Sage Essential Oil
Sage (Salvia) comprises the largest member of the mint family, which consists of over 900 species. The name sage is derived from the Latin term “salvare” meaning to save. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region (predominantly Greece), and typically are aromatic and perennial.
Many of the sage species, including Salvia officinalis or common sage, have been used for culinary purposes as well as in traditional medicine.
Essential oil extracted from sage leaves has been shown to have beneficial effects on a wide variety of diseases, including nervous and respiratory system disorders, heart and circulation problems, and metabolic and endocrine ailments.1
The aroma of sage provides a calming and relaxing environment and can help with anxiety and stress problems when used in aromatherapy. Sage essential oil is also frequently recommended for skin conditions like dandruff.2
Sage Essential Oil Uses
Like most essential oils, industrial extraction of sage essential oil is done through steam distillation.3,4 This oil has a spicy, herb-like scent and blends well with spruce, clary sage, bergamot, lemon, and black pepper essential oil. Below are some of the most common uses for sage essential oil.
When inhaled, sage essential oil can help calm down nerves and may revert symptoms of stress.2 Add 5-7 drops of sage essential oil to a diffuser or to 2-3 cups of hot water and inhale.
The muscle relaxing effect of sage essential oil makes it a great candidate for relieving muscle pain due to physical activity or stress. The best way to apply is to make a dilution of approximately 10 drops of pure sage essential oil per 2 Tsp. of carrier oil. Apply onto the hands or directly on the skin and massage gently.
A hot compress can be used to relieve pain in sore muscle, injuries, sprains, and cramps. To make a hot compress using sage essential oil, fill a bowl or sink with very warm water. Next, add 4 drops of sage essential oil and place a folded towel into the liquid. The towel will soak up the water/oil mixture which can be applied directly to the area being treated. Raising the body temperature in the affected area with a warm compress will help the active ingredients in the oil reach deeper into the tissues.6
Adding 2-4 drops of essential oil to a warm bath can provide the combined benefits of aromatherapy and topical application. A regular bath can be transformed into a relaxing and calming experience with the addition of sage essential oil.
To improve oily scalp and haircare issues like dandruff, add a few drops of sage essential oil into your shampoo and lather as usual.
Sage Essential Oil Benefits
With many members of the Salvia genus having being studied in literature, there are numerous ailments that can benefit from the use of this essential oil. The most abundant being anxiety, depression, stress, scalp conditions, blood and heart problems.1,2,8
In a 2009 study, sage essential oil was measured for its effectiveness at disinfecting the air. The oil was diffused into a testing room, and total counts of yeasts and molds were measured after 1 hour, 6 hours and 24 hours. The results showed that the essential oil reduced the amount of microbes in the air, supporting the idea that sage essential oil could be used as a natural disinfectant to manage airborne microbes.10
In a specific study, it was found that the oil, when applied in high concentrations, had even more effective results than antibiotics. When sage essential oil was tried against two groups of bacteria, it showed it could completely stop growth of the first group, while momentarily prevent growth of the second.9 Given the current drug resistant crisis for many infectious diseases, turning to natural resources remains an important alternative.
Several studies have also shown that combined with other plant extracts, sage essential oil can have a preservative effect on food like that of chemical compounds.1
Using aromatherapy, sage essential oil has been shown to benefit cognition, alertness and overall mental health. In a recent study, sage essential oil showed promising results as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Scientists suspect that a specific compound in sage oil (rosmarinic acid) can have a protective effect against the mechanism leading to Alzheimers.1
Although the molecular mechanisms are still unclear, sage essential oil may have a positive impact on cholesterol by regulating the genetic mechanisms that control the metabolism of fat. Consumption of sage essential oil has been shown to regulate the amount of high and low density cholesterol in the bloodstream, as well as reduce the amount of triglycerides and total fat mass in the body, leading to lower risk of heart attacks and related coronary diseases.1
Note: The consumption of sage essential oil can be highly dangerous. This was a medically supervised research study. Please do not attempt to consume sage essential oil without the proper guidance of a physician.
Cancer is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells under no biological control. Some of the compounds of sage essential oil are thought to inhibit the mechanism by which tumors develop blood vessels that carry the oxygen and nutrients they require to survive.
Sage essential oil has also shown toxicity over cells that belong to common types of skin and renal cancers.1
Ongoing research is still needed in order to confirm if sage essential oil could be used in the treatment of various cancers.
