Sage, Salvia officinalis, is prized for its medicinal, flavoring, and aromatic qualities. Sage tea and sage essential oils have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Sage is native to the Mediterranean, but sage is used worldwide as a flavoring spice as well as traditional herbal medicine.

Sage holds a diverse composition of health fostering compounds such as flavonoids, terpenoids, and essential oils.  These various substances arm sage with strong antioxidant, anti-fat, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Investigators suggest camphor, carnosic acid, rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, and urosolic acid all contribute to sage’s health promoting attributes.

*Potential Benefits of Sage for Musculoskeletal Health


1. Sage is an antioxidant* 8,9,10,11

Free radicals damage cartilage, muscle, bone, and tendons accelerating degeneration. Sage provides multipronged protection against free radical damage.

  • Sage defuses highly destructive oxygen and nitrogen free radicals, such as the super oxide anion and peroxynitrite radical.
  • Sage potentially safeguards cell wall from lipid peroxidation, a devastating oxidative chain reaction that may result in cell death.
  • Sage may bond to toxic metals constraining their ability to steal electrons form vital proteins, DNA, and good fats.

Serbian investigators examined the antioxidant properties of sage essential oils. Antioxidant activity was evaluated as free radical scavenging capacity (RSC), together with the effect on lipid peroxidation. The authors found that sage essential oils significantly reduce free radical formation and lipid peroxidation.(Bozin B et al.Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of rosemary and sage J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Sep 19;55(19):7879-85.)

2.  Sage is an anti-inflammatory* 12,13,14,15

Rampant inflammation releases tissue eating enzymes and toxins that destroy healthy tissue. Sage potentially hinders inflammation's injurious effect. Research suggests:

  • Sage obstructs nuclear factor kappa beta, a key protein that regulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory enzymes and signaling molecules.
  • Sage also reduces the activity of enzymes, like COX-2, that fuel inflammation. 
  • Sage boosts production of anti-inflammatory signaling molecules.

Austrian researchers examined the anti-inflammatory effects of sage on a mouse model of inflammation. The authors found that sage extract was associated with a significant reduction in markers of inflammation, including IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, COX-2, and iNOS.(Mueller et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of extracts from fruits, herbs and spices. Food Chemistry 122 (2010) 987–996)


3. Sage exhibits anti-fat attributes* 16

Obesity is a significant risk factor for unhealthy aging of bone, muscle, joint, and tendon. Sage is high in carnosic acid. Research suggests carnosic acid inhibits pancreatic lipase. Pancreatic lipase is the chief enzyme that your body uses to absorb fat.  Sage potentially makes it more challenging for your body digest fat.

Japanese investigators examined the anti-obesity effects of sage extract on a mouse model of obesity. The authors found that the sage extract was associated with a significant reduction in of blood triglycerides and body weight.(Ninomiya K, Matsuda H, Shimoda H, Nishida N, Kasajima N, Youshino T, et al. Carnosic acid, a new class of lipid absorption inhibitor from sage. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2004;14:1943–6)


Precautions* 17,18

Sage is generally recognized as safe when consumed in usual culinary and herbal doses.

As with any consideration of any form of supplementation consult your healthcare provide prior to use if you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medications or have any medical conditions. Discontinue use and consult your doctor is any adverse reactions occur.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



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  2. Salvia officinalis (common sage), are native to the Mediterranean region and some of the Salvia species have been used worldwide as flavoring spices as well as traditional herbal medicine.
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 Lucas J. Bader MD

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