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Guide To Sage Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

"Sage is a protective spirit for those who are not afraid of the spiritual forces or the force of unseen beings," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul.  She says the emotional benefits of sage essential oil (Salvia officinalis) are to encourage strength, courage, perseverance, grounding, and protection. Its spiritual benefits is to help "integrate a spirit that has the majesty of the heavens behind it."

A Guide To Sage Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses | Top: A Sage Plant. Bottom: A massage oil recipe containing sage.

This profile looks at Salvia officinalis, also called dalmatian, common, or garden sage. Other varieties of sage oil are available, though less commonly used in aromatherapy, and have different properties. These varieties include African wild sage (Tarchonanthus camphoratus), blue mountain sage (Salvia stenophylla), Greek sage (Salvia fruticosa), Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia), and white sage (Salvia apiana).

Do not confuse sage with clary sage (Salvia sclarea), which is a different oil with different properties.

Basic Sage Facts

Plant family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves of the sage plant

Aroma: Spicy, sharp, herby.

Perfume/aromatic note: Top

Is sage safe to use during pregnancy? No

Is sage safe for children? Do not use with children under 10 years old is commonly offered advice.


  • Sage contains a neurotoxic ketone called thujone, which is why pregnant/nursing women and children should avoid this essential oil.
  • Avoid sage if you have epilepsy, are prone to seizures, or have other nervous system problems.
  • Some sources advise against the use of sage by people with high blood pressure.
  • May cause skin irritation. Spot test before using on a large area.

Main components:

  • camphor          7.5–50.2%
  • alpha-thujone  13.1–48.5%
  • borneol            1.5–23.9%
  • 1,8-Cineole      1.8–21.7%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.

Note: "Enterprising distillers have found a way around the high ketone content in sage essential oil," according to The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils. "Distilling sage early in its life cycle, when the leaves are still very small, yields an oil with very low thujone content."

Sage Essential Oil Benefits

"Sage reduces perspiration, oily skin and hair, and acne, and is said to encourage hair growth," according to Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art.

Aromatherapy for Dummies also states sage is good for oily skin and hair. Plus, sage may repel cockroaches and moths, may simulate memory, and may enhance stamina.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Uses for sage essential oil include helping relieve:

  • Muscle aches, pains, and injuries
  • Painful joints
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Menopausal symptoms (including hot flashes)
  • Heavy, tired legs
  • Excessive perspiration

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols: Use sage in moderation in massage blends for muscle aches and pains.

Subtle Aromatherapy: Using sage with meditation or visualization might support developing wisdom.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, sage clears negative energy from space and from your personal energy field. On a vibrational level, use the essential oil to break down old, repetitive ways of thinking. Sage destabilizes negativity associated with challenging memories or experiences.

Sage Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Use an aromatherapy diffuser to diffuse sage to calm nerves, help relieve grief and depression, or stimulate memory. Because sage is strong, limit diffusion time to 30 minutes three times a day.

Burning sage is a traditional way to clear and cleanse a space. Diffusing sage or making a spray by combining the essential oil with distilled water could serve the same purpose.

Oily hair treatment:

Add 1 drop sage essential oil to 1 teaspoon coconut oil or jojoba oil. Massage the blend into your oily hair. Wait about 10 minutes and then shampoo as usual.

Massage oil for sore muscles:

  • 5 drops sage essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops copaiba essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons jojoba or other carrier oil

Blend all ingredients in a glass bottle. Massage a little into sore muscles as needed.

Make a mouthwash:

  1. Add 1 drop sage oil to 1 teaspoon glycerine or calendula tincture.
  2. Stir the blend into 1/2 cup water.
  3. Use it to rinse your mouth and gums, making sure to spit it out.

Source: Essential Oils: All Natural Remedies and Recipes

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