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Concept: Salvia


Salvia divinorum (diviner’s sage) is a plant in the mint family that produces an hallucinogenic compound, salvinorin A. The plant is used, often by chewing or smoking, as a “recreational” drug source and is regulated or banned in several states and countries. We describe a simple DNA technique, polymerase chain reaction of the ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase large subunit (rbcL) gene, that can distinguish S. divinorum leaf pieces from pieces of tobacco or cannabis. We have also found DNA sequences adjacent to the chloroplast leucine transfer RNA (trnL) gene that are specific to S. divinorum and distinguish it from other horticulturally popular Salvia species. We report some significant differences between the S. divinorum trnL sequences we determined and those now published in GenBank.

Concepts: DNA, Photosynthesis, Molecular biology, Terpenoid, Salvia divinorum, Salvinorin A, Entheogen, Salvia


Salvia officinalis (Common sage, Culinary sage) is an aromatic plant that is frequently used as a spice in Mediterranean cookery and in the food industry and as a traditional medicine for the treatment of several infectious diseases. The essential oils were obtained by two different methods [hydrodistillation (HD) and microwave (Mw)] from the aerial part of S. officinalis L. growing wild in Ourika - Marrakech in Morocco. Ourika is a large zone of the Atlas Mountains which is considered as a large reserve of Flora, especially medicinal and aromatic plants. The obtained oils were analysed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and compared with that of Tunisia. Thirty-six compounds were identified from the Mw-extracted oil which accounted for 97.32% of the total oil composition. However, 33 compounds obtained by HD representing 98.67%. The major components were trans-thujone (14.10% and 29.84%), 1,8-cineole (5.10% and 16.82%), camphor (4.99% and 9.14%), viridiflorol (16.42% and 9.92%), β-caryophyllene (19.83% and 5.20%) and α-humulene (13.54% and 4.02%). Antibacterial, allelopathic (% germination in lettuce seeds and inhibited root growth obtained after treatment with S. officinalis oils) and antioxidant (IC(50) values 22 mg/mL) activities were studied.

Concepts: Plant, Essential oil, Oil, Oils, Morocco, Salvia officinalis, Salvia, Salvia fruticosa


Riboflavin (vitamin B(2)) and its metabolite lumichrome were quantified in 117 samples from 11 unifloral honeys types (Arbutus unedo L., Asphodelus microcarpus Salzm. et Viv., Citrus spp., Eucalyptus spp., Hedysarum coronarium L., Castanea sativa L. honeydew, Mentha spp., Paliurus spina-christi., Salix spp., Salvia officinalis L., Satureja spp.). The quantification of these two compounds was performed by LC-DAD method which does not require sample purification. The proposed method in our study has low limits of detection and quantification, very good linearity in a large concentration range and very good precision. It allows simultaneous determination of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and known chemical biomarkers of unifloral honeys such as abscisic acid diastereomers, homogentisic acid, methyl syringate and kynurenic acid. No statistical correlation was observed between riboflavin and lumichrome content. Although, the concentration of vitamin B(2) in honey may be too low (<6.1mg/kg) to generate interest in the field of nutrition, the presence of its main metabolite lumichrome may be useful to determine the botanical origin of certain unifloral honeys. In fact, the analysis of 11 unifloral honey types showed that Dalmatian sage (S. officinalis L.) honey is characterised by unusual high levels of lumichrome (20.2±2.6mg/kg). The botanical origin of lumichrome from sage flower was assessed by analysing bee-stomach extracts. Other analytical parameters, such as total phenols, antioxidant and antiradical activities, HMF and diastase activity were studied in Dalmatian sage honey.

Concepts: Sugar, Honey, Medicinal plants, Herbs, Salvia officinalis, Salvia, Salvia fruticosa, Honeydew


We report an efficient, simple, and cost-effective protocol for the isolation of genomic DNA from an aromatic medicinal plant, common sage (Salvia officinalis L.). Our modification of the standard CTAB protocol includes two polyphenol adsorbents (PVP 10 and activated charcoal), high NaCl concentrations (4 M) for removing polysaccharides, and repeated Sevag treatment to remove proteins and other carbohydrate contaminants. The mean DNA yield obtained with our Protocol 2 was 330.6 μg DNA g(-1) of dry leaf tissue, and the absorbance ratios 260/280 and 260/230 nm averaged 1.909 and 1.894, respectively, revealing lack of contamination. PCR amplifications of one nuclear (26S rDNA) and one chloroplast (rps16-trnK) locus indicated that our DNA isolation protocol may be used in common sage and other aromatic and medicinal plants containing essential oil for molecular biologic and biotechnological studies and for population genetics, phylogeographic, and conservation surveys in which nuclear or chloroplast genomes would be studied in large numbers of individuals.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Bacteria, Molecular biology, Biology, Salvia officinalis, Salvia


Supported by a growing increase of scientific research attesting the health properties of salvia species, we have decided to investigate nine Salvia namely Salvia sclarea, Salvia atropatana, Salvia sahendica, Salvia hydrangea, Salvia xanthocheila, Salvia macrosiphon, Salvia glutinosa, Salvia chloroleuca and Salvia ceratophylla species for their antioxidant and antiproliferative activities. In order to correlate the bioactivity with their phytochemical content, the total phenol and total flavonoid contents were also determined. S. ceratophylla exhibited the strongest activity against C32 cells with an IC50 value of 20.8 μg mL(- 1), while S. glutinosa exhibited an IC50 value of 29.5 μg mL(- 1) against ACHN cell line. Interestingly, S. glutinosa displayed also the highest DPPH radical-scavenging activity with an IC50 of 3.2 μg mL(- 1). These species are characterised by the highest total phenol and flavonoid contents. The obtained results suggest that Salvia species are healthy plant foods.

