For Alzheimer’s Disease:
Indeed, researchers are so impressed by the herb’s powers that that’re to investigate if it can be used to help treat Alzheimer’s disease. The possible breakthrough follows clinical trials which found that healthy adults who had taken sage oil capsules performed significantly better in memory tests.
The herb is thought to help protect the ‘chemical messengers’ which carry information in the brain and are essential to memory. Both men and women have taken advantage of sage to help ward off memory loss for centuries, usually in teas or tinctures. As far back as 1597, herbalist John Gerard wrote that sage was ‘singularly good for the head and brain, quickeneth the nerves and memory.’
Half a century later, Nicholas Culpeper, claimed the herb ‘heals the memory, warming and quickening the senses’. Researchers from the Medicinal Plant Research Centre (MPRC), based at the universities of Newscastle and Northumbria, recently completed the first clinical trials involving the use of safe and healthy adults.
They tested 44 healthy adults aged to 18 to 37. Some were given capsules containing between 50mg to 150mg of sage oil while others received a ‘dummy’ capsule containing none. The volunteers took part in a word recall tests at intervals between one and six hours later.
Those who had consumed sage oil performed better across the board — on average recalling 8% more words than those on the placebo, in some cases, more than 10%. Research team leader Nicola Tildesley stated: ‘This only proves just how valuable the work by the old herbalists is, and that they shouldn’t just be ignored because they were writing centuries ago.
This research has serious implications for people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as it wil inform drug research and development. In addition, it can be potentially used on a much broader basis for anybody who wanted to improve their memory.
Furthermore, researchers stated that sage can inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which breaks down one of the brain’s ‘chemical messengers’, acetylcholine. Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia which affects more than 700,000 Britons, is accompanied by a drop in acetylcholine. By protecting this chemical messenger, the herb appears to help lower memory loss.
A lot of the most common drugs these days, such as Donepezil, has unpleasant side effects and doctors are keen to look for alternatives. No side effects were noted in the sage trial, the details of which were published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.
Some of the more recent studies on sage indicate that the herb can help improve memory, and possibly can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The study, published back in Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior in June 2003, looked at some of the effects of sage on memory recall tests.
The researcher used 45 individuals in two groups; one group received a placebo while the other received sage essential oil at dosages between 50 and 150 microls. Following the administration, memory tests were then given. Even those who were given the smallest amount of sage oil saw notable memory improvements.
The study abstract concluded:
The 50 μl dose of sage essential oil drastically improved immediate word recall in both studies. These results represent the very first systematic evidence that sage oil is able of acute modulation of cognition in healthy young adults.
Another study conducted that same year indicated compounds within Chinese sage, which could offer an alternative to pharmaceutical Alzheimer’s disease treatments.
In patients with Alzheimer’s, there’s an increase in their AChE which lead to cellular damage and subsequent memory loss and even dementia. By inhibiting AChE, sage could help prevent the damage and also prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.