Sage traditionally used as a spice or seasoning. Sage is used as a remedy for mouth and throat inflammation,

Sage Overview

Reviewed: August 20, 2014

Sage is an herb. Sage has been used for centuries as a spice and seasoning in cooking and as a traditional remedy for hoarseness, coughs, and sore mouths or throats. 

Today, sage is used as a folk or traditional remedy for mouth and throat inflammation, indigestion, and excessive sweating; to improve mood; and to boost memory or mental performance.

Sage is available as dried leaves, liquid extracts and sprays, and essential oils.

Sage Cautionary Labels


Sage has not been proven effective for all of the uses listed. Sage may be used for other conditions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Sage has not been well studied as a treatment for sore throat, so there is little scientific evidence to support its use for that ailment.


Two small studies suggest that sage may improve mood and mental performance in healthy young people and memory and attention in older adults. Results of another small clinical study suggest that a sage extract was better than placebo at enhancing thinking and learning in older adults with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Side Effects of Sage

Sage is generally regarded as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is approved for food use as a spice or seasoning.

This is not a complete list of sage side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.


Sage Interactions

Drug interactions with sage have not been thoroughly studied.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.


Sage Precautions

Special precautions & warnings:

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using sage if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to become pregnant. 

Some species of sage contain thujone, a chemical found in plants, which can affect the nervous system. Extended use or taking large amounts of sage leaf or oil may result in restlessness, vomiting, vertigo, rapid heart rate, tremors, seizures, wheezing, and kidney damage. Ingesting 12 drops or more of the essential oil is considered a toxic dose.

Sage can stimulate allergic or hypersensitivity reactions. Skin contact may result in inflammation. Ingesting sage powder or dust may cause breathing difficulties.