Sage has been used in Europe for centuries as a spice and a medicine. Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulifolia (Salvia lavandulaefolia) are two of the most common species of sage.
Sage is a popular European treatment for inflammation of the mouth and throat, upset stomach (dyspepsia), and excessive sweating, in addition to other uses. It has also been used to decrease human milk production and as a mouthwash. Sage mouthwashes and gargles have been approved in Germany by the German Commission E for many years for use against sore throat.
Early clinical evidence exists supporting the use of sage for Alzheimer's disease, pharyngitis, herpes infections, and improvement of mood, cognition, and memory. Sage has also been studied for menopausal symptom improvement, lung cancer prevention, bacterial infections, postoperative pain, and ultraviolet light-induced swelling (erythema). Further study is necessary.
Despite its common historical use, sage is known to be toxic when taken in excessive doses.
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