Sage oil is an essential oil with a sharp herbal smell and a viscosity like that of water. This essential oil is extracted from sage, a strong flavored herb used for various culinary purposes. Though sage oil is toxic when used in high concentrations, it has certain health benefits when used in the right proportion. Sage also goes by other names such as garden sage, true sage and Dalmatian sage.
Though sage leaf is used extensively in Greek, Balkan and other Mediterranean cuisines in flavoring various vegetable and meat dishes, the oil is not used that extensively in the culinary world. It is used in very small concentrations in food flavoring agents in foods that call for sage flavor. However, it is also compatible with other essential oils such as lemon, lavender, rosemary and bergamot.
Origin and Production
Sage is a perennial herb that has been in use since early times and grows abundantly in the Mediterranean and Balkan regions. The botanical name of this herb is derived from “Salvare”, a Latin name that means to “heal” or “save” and the herb has been in use since the Middle Ages. In fact, the Chinese believed that the herb helped in curing sterility, while the Romans used it for curing almost all health problems.
Sage oil is extracted from dried sage leaves through a process of steam distillation.
Sage oil is supposed to be used in very small proportions for its true healing properties. Small concentrations of this oil are known to –
- Boost short-term memory
- Heighten the senses, thus helping one come out of depression
- Stimulate the lymphatic system
- Because of its hormonal regulatory capabilities, it is known to assist in certain female health problems such as menopausal condition and infertility
- Reduce the skin pore size, hence ideal for skin lotions
- The oil is also known to have many therapeutic properties such as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, digestive, antispasmodic, diuretic, a good laxative and also an oral tonic
Sage oil is known to have some severe side effects, when used in high concentrations, which include miscarriage, epileptic seizures, and even causing rapid heartbeat. It is also known to increase the blood pressure.