This article continues my series on natural approaches to support mental health. Currently, the focus has been on highlighting specific essential oils that have been clinically validated. Click here for a summary of earlier subjects.
In my last article and video, I discussed the second essential oil, following lavender, that has impressive evidence for brain support. Specifically, I reviewed two of the most common species of sage oil, Spanish sage and Common sage. These sage oils, though they differ in chemical composition, have both been shown in experimental and human studies to have a positive effect on memory, attention, and cognition.
Below are more trials that highlight sage essential oils’ powerful brain boosting properties!
This Is Your Brain on Sage Oil- Mood, Memory, and More
One study assessed the mental benefits of Spanish sage in healthy subjects using a placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced, crossover design. In this complicated trial, the subjects received more than one treatment and had multiple measurements of the same factor. The authors concluded that memory retrieval was enhanced, and the participants reported an improvement in alertness, mood, and cognition. The abstract states:
The results showed that administration of S. lavandulaefolia resulted in a consistent improvement for both the 25- and 50-microl dose on the ‘Speed of Memory’ factor. There was also an improvement on the ‘Secondary Memory’ factor for the 25-microl dose. Mood was consistently enhanced, with increases in self-rated ‘alertness’, ‘calmness’ and ‘contentedness’ following the 50-microl dose and elevated ‘calmness’ following 25 microl. These results represent further evidence that Salvia is capable of acute modulation of mood and cognition in healthy young adults. The data also suggest that previous reports of memory enhancement by Salvia may be due to more efficient retrieval of target material.
Several other small trials have also reported on the benefits of sage oil for these brain-boosting properties.
One study with 135 subjects assessed the aroma of Spanish and Common Sage in several conditions. The results indicated that memory, cognition, and mood were positively influenced by the odors, but that inhalation did not produce all the expected effects touted by its oral administration in the literature. It is important to note that this trial did not use an atomizer diffuser, but placed 5 drops of sage oil on a stone in 5ml of water. This could have accounted for weaker findings in some areas.
This chart, found within this comprehensive review, summarizes many of the studies discussed in my posts. It also includes additional information on the whole plant. (Note: The last study, cited as reference 22, has an error on dosage. The actual dosage used in the mentioned trial was 25 ul not 25 ml. 25 ml would be a massive overdose. Most essential oils bottles come in 5-15 ml accounting to about 85 to over 200 drops in total!)
Practical Tips & Safety
I have already debunked the scare tactics reported on some isolates found in sage oil. The safety of sage oil is indeed well supported (source, source). Furthermore, human and experimental support for its efficacy are impressive. This makes sage one of my favorite oils to recommend for brain support.
I have suggested the use of sage oil and Spanish sage to several of my clients. My favorite application is direct inhalation from the bottle and diffusing 6-8 drops in an atomizer diffuser for several hours a day.
Many of the trials report in ul or microliters, 25ul would be .25ml. This would equate to about 5 drops. For those struggling with memory issues, and using this oil for longer term, I suggest going slow at first. One option is diluting 3 drops in a tablespoon of your favorite organic carrier oil and applying it to the back of the neck or wrists. Then, inhale the aroma. This can be done a few times a day.
Please make sure you review the first article to determine the quality and characteristics that can differ between manufactures of sage oil. In this way, you can get the most benefit from yours!
As always, check with your doctor and become educated about essential oil safety prior to implementing any into your wellness routine. I have many resources listed below.
Coming Up: Keeping Your Brain at Optimal Functioning with Essential Oils
In an upcoming article, I will go into more detail on how sage oil and other essential oils have been studied for their potential to prevent cognitive decline. The implications of this are incredible for neurological disorders. This article is a great overview if you want a sneak peek!
I will try to keep posting over the summer but may not be able to as frequently due to many other pending irons “in the fire.” Make sure you subscribe below to keep up with the latest research on essential oils and their applications with quick, exclusive e-tips. You’ll also receive my health tips to keep your brain, gut, and hormones balanced for a healthier life!
Share your feedback and comments on sage oil and essential oils below!
*Safety reminder: Please be extra sure to check with your doctor if you have a seizure disorder. The Epilepsy Society of the UK lists certain essential oils implicated for their antiseizure effect as well as those that have stimulating properties.
For additional safety and medical information, please be sure to visit my essential oils database. This includes a full category on how to use essential oils safely and potential drug interactions that can occur.
If you and/or your physician are interested in consulting with me to assist with supporting the integration of essential oils safely into a therapeutic protocol, essential oils consultations are available.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.