Improved Fat Metabolism
Sage essential oil was successful in controlling the activity of important proteins involved in the metabolism of fat. In a 2014 study, it was demonstrated that ingested sage oil had potent effects on the control of pancreatic enzyme activity. These effects are thought to give sage the ability to reduce certain side effects that result from being overweight, such as high blood pressure, heart and kidney problems.1
Note: This was a specially prepared essential oil for a clinical setting. Essential oils should not be ingested unless under the supervision of a professional.
Reduce Oily Hair and Dandruff
Sage essential oil has been shown to improve oily scalp and hair conditions by clearing the excess oil and skin debris away. It also appears to be effective for dandruff, helping to eliminate this condition with regular use.7
Stress Relieving Properties
In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, women with urinary incontinence problems showed a lower stress level when given sage essential oil to inhale for 60 minutes during their medical appointment.5
Side Effects of Sage Essential Oil
Sage essential oil is generally regarded as safe, however, when consumed in large doses it can have toxic effects on the nervous system.1 Therefore, it is not recommended to ingest the oil, unless directly under the supervision of a professional.
For topical application, using pure essential oil directly on the skin is not recommended due to potential irritation. Dilution in a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba or almond) is recommended.
This essential oil is safe for the majority of adults, except those who have extreme sensitivities, or highly irritable skin. Due to the presence of thujone, a potent toxin for the nervous system, pregnant and lactating women as well as children should avoid the use of this product at any time.
Where to Buy Sage Essential Oil
Previously, high quality essential oils could only be bought at specialty health stores, or through expensive multi-level marketing companies. Now, due to advancements in technology, extremely high grade essential oils can be purchased over the internet at very reasonable prices.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Hamidpour, M., Hamidpour, R., Hamidpour, S., Shahlari, M. (2014) Chemistry, pharmacology, and medicinal property of Sage (Salvia) to prevent and cure illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, depression, dementia, lupus, autism, heart disease and cancer. J Tradit Complement Med. 4(2): 82–88. http://bit.ly/2ldC2Bl
- Ali, B., Ali Al-Wabel, N., Shams, S., Ahamad, A., Khan, S.A., Anwar, F. (2015) Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 5 (8): 601–611. http://bit.ly/2kIrLPx
- Sanad Abu Darwish, M. (2014) Essential Oil Variation and Trace Metals Content in Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis) Grown at Different Environmental Conditions. Journal of Agricultural Science. 6(3):209-214. http://bit.ly/2jRfxF5
- Self, R. (2005) Extraction of organic analytes from foods a manual of methods. The Royal Society of Chemistry. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Chapter 5: 165-166. http://rsc.li/2jYBrS3
- Seol, G.H., Lee, Y.H., Kang, P., You, J.H., Park, M., Min, S.S. (2013) Randomized controlled trial for Salvia sclarea or Lavandula angustifolia: Differential effects on blood pressure in female patients with urinary incontinence undergoing urodynamic examination. J Altern Complement Med. 19:664-670. http://bit.ly/2kDm45S
- How to use essential oils. ARISE, Associate for the international research of aromatic science and education. Retrieved online on Feb 6 2017. http://bit.ly/2jWS8Cl
- Gupta, A., Tej, M., Singh, P., Sharma, P.K. Indian Medicinal Plants Used in Hair Care Cosmetics: A Short Review. (2010) Pharmacognosy Journal. 2(10): 361-364. http://bit.ly/2jYEv0J
- Longaray Delamare, A.P., Moschen-Pistorello, I.T., Artico, L., Atti-Serafini, L., Echeverrigaray, S. (2007) Antibacterial activity of the essential oils of Salvia officinalis and Salvia triloba L. cultivated in South Brazil. Food Chemistry. 100(2):603–608. http://bit.ly/2ldvWjt
- Khalil, R., and Li, Z.-G. (2011) Antimicrobial activity of essential oil of Salvia officinalis collected in Syria. African Journal of Biotechnology. 10(42):8397-8402. http://bit.ly/2kwTDEm
- Mohamed Bouaziz1, Thabèt Yangui1, Sami Sayadi, Abdelhafidh Dhouib (2009) Disinfectant properties of essential oils from Salvia officinalis L. cultivated in Tunisia. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2755-2760 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2009.08.005