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Dalmatian Sage (Salvia officinalis L.): A Review of Biochemical Contents, Medical Properties and Genetic Diversity

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Abstract

Dalmatian sage (Salvia officinalis L.) represents one of the most significant medicinal autochthonous species in flora of eastern Adriatic coast and islands. It is evergreen outcrossing perennial subshrub with short woody stems that branch extensively and violet flowers. Apart from being native to Mediterranean karst of west Balkan and Apenine peninsula it is cultivated in numerous countries worldwide with Mediterranean and temperate continental climate. From the earliest times it has been used in traditional medicine in healing gingiva, mouth cavity and the sore throat, against bacterial and fungal infections, for wound treatment, memory enhancement, for treating common cold, against sweating, stomach inflammation, ulcer formation, etc. Its essential oil has also been used in preservation of food and as spice as it gives both specific aroma and promotes digestion of food. The essential oil is extremely complex mixture of different active ingredients; however, the thujones and camphor are the dominant compounds and are the parameter by which S. officinalis is distinguished from other Salvia species. The great variability of essential oil composition and yield has been detected depending on various factors such as genotype, environmental conditions, phonological stage, plant parts used for the extraction of essential oil and drying procedure. Molecular genetic analysis of S. officinalis is still limited and comprises the use of RAPD markers, AFLP and SSR markers in assessing mostly the genetic variability and structure of wild S. officinalis populations.
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Agriculturae Conspectus Scienti cus . Vol.  () No.  (-)
REVIEW ARTICLE
Summary
Dalmatian sage (Salvia o cinalis L.) represents one of the most signi cant medicinal autochthonous
species in  ora of eastern Adriatic coast and islands. It is evergreen outcrossing perennial subshrub with
short woody stems that branch extensively and violet  owers. Apart from being native to Mediterranean
karst of west Balkan and Apenine peninsula it is cultivated in numerous countries worldwide with
Mediterranean and temperate continental climate. From the earliest times it has been used in traditional
medicine in healing gingiva, mouth cavity and the sore throat, against bacterial and fungal infections,
for wound treatment, memory enhancement, for treating common cold, against sweating, stomach
in ammation, ulcer formation, etc. Its essential oil has also been used in preservation of food and as spice
as it gives both speci c aroma and promotes digestion of food.  e essential oil is extremely complex
mixture of di erent active ingredients; however, the thujones and camphor are the dominant compounds
and are the parameter by which S. o cinalis is distinguished from other Salvia species.  e great
variability of essential oil composition and yield has been detected depending on various factors such as
genotype, environmental conditions, phonological stage, plant parts used for the extraction of essential oil
and drying procedure. Molecular genetic analysis of S. o cinalis is still limited and comprises the use of
RAPD markers, AFLP and SSR markers in assessing mostly the genetic variability and structure of wild S.
o cinalis populations.
Key words
Dalmatian sage; essential oil; Meditteranean; Salvia o cinalis L.; thujone
Dalmatian Sage (Salvia o cinalis L.):
A Review of Biochemical Contents,
Medical Properties and Genetic
Diversity
Martina GRDIŠA 1( ), Marija JUG-DUJAKOVIĆ 2, Matija LONČARIĆ 1,
Klaudija CAROVIĆ-STANKO 1, Tonka NINČEVIĆ 2, Zlatko LIBER 3,
Ivan RADOSAVLJEVIĆ 3, Zlatko ŠATOVIĆ 1
1 University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Seed Science and Technology
Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
e-mail: mgrdisa@agr.hr
2 Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation,
Put Duilova 11, 21000 Split, Croatia
3 University of Zagreb, Department of Botany and Botanical Garden, Faculty of Science,
Marulićev trg 9/II, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Received: July 29, 2015 | Accepted: September 4, 2015
ACKNOWL EDGEMENTS
The research was carried out in the framework of the project ‘Epigenetic vs. Genetic diversity
in natural plant populations: a case study of Croatian endemic Salvia species’ financed by the
Croatian Science Foundation.
