Real sage

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Real sage
Healing sage (Salvia officinalis), illustration

Healing sage ( Salvia officinalis ), illustration

Euasterids I
Order : Mint family (Lamiales)
Family : Mint family (Lamiaceae)
Subfamily : Nepetoideae
Genre : Sage ( salvia )
Type : Real sage
Scientific name
Salvia officinalis

The real sage ( Salvia officinalis ), also known as garden sage , kitchen sage or healing sage , is a species of plant from the genus sage ( Salvia ). This evergreen spice - and medicinal plant native to the Mediterranean , but is now spread throughout Europe.


Hairy underside of the leaf
Inflorescence with zygomorphic flowers
Single flower

Appearance and leaf

The real sage grows as a subshrub and reaches stature heights of up to 80 centimeters. All of its plant parts have a strong aromatic odor. The stems of the true sage, which are lignified near the ground, are slightly square to round and usually strongly branched from below. They rise straight or arched and are hairy, especially in the upper part. From the lignified part of the stem, but also from the axils of the lower leaves on the stem, densely leafed, sterile branches often sprout. So they do not form an inflorescence.

The leaves are opposite in pairs on the stem. The lower leaves have a stem that can be as long as the leaf blade (up to about 9 centimeters). The length of the petioles decreases towards the top of the stem; the upper leaves are sessile (sessile). The simple leaf blades are lanceolate to oblong-egg-shaped with a width of up to 5 centimeters. The wrinkled surface of the leaf is hairy white and felt and therefore gray-green in color. Older leaves become bald, especially on the top. The leaf margin is smooth to at most slightly notched.

Inflorescence, flowers and fruit

The flowering period in Central Europe extends from May to July. The flowers are on short peduncles in the upper part of the stem, each with four to ten in five to eight loose whorls. The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic and five-fold with a double flower envelope . The approximately 1 centimeter long, mostly red-brown calyx is clearly divided into an upper part with three and a lower part with two lobes and hairy on the nerves and on the edge. The purple, rarely pink or white flower crowns have the typical shape of the lip flower family and are 2 to 3 centimeters long. The upper lip is almost straight and comparatively little arched.

The Klausen fruits disintegrate into four black Klausen.

Chromosome set

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 14.


The real sage is a traditional plant species found in cottage gardens. As a heat-loving plant of Mediterranean origin, it is only partially hardy in Central Europe and requires winter protection in harsh climatic locations. It is therefore not very competitive with wild plants and is rarely found wild in Central Europe. The real sage thrives best on lime-rich, stony and dry soils (for example in gappy xerothermal lawns ).

Habit, leaves and inflorescences of Salvia officinalis subsp. lavandulifolia
Habit and leaves in the habitat of Salvia officinalis subsp. oxyodon
Variegated leaves of the 'Tricolor' variety

Systematics and distribution

The first publication of Salvia officinalis was in 1753 by Carl von Linné . Many synonyms are just forms of culture.

Depending on the author, there are several subspecies of Salvia officinalis :

