THE SECRETS OF SAGE: CHEMICAL FOCUS

1/11/2017

Since ancient times, sage essential oil has been considered good for both the body and soul. Its unique combination of constituents gives the strong, spicy scented oil a wide array of health and beauty benefits. This is largely due to two of sage oil’s most active ingredients, thujone and camphor, which are discussed below.

 

Thujone

Thujone , which accounts for anywhere from 22 to 61% of sage essential oil’s chemical makeup, is largely responsible for the oil’s antimicrobial properties, particularly its effectiveness at fighting E. coli and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci [1]. Additionally, thujone is a known antagonist for serotonin and GABA receptors in the brain, which allows sage essential oil to help enhance the senses, improve mental concentration, lengthen attention span, and fight off mental exhaustion [2].

 

Camphor

Thanks to camphor, sage essential oil has antifungal properties that can stop fungal infections both externally and internally, including various skin diseases, dermatitis, Athlete’s food, and dysentery [3].

It is also worth noting that the combination of constituents in sage essential oil has been shown to have antioxidative and neuroprotective effects that not only act to stop the degradation of acetylcholine in the brain, but also enhance its production [4]. This is why sage essential oil has been used for centuries to help restore lost or declining mental functions, such as that seen with Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study found that it is particularly effective at improving mood and speed of memory in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disorder [5].

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