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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-30

Salvia officinalis in dentistry

1 Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Pharmacology; Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication5-Feb-2015

Correspondence Address:
Lakshmi Thangavelu
Department of Pharmacology, Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai - 600 077, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2155-8213.150870

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Salvia officinalis is a medicinal herb used as an cosmetic, flavoring agent, It has antibacterial, antifungal, anticaries, antiplaque, antiviral, astringent, and other useful properties, it is also used in dental practice for the management of periodontal disease and to prevent halitosis. The objective of this article is to highlight various uses of S. officinalis in the dental field along with its use in medical problems.

Keywords: Dental infections, herbal medicine, Salvia officinalis

How to cite this article:
Narayanan N, Thangavelu L. Salvia officinalis in dentistry. Dent Hypotheses 2015;6:27-30

How to cite this URL:
Narayanan N, Thangavelu L. Salvia officinalis in dentistry. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Mar 23];6:27-30. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Common name: Sage

Scientific Name: Salvia officinalis.

Family: Mint family: labiatae

Habitat: It is found in dry rocky places.


Shrub ranges up to 70 cm. Several tomentous, gray stems. Leaves peciolate, oblong or lanceolate, and downy below. Flowers violet, blue or white-pink in quite loose spikes till 10 flowers each. Corolla 3 cm, with the upper lip, contrary to the rest of the "Salvas," flat. No sticky calyx and twice shorter than the corolla [Figure 1]. [1]
Figure 1: A pot of Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, or common sage) and its flowers (Adapted from:

Click here to view

It is native to the Balkans and the Mediterranean but has grown widely elsewhere as a garden and pot herb. It prefers dry chalky soils in sunny areas but will thrive in a rich loamy soil with good drainage. [2]

Phytochemical constituents

The primary biologically active component of common sage appears to be its essential oil, which chiefly contain ketones; α-thujone, and β-thujone. In addition, sage leaf contains numerous other compounds, including cineol, borneol, tannic acid; bitter substances like cornsole and cornsolic acid; fumaric, chlorogenic, caffeic and nicotinic acids; nicotinamide; flavones; flavone glycosides and estrogenic substances. [2]

General use

Sage tea or infusion of sage is a valuable agent in the delirium of fevers and in the nervous excitement frequently accompanying brain and nervous diseases. It has a considerable reputation as a remedy, given in small and often-repeated doses. [3]

The active compounds are known to have counter-irritant, rubefacient, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. [4]

Apart from medical uses of Salvia officinalis is also used for cosmetic uses due to its.

Pharmacological effects

Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity. [5]

Antibacterial [6]

Anticandidial [7]

Antiplaque [8],[9]

Medicinal uses of sage [10],[11]

Stomachic, antigastric, astringent

Against difficult digestions,

gastritis, heartburn, hiatal hernia,


Irritable colon



Useful to treat



Hair lotion



Alzheimer disease


  Dental Applications of Salvia Officinalis Top

Cicatrizant and bactericidal

(Ulcers and wounds) To heal the ulcers, cuts, scratches, chafing, or any wounds, supporting the cicatrization and preventing wounds to become infected.

  • Compresses with the maceration of dry leaves in white wine or the green plant applied directly on the wound.
  • For mouth ulcers, dental caries, or gingivitis infusion of half a tablespoon of dried herb for mouthwash. It is very useful for herpes treatment.
  • Because of its bactericidal and cicatrizant properties, it can prevent scabies sores to become infected. (Wash the affected areas with the infusion of the dried plant.) This preparation can be use to treat eczema.

