The herb known as sage is time-honored as a potent, healing plant. Sage use as essential oil likely dates back as far as the Middle Ages; the method of steam distillation for essential oils was then developed [R]. Sage essential oil benefits are vast for health because it is a very concentrated form of sage.
People have used sage medicinally for thousands of years to enhance memory and to improve many aspects of health.
Sage was even used in Ancient Rome as part of their official medicinal pharmacopeia.
As you will soon find out, sage is aptly named sage, which literally means “someone who has attained wisdom.”
Sage use as essential oil likely dates back as far as the Middle Ages; the method of steam distillation for essential oils was then developed [R]. Sage essential oil benefits are vast for health because it is a very concentrated form of sage.
Sage essential oil is also easy to use.
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Sage is beautiful to grow, to use in cooking, and to use topically and internally as medicine for our health.
Belonging to the same family known as salvia, sage has a characteristic musky, earthy smell. Over 900 types of sage are available, all with slightly different characteristics.
Most research focuses on Salvia officinalis (common sage), Salvia sclarea (clary sage), and Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) varieties.
1. Sage Essential Oil Benefits Brain Function
Sage essential oil benefits the brain because it may:
- Improve acetylcholine levels
- Have antioxidant effects
- Reduce toxicity of amyloid beta proteins
- Improve memory
- Reduce inflammation
- Help protective nerve factors like BDNF
In Alzheimer’s disease, there are low levels of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Essential oil of sage has been shown to reduce the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.
Sage also reduces the toxicity of amyloid beta proteins to neurons.
In a clinical trial of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, sage improved memory and reduced agitation compared to placebo after 4 months.
Sage also improved memory in healthy adults as well. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of sage essential oil resulted in improvements of both speed of memory and of secondary memory. Mood and calmness also improved in the sage group, but not placebo.
Sage is neuroprotective and protects from the damages of amyloid beta toxicity in animal models, in part by protecting BDNF levels.
2. Sage May Help Cholesterol
Sage may improve cholesterol, both by lowering LDL and raising HDL as demonstrated in rat study. Sage oil reduced the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This oxidation is known to increase the damage of cholesterol to the arteries.
3. Sage Essential Oil Benefits May Help Diabetes
Sage was able to reduce glucose levels safely in a rat model by bringing down inflammation.
More research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.
4. Sage May Help Fight Cancer
Sage may also reduce chances of getting some types of cancer.
Sage may reduce the growth of new blood vessels to tumors (reduce angiogenesis).
Sage essential oil benefits cancer risk by increasing cancer cell death of colon cancer, melanoma and kidney adenocarcinoma cells in lab study.
In cell study, sage also reduced growth of breast cancer cells, colon cancer cells and cervical cancer cells.
5. Clary Sage Reduces Menstrual Symptoms
Clary sage oil benefits hormonal symptoms for women. A variety of sage called clary sage, or salvia sclarea is beneficial for female pain.
Clary sage contains substances that are analgesic (reduce pain), including linalyl acetate, linalool, eucalyptol, and β-caryophyllene.
6. Sage Essential Oil Benefits Anxiety Symptoms by Reducing Cortisol Levels
Sage essential oil benefits a stress hormone in the body known as cortisol.
Inhaling sage essential oil reduced cortisol levels in menopausal women. It also had anti-depressant effects in this group of women compared to control.
7. Sage Essential Oil Reduces Hot Flashes
Sage essential oil benefits may help with menopause symptoms.
Using sage in a capsule for women of menopausal age reduced hot flashes.
Further, hot flashes continued to be reduced with each week of use, and provided maximal reduction at 8 weeks of use.
8. Sage Essential Oil May Improve Sexual Function in Men
Sage essential oil improved testicular function in male rats and improved testosterone and hormone levels.
9. Sage Essential Oil Benefits for Other Health Issues:
- Cold Sores
- Sore Throats
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Painful periods
- Excessive sweating
Some people also use sage for reducing hair loss. It has many topical treatments for hair and skin to improve appearance.
How Does Sage Work?
Sage essential oil benefits the body because it has antioxidant properties, meaning it can potentially help shut down excessive inflammation in the body.
Sage also has compounds that may inhibit cancer growth, such as caryophyllene, manool and α-humulene.
Sage activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) which is a regulator of genes involved in energy as well as lipid and glucose metabolism.
This activation improves the HDL/LDL ratio and lowers triglycerides in serum, reduces insulin resistance, and may reduces the size of adipose (fat) tissue.
Sage also has antibacterial activities.
Sage is very safe; however, there might be an adverse effect on using S. officinalis variety in excessive amount, which can be caused by the high content of thujone.
Other varieties do not contain high amounts of this compound. This is why I prefer to use clary sage essential oil.
As with anything, check in with your practitioner about embarking on using sage essential oil benefits medicinally.
Sage Essential Oil Benefits: My Story
My experience with clary sage is quite remarkable. When applied twice daily to the ankles, clary sage has made my mood clearly better, especially around the time of my menstrual cycle.
I find that consistent use is really important; twice daily. Sage oil benefits every aspect of my day, from how I feel at work, to my focus, and how I deal with hormonal fluctuations. Setting up a routine for its use can actually be a relaxing part of the day as well.
Clary sage is a favorite of mine to use as essential oil, especially when blended with lavender and chamomile. Use only high-quality essential oils.
Many so-called “pure” brands use toxic solvents for extraction. Use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Only. Find out how to get the best essential oils here.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 20 years, has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. Has researched supplements and plants as medicine throughout her career. Loves helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.