Sage is a subshrub with highly branched, densely leaved, four-edged, grey-green stems, 20-50 cm high. The leaves are opposite, with stalks, at the bottom sessile, oblong or lanceolate, 3-8 cm long, with a rough surface, underneath with protruding veins. Flowers are gathered in 6-12 in vertebrae at the top of twigs and form loose class inflorescences. Corolla is blue-violet, bilabial, 20-25 mm long, stamens are 2, hidden under the upper lip. The fruit consists of 4 dark brown or black, almost globular nuts. It blooms from June to July.
It is grown quite often around the gardens as a decorative and medicinal herb. Very rarely it goes wild. It originates in the Mediterranean region.
The leaves (Folia Salviae) and the whole aboveground part (Herba Salviae) are used for the preparation of essential oil (Oleum Salviae).
It contains 1-2.5% essential oil with main components: thujone (about 50%), cineole – 15%, other terpenes (borneol, camphor, pinene, cedrene) – 15% and around 15% sesquiterpen. The leaves also contain the bitter two-terpene lactone carnasole, the three-terpene ursolic and oleanolic acid, about 8% catechin tannins, flavonoids (derivatives of luteolin and apigenin), β-sitosterol, vitamins (B1, C), carotene, fumaric and nicotinic acid.
Impact and administration
Due to the content of essential oil, the garden sage has anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and anti-coughing action.It is used in sore throat, laryngitis, tracheobronchitis, cough of different origin. It soothes stomach pains and acts favourably in inflammation of the stomach and intestines, in gastric ulcer, diarrhoea, liver and biliary diseases. Externally it is applied as an infusion for compresses for the treatment of festering wounds and for baths – in skin rashes. It is recommended in the form of a gargle in tonsillitis, toothache, inflammation of the oral mucosa. The essential oil of sage is used for inhalation.
Infusions of 1 tablespoon of herb in 1/2 l of boiling water is used for gargling and for treatment of purulent wounds. For internal use prepare infusion of 1 tablespoon of the drug and 250 ml of boiling water.