Gum fortifier

With the wine maceration previously mentioned, we can rinse our mouth in order to fortify our gums. We can also use the green leaves to rub our teeth and gums to the same aim. [1]

Bactericidal activity

Dr. Kermanshah et al., [10] performed an in-vitro study in to evaluate the cariostatic effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Salvia officinalis and Achillea millefolium. The antibacterial activity of these two extracts against Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Actinomyces viscosus were evaluated through broth macrodilution method. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of Salvia officinalis and Achillea millefolium for S. mutans were 6.25 and 50 μg, respectively. The differences between the two extracts were statistically significant. Salvia officinalis greater inhibitory effect on growth of all three bacteria. Both extracts had bactericidal effect in the considered concentration range.

Delamare et al., [11] carried out a similar study on antibacterial activity of the essential oils of Salvia officinalis L. and Salvia triloba L. cultivated in South Brazil. The major constituents of the oil of S. officinalis were α-thujone, 1,8-cineole, camphor, borneol, and β-pinene, whereas those of S. triloba were α-thujone, 1,8-cineole, camphor, and β-caryophyllene. The essential oils of both species exhibited remarkable bacteriostatic and bactericidal activities against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus megatherium, Bacillus subtilis, Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas sobria, and Klebsiella oxytoca. Moreover, the essential oil of S. triloba efficiently inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus, and A. hydrophila growth were drastically reduced even in the presence of 0.05 mg/mL of the essential oil of S. triloba.

Anticandidial activity

Boonyanit Thaweboon proved that the anticandidal activities of Salvia officinalis L. (S. officinalis) is essential oil against Candida albicans and the inhibitory effects on the adhesion of C. albicans to polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) resin surface. [7]

Disc diffusion method was first used to test the anticandidal activities of the S. officinalis. Then the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal lethal concentration (MLC) were determined by modified membrane method. [7]

The result obtained was that S. officinalis L. essential oil exhibited anticandidal activity against all strains of C. albicans with inhibition zone ranging from 40.5 to 19.5 mm. So, it is concluded that S. officinalis L. essential oil exhibited anticandidal activities against C. albicans and had inhibitory effects on the adhesion of the cells to PMMA resin surface. With further testing and development, S. officinalis essential oil may be used as an antifungal denture cleanser to prevent candidal adhesion and thus reduce the risk of candida-associated denture stomatitis. [7]

Antiplaque activity

Joanne Smullen [8] performed a study to prove that plant extracts can inhibit formation of dental plaque. The ability of extracts of Rosmarinus officianalis L., Salvia officianalis L., unfermented cocoa, red grape seed, and green tea to inhibit plaque bacteria, glucosyltransferase activity, glucan, and plaque formation in an in vitro model using bovine teeth was examined.

Standard susceptibility agar dilution technique was used for this. They arrived at a conclusion that the plant extracts, particularly those from R. officianalis L. and S. officianalis L., inhibited glucosyl tranferase activity, glucan production, and plaque formation in vitro. The results suggest that the extracts of R. officianalis L. and S. officianalis L. may be useful as antiplaque agents. [8]

Jacob George, Shashikant Hegde, KS Rajesh, Arun Kumar conducted a study on the efficacy of an herbal-based toothpaste containing sage in the control of plaque and gingivitis. [9]

The efficacy of Colgate Herbal over Colgate toothpaste was assessed in this study. At the end of the study, there were statistically significant reductions in the gingival index and the plaque index scores within the test group. It was concluded that the herbal-based toothpaste which contains calcium carbonate, chamomile, sage, myrrh eucalyptus, and sodium monoflurophosphate was as effective as the conventionally formulated dentifrice in the control of plaque and gingivitis. [9]

Action on gingival inflammation

Pistorius et al., [12] conducted a study on efficacy of subgingival irrigation using herbal extracts containing Salvia officinalis on gingival inflammation. A total of 89 patients were included in the study and data were collected at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks included gingival index (GI), sulcus bleeding index (SBI), plaque index (PI), and probing depth (PD). Subgingival irrigation with a herbal-based mouthrinse led to a significant reduction in both SBI and GI. This regimen can, therefore, be recommended as an adjunctive procedure to reduce gingival inflammation. [12]

