Sage

Botanicals

18/Description

About

Sage is an herb. The leaf is used to make medicine.

Sage is used for digestive problems, including loss of appetite, gas (flatulence), stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn. It is also used for reducing overproduction of perspiration and saliva; and for depression, memory loss, and Alzheimer's disease.

Women use sage for painful menstrual periods, to correct excessive milk flow during nursing, and to reduce hot flashes during menopause.

Sage is applied directly to the skin for cold sores; gum disease (gingivitis); sore mouth, throat or tongue; and swollen, painful nasal passages.

Some people inhale sage for asthma.

In foods, sage is used as a commonly used spice.

In manufacturing, sage is used as a fragrance component in soaps and cosmetics.

How it works

Sage might help chemical imbalances in the brain that cause symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Effectiveness

Possibly Effective
Alzheimer's disease

Taking extracts of two different sage species (Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia) for 4 months seems to improve learning, memory and information processing in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

Mental performance

Taking a single dose of common sage (Salvia officinalis) or Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) by mouth seems to improve memory, alertness, and attention in healthy adults. When used as aromatherapy, these sage species seem to improve alertness, but not attention and memory.

Cold sores, when applied as a cream containing sage and rhubarb.

Cold sores, when applied as a cream containing sage and rhubarb. Applying a cream containing common sage (Salvia officinalis) and rhubarb (Rheum officinale and Rheum palmatum) to cold sores may be about as effective as acyclovir (Zovirax) cream. Acyclovir cream heals the cold sores in about 6 days; it takes the sage and rhubarb cream about 7 days to heal them. Sage and rhubarb together work faster than sage alone.

High cholesterol

Taking common sage (Salvia officinalis) three times per day for 2 months seems to reduce “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides, and increase “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, in people with high cholesterol.

Memory

Taking a single dose of common sage (Salvia officinalis) or Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) by mouth seems to improve memory in healthy adults. However, these sage species do not seem to improve memory when used as aromatherapy.

Menopausal symptoms

Early research suggests that taking extract of common sage (Sage Menopause, Bioforce AG) for 8 weeks improves symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes. Also, other developing research suggests that taking a combination of common sage (Salvia officinalis) and alfalfa extract for 3 months reduces hot flashes and night sweats.

Concerns

Likely safe

Sage is LIKELY SAFE in amounts typically used in foods

Possibly safe

It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts short-term (up to 4 months)

Possibly unsafe

However, sage is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses or for a long time. Some species of sage, such as common sage (Salvia officinalis), contain a chemical called thujone. Thujone can be poisonous if you get enough. This chemical can cause seizures and damage to the liver and nervous systems. The amount of thujone varies with the species of plant, the time of harvest, growing conditions, and other factors.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking sage duringpregnancyisLIKELY UNSAFEbecause of the possibility of consuming thujone, a chemical found in some sage. Thujone can bring on a woman's menstrual period, and this could cause amiscarriage. Avoid sage if you arebreast-feeding, too. There is some evidence that thujone might reduce themother's milk supply.

Diabetes: Sage might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use sage. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use Spanish sage.

High blood pressure, low blood pressure: Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure, while common sage (Salvia officinalis) might lower blood pressure in people with blood pressure that is already low. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure.

Seizure disorders: One species of sage (Salvia officinalis) contains significant amounts of thujone, a chemical that can trigger seizures. If you have a seizure disorder, don't take sage in amounts higher than those typically found in food.

Surgery: Common sage might affect blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using common sage as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Moderate
Medications for Alzheimer's disease (Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors)

Common sage (Salvia officinalis) and Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase levels of certain chemicals in the body that work in the brain, heart, and elsewhere. Some drying medications called "anticholinergic drugs" can also these same chemicals, but in a different way. These drying medications might decrease the effects of these sage species, and these sage species might decrease the effects of drying medications.Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and some medications used for depression (antidepressants).Geraniol, a chemical in Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia), might have some of the same effects as estrogen. However, geraniol found in Spanish sage isn't as strong as estrogen pills. Taking Spanish sage along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking sage along with some medications that are broken down by the liver might increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking sage as a medicine, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.Some medications that are changed by the liver include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and pantoprazole (Protonix); diazepam (Valium); carisoprodol (Soma); nelfinavir (Viracept); and others.Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking sage along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking sage as a medicine, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.Some medications that are changed by the liver include diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), meloxicam (Mobic), and piroxicam (Feldene); celecoxib (Celebrex); amitriptyline (Elavil); warfarin (Coumadin); glipizide (Glucotrol); losartan (Cozaar); and others.Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might decrease how quickly the body breaks down some medications. Taking sage along with some medications that are changed by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of your medication. Before taking sage as a medicine, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.Some medications that are changed by the body include amitriptyline (Elavil), codeine, desipramine (Norpramin), flecainide (Tambocor), fluoxetine (Prozac), ondansetron (Zofran), tramadol (Ultram), and others.Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Common sage might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking common sage along with some medications that are changed by the liver might decrease the effects and side effects of your medication. Before taking common sage as a medicine, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.Some medications that are changed by the liver include acetaminophen, chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte), ethanol, theophylline, and drugs used for anesthesia during surgery such as enflurane (Ethrane), halothane (Fluothane), isoflurane (Forane), and methoxyflurane (Penthrane).Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking sage along with some medications that are broken down by the liver might increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking sage as a medicine, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.Medications that might be affected include certain heart medications called calcium channel blockers (diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil), cancer drugs (etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine), fungus-fighting drugs (ketoconazole, itraconazole), glucocorticoids, alfentanil (Alfenta), cisapride (Propulsid), fentanyl (Sublimaze), lidocaine (Xylocaine), losartan (Cozaar), midazolam (Versed), and others.Common sage (Salvia officinalis) and Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase certain chemicals in the brain, heart, and elsewhere in the body. Some medications used for Alzheimer's disease also affect these chemicals. Taking these species of sage along with medications for Alzheimer's disease might increase effects and side effects of medications used for Alzheimer's disease.

Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs)

Sage might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking sage along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.Common sage (Salvia officinalis) seems to lower blood pressure. Taking common sage along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. On the other hand, Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase blood pressure. Taking Spanish sage along with medications for high blood pressure might reduce the effects of these medications.Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.Some medications are moved by pumps into cells. Common sage (Salvia officinalis) might make these pumps less active and increase how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This might increase the side effects of some medications.Some medications that are moved by these pumps include etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, cimetidine, ranitidine, diltiazem, verapamil, corticosteroids, erythromycin, cisapride (Propulsid), fexofenadine (Allegra), cyclosporine, loperamide (Imodium), quinidine, and others.Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Sage may also affect chemicals in the brain. By affecting chemicals in the brain, sage may decrease the effectiveness of medications used to prevent seizures.Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.Common sage (Salvia officinalis) might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking common sage along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.Some of these sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.Sage might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking sage along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.Common sage (Salvia officinalis) and Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase certain chemicals in the brain, heart, and elsewhere in the body. Some medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions also affect these chemicals. Taking these species of sage with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.Some of these medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions include pilocarpine (Pilocar and others), donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), and others.

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