Concepts: DNA, Human, Nutrition, Organism, Antioxidant, Activity, Salvia, Salvia sclarea


Abstract This study deals with the formulation of natural drugs into hydrogels. For the first time, compounds from the sage essential oil were formulated into chitosan hydrogels. A sample preparation procedure for hydrophobic volatile analytes present in a hydrophilic water matrix along with an analytical method based on the gas chromatography coupled with the mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was developed and applied for the evaluation of the identity and quantity of essential oil components in the hydrogels and saline samples. The experimental results revealed that the chitosan hydrogels are suitable for the formulation of sage essential oil. The monoterpene release can be effectively controlled by both chitosan and caffeine concentration in the hydrogels. Permeation experiment, based on a hydrogel with the optimized composition [3.5% (w/w) sage essential oil, 2.0% (w/w) caffeine, 2.5% (w/w) chitosan and 0.1% (w/w) Tween-80] in donor compartment, saline solution in acceptor compartment, and semi-permeable cellophane membrane, demonstrated the useful permeation selectivity. Here, (according to lipophilicity) an enhanced permeation of the bicyclic monoterpenes with antiflogistic and antiseptic properties (eucalyptol, camphor and borneol) and, at the same time, suppressed permeation of toxic thujone (not exceeding its permitted applicable concentration) was observed. These properties highlight the pharmaceutical importance of the developed chitosan hydrogel formulating sage essential oil in the dermal applications.

Concepts: Time, Mass spectrometry, Chromatography, Analytical chemistry, Solution, Camphor, Salvia officinalis, Salvia


Genus Salvia, commonly known as sage, is the largest genus in the Lamiaceae family. It comprises many species traditionally used as brain-enhancing tonics. In vitro and animal studies have confirmed that several Salvia species contain a large array of active compounds that may enhance cognitive activity and protect against neurodegenerative disease. In this review, the active constituents in plants belonging to the genus Salvia are summarised, and their influence on pharmacodynamics pertinent to cognitive activity are detailed. In particular, the effects of plants belonging to the genus Salvia and their constituents on cognitive skills including memory, attention and learning are detailed. Their potential effects in dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, are also examined. Completed human trials are summarised, and factors influencing the potency of Salvia plants are covered. Finally, directions for future research are proposed to enhance our understanding of the potential health benefits of Salvia plants.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Species, Neuroscience, Cognition, Neurology, Neurodegenerative disorders, Lamiaceae, Salvia


Salvia officinalis L. and Salvia lavandulaefolia L. have a longstanding use as traditional herbal remedies that can enhance memory and improve cognitive functions. Pharmacological actions of S. officinalis and S. lavandulaefolia on healthy subjects and on patients suffering of cognitive decline have been investigated. Aim of this review was to summarize published clinical trials assessing effectiveness and safety of S. officinalis and S. lavandulaefolia in the enhancement of cognitive performance in healthy subjects and neurodegenerative illnesses. Furthermore, to purchase a more complete view on safety of S. officinalis and S. lavandulaefolia, we collected and discussed articles regarding toxicity and adverse reactions. Eight clinical studies investigating on acute effects of S. officinalis on healthy subjects were included in the review. Six studies investigated on the effects of S. officinalis and S. lavandaeluaefolia on cognitive performance in healthy subjects. The two remaining were carried out to study the effects of sage on Azheimer’s disease. Our review shows that S. officinalis and S. lavandulaefolia exert beneficial effects by enhancing cognitive performance both in healthy subjects and patients with dementia or cognitive impairment and is safe for this indication. Unfortunately, promising beneficial effects are debased by methodological issues, use of different herbal preparations (extracts, essential oil, use of raw material), lack of details on herbal products used. We believe that sage promising effects need further higher methodological standard clinical trials.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Pharmacology, Medicine, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Effectiveness, Herbalism, Salvia


After the publication [1] it came to the attention of the authors that one of the co-authors was incorrectly included as Hamza Somrain. The correct spelling is as follows: Hamzeh Sumrein.

Concepts: Salvia


Bakery formulations limiting glucose availability for uptake without compromising product quality are required. Herein, bread formulations containing whole flour from Amaranthus hypochondriacus (AB), Chenopodium quinoa (QB), Salvia hispanica L (ChB) or wheat (WWB) were compared to white bread (WB) for glycaemic index (GI) in fasted animals. The hepatic expression (mRNA) of PPAR-γ receptor as key regulator in substrate fractionation towards energy expenditure was monitored. GIs were associated to fluxes of glucose release (FGluc) and metabolic response (MTT assay) of HepG2 cells. ChB (19.7%) and AB (13.5%) decreased GI to a higher extent than QB (2.7%), but all increased expression of PPARγ in relation to WB. FGluc (AB> > ChB, WWB, WB > QB) showed a reciprocal relationship with the area under curve (AUC) in vivo, and decreased MTT conversion values (WB > WWB, ChB, AB, QB) by HepG2 cells. Thus, inclusion of latin-american crops (LAcs) reducing GI, without compromising bread quality, could help preventing metabolic diseases.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Enzyme, Maize, Glycemic index, Bread, Quinoa, Salvia