Action on halitosis

Halitosis, or bad breath, most often starts in the mouth. Poor oral hygiene allows food particles to collect on the surface of the tongue, between the teeth or along the gingival (gum) tissue that surrounds the teeth. Naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth then break down those food particles, releasing chemicals that have a strong odor. [13]

For its bactericidal properties, Salvia officinalis is adequate to kill bacteria that cause halitosis. Mouthwashes of Salvia officinalis is prepared by making an infusion of a spoonful of dried plant per cup of water. [14],[15]

  Conclusion Top

Salvia officinalis has aromatic, carminative, spasmolytic, antiseptic, astringent, antihidrotic actions. The thujone in the volatile oil has an antiseptic and antibiotic action and, when taken as a mouthwash, Salvia deals effectively with throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums, and mouth ulcers. The phenolic acids in Salvia are particularly potent against S. aureus. Salvia also has an astringent action due to its relatively high tannin content. All these prove the importance of Salvia officinalis in medical as well as dental treatment.

  References Top

Kennedy DO, Pace S, Haskell C, Okello EJ, Milne A, Scholey AB. Effects of cholinesterase inhibiting sage (Salvia officinalis) on mood, anxiety and performance on a psychological stressor battery. Neuropsychopharmacology 2006;31:845-52.  Back to cited text no. 1
Salvia officinalis (L). Available from: [Last accessed on 2012 Dec 24].  Back to cited text no. 2
Sage (Salvia officinalis. Available from: [Last accessed on 2013 Jan 12].  Back to cited text no. 3
Sage herb nutrition facts. Available from: [Last accessed on 2013 Mar 16].  Back to cited text no. 4
Miliauskasa G, Venskutonisa PR, van Beekb TA. Screening of radical scavenging activity of some medicinal and aromatic plant extracts. Food Chem 2004;85:231-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
Bozin B, Mimica-Dukic N, Samojlik I, Jovin E. Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of rosemary and sage (Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Salvia officinalis L., Lamiaceae) essential oils. J Agric Food Chem 2007;55:7879-85.  Back to cited text no. 6
Sookto T, Srithavaj T, Thaweboon S, Thaweboon B, Shrestha B. In vitro effects of Salvia officinalis L. essential oil on Candida albicans. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013;3:376-80.  Back to cited text no. 7
Smullen J, Finney M, Storey DM, Foster HA. Prevention of artificial dental plaque formation in vitro by plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol 2012;113:964-73.  Back to cited text no. 8
George J, Hegde S, Rajesh KS, Kumar A. The efficacy of a herbal-based toothpaste in the control of plaque and gingivitis: A clinico-biochemical study. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:480-2.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Kermanshah H, Hashemi-Kamangar SS, Arami S., Mirsalehian A, Kamalinejad M, Karimi M, et al. Antibacterial activity of hydroalcoholic extracts of salvia officinalis and Achillea millefolium against cariogenic microorganism: An in vitro investigation. J Islamic Dent Assoc Iran 2009;21:215-20.  Back to cited text no. 10
Delamare AP, Moschen-Pistorello IT, Artico L, Atti-Serafini L, Echeverrigaray S. Antibacterial activity of the essential oils of Salvia officinalis L. and Salvia triloba L. cultivated in South Brazil. Food Chem 2007;100:603-8.   Back to cited text no. 11
Pistorius A, Willershausen B, Steinmeier EM, Kreislert M. Efficacy of subgingival irrigation using herbal extracts on gingival inflammation. J Periodontol 2003;74:616-22.  Back to cited text no. 12
Bad breath Causes and tips for controlling it. American Dental Association. Available from: [Last accessed on 2013 May 12].  Back to cited text no. 13
Properties of Sage. Available from: salvia officinalisangles.htm [Last accessed on 2013 Jul 19].  Back to cited text no. 14
Sage, salvia officinalis. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Jan 2].  Back to cited text no. 15


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