Agric. conspec. sci. Vol.  () No. 
70 Martina GRDIŠA, Marija JUG-DUJAKOVIĆ, Matija LONČARIĆ, Klaudija CAROVIĆ-STANKO, Tonka NINČEVIĆ,
Zlatko LIBER, Ivan RADOSAVLJEVIĆ, Zlatko ŠATOVIĆ
Introduction
Dalmatian sage (Salvia o cinalis L.) is one of the most
commercially important species within the Lamiaceae family
(Avato, 2005). It is a perennial, evergreen subshrub, native to
the Mediterranean region. It is cultivated in numerous coun-
tries (Raal et al., 2007). In Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro and Albania, Dalmatian sage is extensively gathered
from the wild what could be a serious threat for its biodiversity.
S. o cinalis has long enjoyed a reputation in traditional medi-
cine for its healthy giving properties and for treating all kinds of
ailments.  is fact is evident from the Latin name of the genus
Salvia, which is derived from the lat. salvere, meaning to save, in
reference to the curative properties of the plant, recognized and
appreciated from the ancient times (Dweck, 2000). Probably the
best known use of sage tea is in healing gingiva, mouth cavity and
the sore throat. e Romans cal led it “t he holy plant” and it is as-
sumed that they planted it all over Europe. It was recommended
as a haemostatic, diuretic, tonic and emmenagogue by Pedanius
Dioscorides (c. 40-90 AD), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) and Galen
(c.130-c. 210 AD) (Dweck, 2000). Hippocrates (c. 460-c. 370 BC),
Paracelsus (1493-1541), Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179),
Bock (1498-1554) and Matthiolus (1501-1577) also relied on its
healing properties (Madaus, 1938). ese authors prescribed it
as a remedy against cough, as a diuretic, wound-healing agent,
for ulcers and for preservation of teeth (Panda, 2009). Both,
English herbalist John Gerard (1545–1612) and physician and
herbalist Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) claimed that sage was
good for the head, brain, and improving memory (Woodword,
1994; Culpeper, 1992). In the time of the Carolingian empire the
plant was cultivated in Monastery gardens of the early Middle
Ages (Dweck, 2000). Even nowadays it is a mandatory plant in
all Catholic monasteries (Tucakov, 1990). During the 17th cen-
tury it was introduced to North America. Apart from its me-
dicinal use sage has also been popular since ancient times as a
culinary herb, especially in meat and poultry dishes due to its
powerful and intense  avor.
Today, it is still used all over the world and it enjoys the same
reputation. It has become a target for the search of the biologi-
cally active compounds and new drugs as it shows a broad range
of medical activities. It was scienti cally proven that S. o cinalis
has anti-diabetic (Eidi and Eidi, 2009), antioxidative, gastopro-
tective (Mayer et al., 2009), anti-in ammatory (Ninomiya et al.,
2004), antiviral (Tada et al., 1994), anti-obesity (Ninomiya at al.,
2004), anti-spasmatic (Todorov, 1984), fungicidal, bactericidal
(Delamare et al., 2007; Pinto et al., 2007; Bouaziz et al., 2009)
and anticancerogenic (Jedinak et al., 2006) e ect.  erefore, it
has potential in curing numerous illnesses and diseases includ-
ing diabetes, depression, obesity, dementia, lupus, hearth dis-
eases and cancer (Hamidpour et al., 2014). In addition, it is used
in preparation and preservation of food (Hay and Waterman,
1993; Piccaglia 1998), and as  avoring agent in perfume and cos-
metic industries (Delamare et al., 2007). Moreover, as natural
disinfectant S. o cinalis essential oils could play a vital role in
preventing the spread of pathogenic microorganisms and envi-
ronmental problems connected with the use of synthetic chemi-
cals (Bouaziz, 2009).
e aim of this paper was to summarize the available sci-
enti c data on S. o cinalis, including taxonomy, morphology,
biochemical content and genetic diversity, as well as its use in
the prevention and curing various diseases.
