sclarea).
A pale yellow mobile liquid with a fresh, warm-spicy, herbaceous, somewhat camphoraceous odour.
Origin and History
The common sage oil is preferred in perfumery work to the Spanish sage oil which, although safer, has a less refined fragrance.
Valued as a culinary and medicinal plant – called herba sacra or ‘sacred herb’ by the Romans. It has been used for a variety of disorders including respiratory infections, menstrual difficulties and digestive complaints. It is believed to strengthen the senses and the memory.
Used in pharmaceutical preparations such as mouthwashes, gargles, toothpastes, etc. Employed as a fragrance component in soaps, shampoos, detergents, anti-perspirants, colognes and perfumes, especially men’s fragrances.
The oil and oleoresin are extensively use for flavouring foods (mainly meat products), soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, especially vermouth. It also serves as a source of natural anti-oxidants.
Method of Extraction
Essential oil by steam distillation from the dried leaves.
The principle constituents consist of thujone (42 per cent), cineol, borneol, caryopyllene and other terpenes.
Precautions During Use (Contraindications)
Not recommended for general home use. Oral toxin (due to thujone). Abortifactient; avoid in pregnancy. Avoid in epilepsy. Use with care or avoid in therapeutic work altogether – Spanish sage or clary sage are good alternatives.
The therapeutic properties of sage oil include: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypertensive, insecticidal, laxative, stomachic, tonic.
It blends well with lavandin, rosemary, rosewood, lavender, hyssop, lemon and other citrus oils.