Last update July 11, 2017

Salvia officinalis

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Salvia officinalis or common sage is one of the 900 species of plants that pertains to genus Salvia as well as Salvia hispanica or Chia (see specific information) but with totally different composition, properties and uses.
This comment refers to Salvia officinalis, also called common sage or simply sage.

The leaves and flowering tops of this herbaceous specie which is native from Mediterranean Europe are used
It contains thujone, camphor and cineol; phenolic acids, terpenes, flavonoids, tannins ...
Thujone and camphor are neurotoxic and may induce seizures. Its concentration varies greatly depending on the season and region of origin. The highest concentration appears in the essential oil, whose consumption has caused severe cases of poisoning, especially in children.

Traditionally used but without scientific evidence for relief of dyspepsia, excess of sweating, swelling of the mouth, throat and skin.

Sage has been used (also without scientific evidence) to decrease milk production (Eglash 2014, Amir 2011)

At latest update no published data on excretion into breast milk was found.

A moderate consumption of leaf tea is devoid of toxicity. It should be convenient to choose plants with low content of thujone and camphor. Essential oil consumption is not recommended during breastfeeding.
For culinary purposes it does not pose any health risk if consumed as aromatic seasoning in usual amounts.

See below the information of this related product:

  • Chia ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Salvia officinalis is also known as Sage. Here it is a list of alternative known names::

Salvia officinalis in other languages or writings:


Salvia officinalis belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Salvia officinalis in its composition:


  1. (ABM) Johnson HM, Eglash A, Mitchell KB, Leeper K, Smillie CM, Moore-Ostby L, Manson N, Simon L; Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.. ABM Clinical Protocol #32: Management of Hyperlactation. Breastfeed Med. 2020 Mar;15(3):129-134. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Trimeloni L, Spencer J. Diagnosis and Management of Breast Milk Oversupply. J Am Board Fam Med. 2016 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. EMA. Salvia officinalis L., folium. European Union herbal monograph. 2016 Full text (in our servers)
  4. EMA. Public statement on Salvia officinalis L., aetheroleum. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products. 2016 Full text (in our servers)
  5. Cvetkovikj I, Stefkov G, Karapandzova M, Kulevanova S, Satović Z. Essential oils and chemical diversity of southeast European populations of Salvia officinalis L. Chem Biodivers. 2015 Abstract
  6. Eglash A. Treatment of maternal hypergalactia. Breastfeed Med. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Posadzki P, Watson LK, Ernst E. Adverse effects of herbal medicines: an overview of systematic reviews. Clin Med (Lond). 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  8. Lachenmeier DW, Walch SG. Epileptic seizures caused by accidental ingestion of sage (Salvia officinalis L.) oil in children: a rare, exceptional case or a threat to public health? Pediatr Neurol. 2012 Abstract
  9. Jug-Dujaković M, Ristić M, Pljevljakušić D, Dajić-Stevanović Z, Liber Z, Hančević K, Radić T, Satović Z. High diversity of indigenous populations of dalmatian sage (Salvia officinalis L.) in essential-oil composition. Chem Biodivers. 2012 Abstract
  10. Halicioglu O, Astarcioglu G, Yaprak I, Aydinlioglu H. Toxicity of Salvia officinalis in a newborn and a child: an alarming report. Pediatr Neurol. 2011 Oct;45(4):259-60. Abstract
  11. Amir LH, Pirotta MV, Raval M. Breastfeeding--evidence based guidelines for the use of medicines. Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Sep;40(9):684-90. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Oniga I, Oprean R, Toiu A, Benedec D. Chemical composition of the essential oil of Salvia officinalis L. from Romania. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2010 Abstract
  13. WHO. World Health Organization. WHO monographs on medicinal plants commonly used in the Newly Independent States (NIS). WHO monographs. 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  14. Raal A, Orav A, Arak E. Composition of the essential oil of Salvia officinalis L. from various European countries. Nat Prod Res. 2007 Abstract
  15. Burkhard PR, Burkhardt K, Haenggeli CA, Landis T. Plant-induced seizures: reappearance of an old problem. J Neurol. 1999 Aug;246(8):667-70. Abstract
  16. Millet Y, Jouglard J, Steinmetz MD, Tognetti P, Joanny P, Arditti J. Toxicity of some essential plant oils. Clinical and experimental study. Clin Toxicol. 1981 Abstract

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