- Sage has a long history of use as a spice and for health purposes. It was used as a traditional herbal remedy in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as in Native American and Chinese medicine.
- Today, sage is promoted for sore mouth or throat, memory loss, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and other conditions.
- We don’t know much about the health effects of sage because little research has been done on it.
- Sage has not been clearly shown to be helpful for any health condition.
- There have been a few studies of sage for sore throat, mood, memory, diabetes, and blood cholesterol levels. However, the findings are preliminary, and some of the research is of poor quality.
- Sage is safe in the amounts commonly found in foods, and larger amounts have been used safely for up to 4 months in research studies. However, some species of sage, including common sage (Salvia officinalis), contain a constituent called thujone that can cause seizures in experimental animals and may also do so in people. Cases of seizures associated with consumption of sage essential oil (which is high in thujone) have been reported in people. High-dose or long-term use of sage may not be safe.
- It may be unsafe to use sage during pregnancy because its constituent thujone may have harmful effects. Little is known about whether it’s safe to use sage while breastfeeding.
- Talk to your health care providers about any complementary health approaches before you use. It may be contraindicated with any medications you are currently taking.