17 Surprising Benefits of Sage Essential Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

The health benefits of sage essential oil can be attributed to its potential properties as an antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antibacterial, cholagogic and choleretic, cicatrizant, depurative, digestive, disinfectant, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, and a stimulating substance.

Sage, or Salvia officinalis, as it is known in the botanical nomenclature system, is a well-known and frequently heard name in the world of cosmetics, particularly in the field of skincare. Innumerable beauty treatment products claim that they contain the oil of sage, which is actually sage essential oil.

This essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of sage leaves and is constituted mainly of aesculetin, alpha-humulene, alpha thujene, alpha-thujone, alpha-terpineol, alpha terpenes, alpha-pinene, alpha maaliene, aromadendrene, beta-pinene, beta copaene, beta-thujone, borneol, camphor, cineole, caryophyllene oxide, camphene, delta cadinenes, linalool, limonene, myrcene, ocimene, octanol, paracymene, para cymenol, salviol, terpineol, thujanol, and terpinolene. [1]

Health Benefits of Sage Essential Oil

This oil has a number of non-cosmetic medicinal uses which are listed below.

Possibly Antifungal

The presence of camphor and camphene in this essential oil gives it a potential antifungal property. This oil is possibly capable of inhibiting fungal infections, both internally and externally, and gives relief from fungal infections like dysentery, skin diseases, Athlete’s Foot or dermatitis. This property is one of the causes behind its use in skincare products.

Potentially Antimicrobial

The components in sage essential oil which may give protection against fungal infections can also provide protection against microbial infections too. Therefore, you can protect small wounds or cuts from developing irritating or potentially dangerous infections, as confirmed by a report published in the African Journal of Biotechnology. [2] [3]

Possibly Antibacterial

This oil is known to be equally useful at countering bacterial infections since it kills bacteria and may inhibit their growth in the body. This property can also be used to heal ailments like bacterial infections in the ears, nose, throat, eyes, genitals, urethra, colon, intestines as well as on the skin and in wounds.

Can Act As An Antioxidant

This is perhaps the most valuable aspect of this essential oil and the reason behind its extensive use in anti-aging and skin treatment products. According to a study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, sage gets its potent antioxidant power from rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid. Antioxidants, as the name suggests, act against oxidants or free radicals in the body, which are the main causes of aging. These antioxidants slow down aging and prevent symptoms like wrinkles, sagging skin, and muscles, reduction in vision and hearing capabilities, malfunctioning of the brain, memory loss, degeneration of tissues, macular degeneration, and nervous disorders. [4] [5] [6]

A small dropper bottle of sage oil with fresh sage flowers and leaves on a wooden table

Sage essential oil can be used to calm the nerves. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Possibly Antiseptic

Since it has potentially antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, it can serve as an antiseptic for wounds, surgical incisions, postnatal injuries, ulcers, and sores.

Possibly Anti-inflammatory

Sage essential oil appears to be a holistic remedy for inflammation, whether on the skin, caused by fever, or even internal irritations like those in the stomach and intestines, as suggested by the Pharmaceutical Biology journal [7]

Notably, it acts as a barrier, blocking harmful substances from entering our bloodstream and mitigating the adverse effects of strong intoxicants, narcotics, and certain foods. [8]

A 2017 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that clary sage extract significantly reduced inflammation in rats, indicating potential relief for periodontitis. However, a preventive effect was not evident when applied before infection onset. [9]

The essence of Salvia officinalis L., widely used in Jordan’s traditional medicine, is backed by a study highlighting its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. With key components like 1,8-cineole and camphor, this oil combats specific fungal strains and diminishes inflammation markers without compromising cell health. These findings open doors for its inclusion in skincare formulations, blending cosmetic allure with pharmaceutical utility. [10]

Possibly Antispasmodic

This property of sage essential oil can be useful in treating all problems that arise from spasms, including pain in the stomach, chest, and intestines, as well as coughs, convulsions, and cramps.

Potentially Cholagogue & Choleretic

According to the International Journal of Biology, sage promotes the discharge of bile. Sage essential oil may help in digestion, soothing the stomach, and improving the functionality of the whole digestive system against inflammation caused by excessive acids. It may also neutralize acids in the stomach and the bloodstream, thereby providing relief from acidity and acidosis, which in turn protects us from peptic ulcers due to acidity, as well as from boils, eruptions, and skin diseases that occur when acid levels rise in the blood. [11]

Can Act As A Cicatrisant

This is yet another property that has given sage essential oil a strong place in the world of cosmetics as a key ingredient of anti-mark and anti-spot cream. Sage oil helps to eliminate scars, post-natal abdominal stretch marks, and blemishes caused due to boils, pox, and sores. It also helps in quick healing of wounds and incisions. [12]

Can Act As A Depurative

Sage essential oil speeds up the removal of toxins from the blood through excretion or sweating and thus purifies the blood, acting as a depurative.

Possibly A Digestive Medicine

It may act as a digestive medicine in case of indigestion by possibly facilitating the decomposition of food. It does so by promoting the secretion of bile and gastric juices and by inhibiting microbial growth in the digestive system, which interferes with the digestive process.

Possibly A Disinfectant

The potentially antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties of the essential oil of sage make it an effective disinfectant, as it gives sound protection from both internal and external infections.

Can Act As An Emmenagogue

This essential oil regularizes menstrual cycles and helps relieve obstructed menses. It activates certain hormones, such as estrogen, which helps to bring about clear menstruation and gives relief from problems like a headache, nausea, weakness, fatigue, depression, mood swings, and other associated symptoms of periods.

Possibly An Expectorant

It can give you relief from a cough, cold, and infections in your chest and respiratory tracts. It also provides relief from congestion that results from the common cold.

Can Act As A Febrifuge

Sage essential oil reduces fevers by fighting infections and reducing inflammation caused by them.

Can Act As A Laxative

It may facilitate excretion and eliminates constipation by promoting the discharge of certain fluids, as well as stimulating the intestines.

Possibly A Stimulant

If all the properties of this essential oil are to be described with a single term, ‘stimulant’ would be the appropriate one. Most of the properties it displays are different expressions of this property. It stimulates the brain, nervous system, liver, spleen, and circulatory and excretory systems, thereby activating and optimizing them. [13]

Other Benefits

Sage essential oil helps to manage dermatitis, herpes, psoriasis, sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis, accumulation of phlegm, cerebral palsy, depression, sciatica, and lumbago as well as induces mental stability, alertness.

Word of Caution: Being a nervous stimulant, those with epilepsy, hysteria, or a history of either, should avoid using it. Furthermore, since it contains camphor and camphene, which are toxic in nature, it should be avoided during pregnancy. [14]

Blending: Essential oil of sage blends well with the essential oils of Clary Sage, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Orange, Vetiver, Neroli, Rosemary and Tea tree.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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