Sage - Useful Herb for Menopause

Sage and clary sage

Salvia officinalis and S. sc1area Lamiaceae

Native to the Mediterranean, common sage is a woody aromatic shrub. Its small grey-green leaves are thick and downy. Clary sage looks different, having much larger leaves, but has similar medicinal properties. German wine merchants used to add extracts oj clary sage to Rhine wines to improve their aroma, and its essential oil is used in peifume manufacture.

Parts used

  • Leaves
  • The leaves are collected in summer just before the flowers bloom, or in autumn.
  • They are dried under cover and away from daylight.
  • Both forms of sage yield an aromatic essential oil.
  • Sage is used for infusions, decoctions, liquid extracts and tinctures. Powdered sage is available in capsule form.


Common sage leaves contain flavonoids - antioxidants that improve the circulation, phenols such as caffeic and rosmarinic acid, and tannins which have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

The main constituents of common sage essential oil are substances called thujones, along with terpenes, cineole and camphor. Clary sage oil has a scent similar to ambergris and contains linalyl acetate and linalool.


  • Sage leaves should not be used over a long period of time.
  • Do not take sage essential oil internally.
  • Do not give to children.
  • Avoid if pregnant.
  • Sage may interfere with hypoglycaemic and anticonvulsant therapy.


For internal use

TO TREAT digestive problems, fatigue, night sweats INFUSION Put 20g of dried leaves of sage or clary sage into 1 litre of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes and strain. Drink 1-2 cups a day. CAPSULES (300mg) Take1 capsule three times a day. For external use.

TO TREAT sore gums, sore throat
MOUTHWASH, GARGLE Make a strong infusion and use when required.


Medicinal uses

Sage suppresses sweat secretion and is especially useful for reducing night sweats, hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause. Common sage and clary sage are prescribed for digestive ailments such asáindigestion and bloating. Sage is also a tonic, helping to combat fatigue, especially after illness.

In vivo tests published in Planta Medica in 1988 found sage oil to be antispasmodic. It may, therefore, prove to be beneficial for period pains and stomach cramps. And researchers at Middlesex University and at King's College, London are studying the possible benefits of sage for treating Alzheimer's disease.

Used externally, a strong infusion of the fresh herb makes a soothing antiseptic mouthwash and gargle.


Sage is easily grown from cuttings. Plant in full sun in a well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil.


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