  • Salvia officinalis subsp. gallica (W.Lippert) Real, D.Rivera & Obón (Syn .: Salvia lavandulifolia subsp. gallica W.Lippert , Salvia officinalis var. gallica (W.Lippert) O.Bolòs & Vigo ): It comes from southwestern Germany to Italy before .
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. lavandulifolia (Vahl) Gams (Syn .: Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl , Salvia officinalis var. lavandulifolia (Vahl) O.Bolòs & Vigo , Salvia hispanorum Lag. , Salvia tenuior Desf. ex Roem. & Schult. , Salvia rosmarinifolia G.Don , Salvia officinalis var. hispanica Boiss. , Salvia officinalis var. hispanorum (lag.) Benth. , Salvia approximata Pau , Salvia lavandulifolia subsp. pyrenaeorum W.Lippert , Salvia lavandulifolia subsp. approximata (Pau) Figuerola , Salvia lavandulifolia var. adenostachys (O. bolos & Vigo) Figuerola , Salvia lavandulifolia var. trichostachya (font cross ex O.Bolòs & Vigo) Figuerola , Salvia lavandulifolia var. approximata (Pau) Figuerola, Stübing & Peris , Salvia lavandulifolia var. pyrenaeorum (W.Lippert) Figuerola, Stübing & Peris , Salvia officinalis subvar. adenostachys (O.Bolòs & Vigo) O.Bolòs & Vigo , Salvia officinalis var. adenostachys (O.Bolòs & Vigo) O.Bolòs & Vigo , Salvia officinalis var. approximata (Pau) O.Bolòs & Vigo , Salvia officinalis var. Trichostachy a (Font Quer ex O.Bolòs & Vigo) O.Bolòs & Vigo ): It occurs only in central and eastern Spain .
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. multiflora Gajic : It occurs on the northwestern Balkan Peninsula .
  • Salvia officinalis L. subsp. officinalis (Syn .: Oboskon cretica (L.) Raf. , Salvia cretica L. , Salvia hispanica Garsault , Salvia minor Garsault , Salvia digyna Stokes , Salvia chromatica Hoffmanns. , Salvia grandiflora Ten. nom. illeg., Salvia papillosa Hoffmanns. , Salvia crispa Ten. , Salvia clusii Vilm. , Salvia tricolor Vilm. , Salvia officinalis var. Absynthiina Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. Albiflora Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. Crispa Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. Icterina Alef. , Salvia officinalis var . latifolia Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. milleri Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. purpurascens Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. rubriflora Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. salicifolia Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. sturnina Alef. , Salvia officinalis var. tenuior . Alef , Salvia officinalis var. alba Bean , Salvia officinalis var. variegata (Abbey) Bean , Salvia officinalis var. frankei Gajic Salvia officinalis var. longiaristata Kojic & Gajic ): the home is Italy and the western Balkanhalbins el.
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. oxyodon (Webb & Heldr.) Real, D.Rivera & Obón (Syn .: Salvia oxyodon Webb & Heldr. , Salvia lavandulifolia subsp. oxyodon (Webb & Heldr.) Rivas Goday & Rivas Mart. , Salvia lavandulifolia var. lagascana Webb , Salvia lavandulifolia var. spicata Willk. , Salvia aucheri var. aurasiaca Maire , Salvia officinalis var. purpurascens Cuatrec. nom. illeg., Salvia lavandulifolia var. aurasiaca (Maire) Rosua & Blanca , Salvia blancoana var. aurasiaca (Maire) Figuerola , Salvia blancoana var. lagascana (Webb) Figuerola ): It occurs only in southeastern Spain.

Ingredients of the healing sage

The main active ingredients are the essential oils with the ingredients thujone , linalool and 1,8-cineol , tannins and bitter substances . Sage also contains a variety of flavonoids , with rosmarinic acid followed by caffeic acid being the most common. If overdosed , the essential oil is poisonous due to its thujone content. The use of sage for long-term use as herbal tea is therefore viewed as questionable.


In the kitchen

The use of sage as a remedy has a long history. It did not find its way into our kitchen as a spice until the Middle Ages. Sage is said to have the ability to slow the rancidity of fats.

Sage smells aromatic and tastes spicy, bitter and is astringent (furry mouthfeel ). The spice is used for meat dishes, game, poultry, sausages, fish dishes and herbal cheeses. Sage goes particularly well with fatty dishes, as it promotes the digestibility of heavy foods.

Raw and finely chopped, sage leaves are suitable for fish dishes and poultry fillings, and sage is also used to flavor vegetables and soups.

In the 19th century, sage cakes were a classic pastry for church fairs, which goes back to their alleged protection against intoxication.

In many countries, e.g. B. in Turkey , sage tea is a traditional drink (see also Turkish herbal teas ).

Sage in cosmetics

The tanning agents contained in sage can also be used for cosmetic purposes in the hair sector. Sage is used as a brew, which makes the hair darker overall. Sage can also be used on blemished skin.

