Sage characteristics

What is a sage?

Characteristics of sage ( Salvia officinalis)

Bumblebee on a sage
Bumblebee sipping the flower of a sage

Common English name: Sage, Garden Sage, Common Sage, Kitchen sage

Scientific noun: Salvia officinalis L.

Family. Mint family – Lamiaceae

Habitat: Se It is found in dry rocky places.

Description of sage

Shrub up to 70 cm. Several tomentous, gray stems.

Leaves peciolate, oblong or lanceolate, downy below.

Flowers violet, blue or white- pink in quite loose spikes till 10 flowers each. Corolla 3 cm, with the upper lip,contrary to the rest of the “Salvias”, flat. No sticky calyx and twice shorter than the corolla.

Picking and storing sage

Leaves should be collected before the bloom in spring. They must be dried in the shade and be kept in a dry airtight container.

* See: How to harvest wild plants

Composition of sage and active principles

  • Essential oil (1-3%): thujone (35-50%) * (contains alpha and beta thujone), 1,8-cineol (14%), pinene, borneol, camphor, caryophyllene, linalyl acetate, salvene,  bitter diterpenes  (carnosol); triterpenes. * It contains thujone, which contraindicates it for pregnancy. Other salvias have a lower percentage in this component.
  • Tannins
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Flavonoids

punto rojo More information on sage

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 January, 2022

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