Monoterpenoid extract of sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) with cholinesterase inhibiting properties improves cognitive performance and mood in healthy adults
Sage has been used in Europe for centuries as a spice and a medicine. There are over 500 different known species. It is a popular European treatment for oral inflammation, trials have confirmed the benefits of sage for Alzheimer’s disease, menopausal discomfort, pharyngitis, herpes infections, and to improve mood, cognition, and memory. Potential uses of sage include decreasing menopausal symptoms and for lung cancer prevention.
This study examines the use of the Salvia lavandulaefolia extract of sage and demonstrates improvement for cognitive performance and mood in healthy adults. From the results of this study it seems likely that they represent genuine treatment-related benefits.
Extracts of sage (Salvia officinalis/lavandulaefolia) with terpenoid constituents have previously been shown to inhibit cholinesterase and improve cognitive function. The current study combined an in vitro investigation of the cholinesterase inhibitory properties and phytochemical constituents of a S. lavandulaefolia essential oil, with a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced crossover study assessing the effects of a single dose on cognitive performance and mood. In this latter investigation 36 healthy participants received capsules containing either 50 µL of the essential oil or placebo on separate occasions, 7 days apart. Cognitive function was assessed using a selection of computerized memory and attention tasks and the Cognitive Demand Battery before the treatment and 1-h and 4-h post-dose. The essential oil was a potent inhibitor of human acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and consisted almost exclusively of monoterpenoids. Oral consumption lead to improved performance of secondary memory and attention tasks, most notably at the 1-h post-dose testing session, and reduced mental fatigue and increased alertness which were more pronounced 4-h post-dose. These results extend previous observations of improved cognitive performance and mood following AChE inhibitory sage extracts and suggest that the ability of well-tolerated terpenoid-containing extracts to beneficially modulate cholinergic function and cognitive performance deserves further attention.
Kennedy, D., Dodd, F., Robertson, B., Okello, E., Reay, J., Scholey, A., & Haskell, C. (2010). Monoterpenoid extract of sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) with cholinesterase inhibiting properties improves cognitive performance and mood in healthy adults Journal of Psychopharmacology DOI: 10.1177/0269881110385594