Sage as a bee pasture

The flowers of the sage are an excellent pasture for bees , the possible honey yield per hectare of cultivation area can exceed 600 kg per year and thus clearly exceeds plants such as rapeseed that are considered good bee pastures .

In medicine

True sage in the form of the leaf drug (Salviae folium)

Traditionally, the antiviral, bacterial, anti-inflammatory and astringent , i.e. H. known astringent effect of real sage. In the case of inflammation of the mouth and throat, commercially available aqueous or alcoholic extracts are used for gargling. Sage tea can also be used for gargling or drunk. It is said to have an antiperspirant effect. The ingredients of the healing ointment should also have a secretion-promoting effect and support the functioning of the nervous system.

The real sage works as herbal tea for a sore throat or against excessive sweating . In addition to the antiperspirant, sage tea also has a digestive effect. An example of this is the relief of stomach and intestinal pain after antibiotic therapy. Contained tricyclic diterpenes such as carnosol and carnosic acid have an antioxidant , antimicrobial and chemoprotective effect against carcinogens .

Sage oil

Sage oil is a greenish yellow essential oil that is obtained from the leaves of the garden sage by steam distillation . It mainly consists of eucalyptol , camphor and thujone and is used in particular for pharmaceutical preparations with a disinfectant effect.

Model of a Salvia pratensis flower , Greifswald Botanical Museum


Its use as a medicinal plant, the name of which is derived from the Latin "salvia", derived from the Latin "salvus" (whole, whole, healthy) goes back to antiquity.

Medieval and early modern doctors and healers valued sage for other reasons as well. Paracelsus , Hildegard von Bingen , Lonicerus and Matthiolus used it for acute fever, urinary tract problems, colic, colds and toothache. The plant has a special use in the treatment of red blood dysentery. Sage was said to have a disinfecting and preserving effect. The rooms in which the seriously ill were staying were cleaned by burning sage leaves on charcoal.

A Bavarian-Alemannic "sage tract" written in the 14th century, which was primarily aimed at medical laypeople but was also used by doctors, is based on the spirits tract of Taddeo Alderotti, which was written before 1325, and recommends an aqua vitae based on spirits and sage ( see Aquavit ) to maintain youthful freshness and for a long life.

During the great plague epidemic of Toulouse in 1630, thieves began to plunder corpses without fear of infection. They were caught and the councilors gave their lives for revealing their secrets. They used in vinegar pickled sage and a few other ingredients like thyme , lavender and rosemary . To protect against the plague, they rubbed it all over their bodies. A century later in Marseille , other crooks followed suit.

