SAGE: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews (2024)

Overview

Sage is an herb. There are many species of sage. The two most common are common sage (Salvia officinalis) and Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia).

Sage might help with chemical imbalances in the brain that cause problems with memory and thinking skills. It might also change how the body uses insulin and sugar.

People commonly use sage for memory and thinking skills, high cholesterol, and symptoms of menopause. It is also used for pain after surgery, lung cancer, sore throat, sunburn, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Effective for

  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Taking sage by mouth seems to improve memory and thinking skills in healthy adults. But it's not clear if sage aromatherapy helps.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Taking common sage three times daily for 2 or 3 months reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol, in people with high cholesterol.
  • Symptoms of menopause. Taking common sage extract by mouth for 4 weeks improves some symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep problems.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Pain after surgery. Using an oral rinse made of common sage doesn't seem to reduce pain after surgery.

There is interest in using sage for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Sage is commonly consumed in foods. It is possibly safe when taken in medicinal amounts, for up to 2 months. But sage is possibly unsafe when taken in high doses or for a long time. Some species of sage, including common sage (Salvia officinalis), contain a chemical called thujone. Too much thujone can cause seizures and damage the liver and nervous system. The amount of thujone varies with the species of sage, the time of harvest, growing conditions, and other factors.

When applied to the skin: Sage is possibly safe when used for up to one week.

When inhaled: Sage essential oil is possibly safe when used as aromatherapy.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Sage is commonly consumed in foods. It is possibly safe when taken in medicinal amounts, for up to 2 months. But sage is possibly unsafe when taken in high doses or for a long time. Some species of sage, including common sage (Salvia officinalis), contain a chemical called thujone. Too much thujone can cause seizures and damage the liver and nervous system. The amount of thujone varies with the species of sage, the time of harvest, growing conditions, and other factors.

When applied to the skin: Sage is possibly safe when used for up to one week.

When inhaled: Sage essential oil is possibly safe when used as aromatherapy. Pregnancy: Taking sage during pregnancy is likely unsafe because of the thujone found in some sage species. Thujone can bring on a menstrual period, which could cause a miscarriage.

Breast-feeding: Taking sage while breast-feeding is possibly unsafe. The thujone in sage might reduce the supply of breast milk.

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 estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by estrogen, don't use Spanish sage.

High blood pressure: Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure. Common sage (Salvia officinalis) might actually lower blood pressure. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure if you are taking sage in amounts higher than those found in food.

Seizure disorders: Common sage 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 and 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 ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with SAGE

    Sage might lower blood sugar levels. Taking sage along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

  • Medications used to prevent seizures (Anticonvulsants) interacts with SAGE

    Sage may increase the risk of seizures. Therefore, taking sage may decrease the effects of medications used to prevent seizures.

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with SAGE

    Sage might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Some medications, called sedatives, can also cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking sage with sedative medications might cause breathing problems and/or too much sleepiness.

  • Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs) interacts with SAGE

    Sage can increase a chemical in the body called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a big part in many important body functions. Some medications, called anticholinergic drugs, block the effects of acetylcholine in the body. Taking sage might decrease the effects of anticholinergic drugs.

  • Estrogens interacts with SAGE

    Geraniol, a chemical in Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia), might have some of the same effects as estrogen. Taking large amounts of Spanish sage along with estrogen pills might change the effects of estrogen pills.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) substrates) interacts with SAGE

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with SAGE

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates) interacts with SAGE

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) substrates) interacts with SAGE

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with SAGE

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Sage might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with SAGE

    Sage might lower blood pressure. Taking sage along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.

  • Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-glycoprotein substrates) interacts with SAGE

    Some medications are moved in and out of cells by pumps. Sage might change how these pumps work and change how much medication stays in the body. In some cases, this might change the effects and side effects of a medication.

  • Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with SAGE

    Sage might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Some medications, called sedatives, can also cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking sage with sedative medications might cause breathing problems and/or too much sleepiness.

  • Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs) interacts with SAGE

    Sage can increase a chemical in the body called acetylcholine. Some medications that are used for glaucoma, Alzheimer disease, and other conditions, also increase acetylcholine levels. Taking sage with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.

Dosing

Sage is commonly used as a spice to flavor foods.
As medicine, common sage extract has most often been used by adults in doses of 280-1500 mg by mouth daily for up to 12 weeks. Sage is also used in essential oils, creams, ointments, sprays, and mouth rinses. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circ*mstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.

SAGE: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews (2024)
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