Contraindications And Precautions

Sage oil can irritate the skin when used topically. Internal use of the essential oil should be closely monitored.

® PREGNANCY USE

Traditionally, sage is reported to have abortifacient properties. Its use in pregnancy is therefore not recommended (Mills & Bone 2000, Newell et al 1996).

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Sage is a widely used, popular spice and sage oil is used in a variety of culinary applications.

• Sage has a long history of use in traditional medicine as an antispasmodic and carminative, to relieve excess sweating and as a gargle for inflammations of the mouth.

• It is also commonly prescribed in combination with other herbs to relieve menopausal symptoms such as night sweats.

• Sage contains volatile oils and tannins that are thought to be the key constituents responsible for most of its pharmacological actions.

• It also has antibacterial and some antifungal activity.

• A recent double-blind study suggests it may be useful in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Other studies report it improves memory in healthy subjects.

• Sage is likely to be safe when taken in amounts typically found in foods.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

Sage is used to reduce symptoms of menopause such as night sweats; however, scientific testing has not been conducted to confirm whether it is effective. Recent research suggests it may improve memory in Alzheimer's disease and in healthy subjects.

When will it start to work?

The study in Alzheimer's disease found effects established within 4 months' use. In the case of menopause, a time frame is unknown. Are there any safety issues?

When used in appropriate doses, it appears to be a safe herbal medicine; however, it should not be used in pregnancy.

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