Sage used to be one of the remedies that should help pregnant women. For example, the famous London midwife Mrs. Jane Shapr recommended in her birthing manual, The Midwives Book, Or the Whole Art of Midwifery Discovered , published in 1671 , that a pregnant woman should strengthen her body with an ale flavored with sage every morning . Even Hippocrates sage was used as uterine remedies.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Dietmar Aichele, Heinz-Werner Schwegler: The flowering plants of Central Europe. Volume 4, Kosmos-Verlag, Stuttgart.
  2. ^ Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . With the collaboration of Angelika Schwabe and Theo Müller. 8th, heavily revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 , pp. 809 .
  3. Johannes Gottfried Mayer , Bernhard Uehleke , Kilian Saum : The great book of monastic medicine. Zabert Sandmann, Munich 2013. ISBN 978-3-89883-343-1 . P. 155
  4. a b c d e f g Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Salvia officinalis. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  5. a b c A. Reales, D. Rivera, JA Palazón, C. Obón: Numerical taxonomy study of Salvia sect. Salvia (Labiatae). In: Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society , Volume 145, 2004, pp. 353-371.
  6. ^ Siegmund Seybold (Ed.): Schmeil-Fitschen interactive. Quelle & Meyer Verlag.
  7. Ellen Heidböhmer: The healing power of sage antibacterial - anti-perspiration - digestive . Langen Mueller Herbig, 2016, ISBN 978-3-7766-8155-0 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  8. Monika Cremer, Bettina Zeuch: Vegamin-Power bioactive protective substances from fruit, vegetables & Co.; [where to find them, what makes them so valuable, how they protect our health] . Schlütersche, 2007, ISBN 978-3-89993-535-6 , p. 90 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  9. ^ Wilhelm Binder: Allgemeine Realencyclopädie or Conversationslexicon for Catholic Germany . Publisher by Georg Joseph Manz, 1848, p. 1114 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  10. Nikolai Buroh, Dorothee Gödert: The great book of herbs & spices . Gräfe und Unzer, 2008, ISBN 978-3-8338-0767-1 , p. 135 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  11. Unknown: Over 100 herbs at a glance . HEEL Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86852-666-0 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  12. Susanna Müller: The housewife in the country . Eugen Ulmer, 1876, p. 140 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  13. V. Blaschek (Ed.): Hagers Handbook of Pharmaceutical Practice , Springer, 1997, ISBN 978-3540616191 , pp. 549-570.
  14. Josef Lipp et al .: Handbook of Apiculture - The Honey . 3., rework. Ed., Ulmer, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-8001-7417-0 , p. 38 f.
  15. Wabner / Beier: Aromatherapy 2nd ed. 2012, p. 271
  16. Ulrich Rüdt: Medicinal and poisonous plants. Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart.
  17. Wabner / Beier: Aromatherapy 2nd ed. 2012, p. 271
  18. Liber Herbarum Minor - The Incomplete Reference Guide for Medicinal Plants and Medicinal Herbs.
  19. ^ Rudolf Hänsel, Konstantin Keller, Horst Rimpler, G. Schneider (eds.): Hager's handbook of pharmaceutical practice. 6. Drugs P-Z. 5th edition. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg 1994, ISBN 3-540-52639-0 , Salvia officinalis pp. 547-574 limited preview in the Google book search.
  20. ^ M. Danilenko, X. Wang, GP Studzinksi: Carnosic acid and promotion of monocytic differentiation of HL60-G cells initiated by other agents. In: Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI). Volume 93, No. 16, 2001, ISSN  1052-6773 , pp. 1224-1233., Doi : 10.1093 / jnci / 93.16.1224
  21. ^ Clemens Stoll: Sage in the literature of antiquity. A pharmaco-botanical contribution to the history of a medicinal plant. In: Werner Dressendörfer, Wolf-Dieter Müller-Jahncke (Ed.): Orbis pictus. Cultural and pharmaceutical historical studies. (Festschrift Wolfgang-Hagen Hein) Frankfurt am Main 1985, pp. 273-283.
  22. Gundolf Keil : 'Salbeitraktat' ('Wazzer der tugent, tranc der jugent'). In: Author's Lexicon . 2nd Edition. Volume 8, Col. 504-506.
  23. Pietro Andrea Mattioli: Kreutterbuch deß the highly learned and well-known Mr. D. Petri Andreae Matthioli , Franckfort am Mayn, 1590, pp. 502-506.
  24. Wolfgang Wegner: 'Salbeitraktat'. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil, Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1280 f.
  25. Ekkehard Hlawitschka: "wazzer the virtuous, drank the young". Textual and traditional studies on the sage treaty. (= Medieval wonder drug tracts. Volume 5). Pattensen at Hann., Now published by Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1990 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 49).
  26. Matthias Borner, Daniela Toman: Series: Sage is healthy and extremely popular. In: New Westphalian. December 1, 2016, accessed January 4, 2020 .
  27. ^ Gerhard Madaus: Textbook of biological remedies . tape 3 . Georg Olms Verlag, 1979, p. 2403 ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed January 4, 2020]).


  • Avril Rodway: Herbs and Spices. The most useful plants in nature - culture and use. Tessloff Verlag, Hamburg 1980, ISBN 3-7886-9910-8 .
  • Else Horlbeck: The sage (Salvia officinalis L.). A contribution to the history of their use in Germany from the year 800 onwards. Medical dissertation, Leipzig 1937.

Web links

Commons : Common Sage ( Salvia officinalis )  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files