The oil of sage is obtained by steam distillation from the flowering tops and leaves. Though employed in ancient times and in the Middle Ages for its curative properties, it seems to have fallen into disuse as a medicinal plant,
though revived to a certain extent towards the end of the nineteenth century. It possesses properties of: anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antichloristic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative,
cicatrizing, deodorant, digestive, emmenagogue, euphoric, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, stomachic, tonic, uterine. It has mostly been employed in disordered states of the digestion, as a stomachic, and has also proved useful in kidney
The oil and absolute are used as fragrance components and fixatives in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and perfumes or as astringent in skin fresheners. Traditionally used to treat sore gums and mouth ulcers and remove warts.
The Plant – Sage
Common sage is a small evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region (Greek: faskomilo).It is much cultivated as a kitchen and medicinal herb, and is also called Garden sage, Kitchen sage, and Dalmatian sage. In southern Europe related species are sometimes cultivated for the same purpose, and may be confused with the common sage. Although this plant was the one originally called by this name sage, a number of related species are now also called by it, and are described in more detail in the article on sage.
The uses and benefits ascribed to it are many and varied, and are often shared with related species. Uses of common sage include:infusions, which are considered to have a calming effect, to soothe a sore throat and as a digestive agent
preservative flavourings, for instance of cheese as a cooking flavouring, such as in sage and onion stuffing
as a deodorizer preparation used from the extracts of the herb .
Common sage is also grown in parts of Europe, especially the Balkans for distillation of the essential oil, though other species, such as Salvia triloba may also be harvested and distilled with it.
A number of cultivars of the plant exist. The majority of these are cultivated more often for ornament than for their herbal properties. All these are valuable as small ornamental flowering shrubs, and for low ground cover,
especially in sunny dry situations. They are easily raised from summer cuttings. Named cultivars include
“Purpurascens”, a purple-leafed cultivar, considered to be strongest of the garden sages, Tricolor”, a cultivar with white, yellow and green variegated leaves, Berggarten”, a cultivar with huge leaves, – “Icterina”, a cultivar
with yellow-green variegated leaves, Alba”, a white-flowered cultivar, Lavandulaefolia”, a small leaved cultivar.
The Latin name for sage: salvia, means “to heal”. Although the effectiveness of Common Sage is often open to debate, it has been recommended at one time or another for virtually every ailment. Modern evidence supports its
effects as an antihydrotic, antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and tonic. In a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial, sage was found to be effective in the management of
mild to moderate Alzheimer’ s disease.