Many of you associate the plant sage as a culinary herb but modern research has shown that it has pronounced beneficial effects on memory and concentration. The types of sage extracts used as supplements for memory enhancement include Salvia officinalis (Common Sage) and Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage).
Interestingly, the term sage is often used to refer to someone who is profoundly wise, and the botanical name salvia officinalis comes from the Latin word which means “to heal.”
You won’t hear about the brain-boosting power of sage from your doctor but there is plenty of research to back up it up as a credible supplement. And if you really want to put a memory supplement to the test, then see what happens with people who have Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, researchers tested the effect of sage on people with mild to moderate AD aged between 65 and 80 years. People were randomized to receive a placebo or 60 drops of sage extract. At the end of the study all patients were evaluated, and researchers found that those receiving sage extract “experienced significant benefits in cognition.” The treatment was well tolerated with no differences in side effects compared to those taking a placebo, except those taking sage had a reduction in the symptom of agitation.
How does sage help the brain of someone with AD?
There is research showing that sage has beneficial affects of acetylcholine receptor activity and prevents its rapid breakdown. With AD there is changes in the structure of the brain that result in a deficiency in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is involved in memory, attention, and learning. Also, animal studies suggest that sage protects against the inflammation and damage from the infamous beta amyloid plaques that form with AD. In addition, animal research has shown that different components of sage support the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is important for the health and survival of brain cells known as neurons. People with AD have lower levels of BDNF. One last benefit of sage is that it has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of sage. AD is a chronic brain disease of inflammation.
One thing to be aware of though and that is if a person with AD is on medication for the disease then do not take sage. The medications for AD also work on acetylcholine and the combination of the two may cause side effects.
Sage Is Great For Overall Memory and Focus
The combination of extracts from the two species of sage, Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia , also known as CogniviaTM were studied for its effects on cognition for people who did not have any pre-existing medical condition or medications that could alter the study results. For 29 days participants took 600 mg of the combination sage extract product or a placebo. Researchers performed many different types of cognitive tests and found that sage had obvious effects on working memory and accuracy of cognitive performance activity. Improves were noted in as little as 2 hours following the consumption of the sage supplement.
There are many natural ways to enhance your memory and concentration. I will bring you all the best natural breakthroughs for the brain in this newsletter throughout the year.
Akhondzadeh, S. et al. “Salvia Officinalis Extract In The Treatment Of Patients With Mild To Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease: A Double Blind, Randomized And Placebo-Controlled Trial”. Journal Of Clinical Pharmacy And Therapeutics, vol 28, no. 1, 2003, pp. 53-59. Wiley, doi:10.1046/j.1365-2710.2003.00463.x.
Lopresti, Adrian L. “Salvia (Sage): A Review Of Its Potential Cognitive-Enhancing And Protective Effects”. Drugs In R&D, vol 17, no. 1, 2016, pp. 53-64. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/s40268-016-0157-5.
Wightman E, Jackson P, Spittlehouse B, Heffernan T, Guillemet D, Kennedy D. The Acute and Chronic Cognitive Effects of a Sage Extract: A Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study in Healthy Humans. Nutrients. 2021;13(1):218. doi:10.3390/nu13010218