Taxonomy and distribution
Salvia o cinalis L. (Sp. Pl., 23. 1753) belongs to the mint
family Lamiaceae, subfamily Nepetoideae, tribe Mentheae
and genus Salvia. Approximately 240 genera and 7000 species
belong to the Lamiaceae family and it is the largest family of the
order Lamiales (Dinç et al., 2009).  e genus Salvia is the larg-
est genus of the Lamiaceae family comprising around 1000 spe-
cies (Walker and Sytsma, 2007), which are either herbaceous or
shrubby perennials, rarely biennials or annuals, o en strongly
aromatic species. Salvia species are commonly grow all around
the world; however, they are abundantly distributed in Europe
around the Mediterranean, in South-East Asia, and Central and
South America (Ulubelen, 2000). In Flora Europea 36 taxa of
the genus are described (Hedge, 1972). Synonyms for Salvia of-
cinalis L. are (Hanelt i IPK, 2001): Salvia o cinalis var. crispa
Alef., Landw. Fl.,118. 1866, Salvia o cinalis subsp. major Gams
in Hegi, Ill. Fl. Mitt.-Eur. V, vol. 4, 2483. 1927, Salvia o cinalis
var. latifolia Alef. , Landw. Fl., 118. 1866 and Salvia tomentosa
Mill., Gard. Dict. ed. vol. 8. 1768.
It belongs to a group of Balkan-Apennine endemic spe-
cies. Unlike the majority of endemic species it is widespread
and o en abundant (Liber et al., 2014). Its indigenous distri-
bution in Western Balkans is in the Mediterranean region of
Croatia (Kvarner area and Dalmatia), Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro, and Albania with outmost southern populations
in northern Greece where it occurs further from the sea side
(Karousou et al., 2000). e northern limit of its native distribu-
tion is around Trieste (Italy) (Pignatti, 1982; Conti, 2005).  ere
are also disjunctive populations in southern Serbia and Kosovo
(Janković, 1982). It is cultivated in many countries around the
world with continental climate: in Ukraine, Moldavia, Germany,
Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, USA,
Turkey, India, Japan, Indonesia (Java), Tanzania, South Africa,
Antilles, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. In many countries
it is naturalized (Randall, 2007).
Apart from Salvia o cinalis L. the following species of the
genus Salvia can be found in Croatian  ora (Nikolić, 2015):
Salvia aethiopis L.
Salvia amplexicaulis Lam.
Salvia argentea L.
Salvia austriaca Jacq.
Salvia bertolonii Vis.
Salvia brachyodon Va nda s
Salvia fruticosa Mill.
Salvia glutinosa L.
Salvia nemorosa L
Salvia peloponnesiaca Boiss. et Heldr
Salvia pratensis L.
Salvia sclarea L.
Agric. conspec. sci. Vol.  () No. 
71
Dalmatian Sage (Salvia officinalis L.): A Review of Biochemical Contents, Medical Properties and Genetic Diversity
Salvia tomentosa L.
Salvia verbenaca L.
Salvia verticillata L.
Salvia viridis L.
Salvia x auriculata Mill.
Among the mentioned species along with Salvia o cinalis
L., Salvia brachyodon Vandas (Short-tooth sage) is an endem-
ic species. It is one of the rarest plant species of Dinaric karst
(Liber et al., 2014) as its distribution is limited only on two lo-
calities, Mt. Vipera (St. Ilija) on Pelješac Peninsula in Croatia,
and on Mt. Orjen, at the border of Bosina and Herzegovina
and Montenegro, where the species was  rst recorded and it is
regarded as the locus classicus (Vandas, 1899). In Croatia, it is
classi ed as nearly threatened (NT) (Nikolić, 2015). Another
Salvia species with limited distribution in Croatia is S. frutico-
sa, commercially known as Greek sage, which could be found
only in the vicinity of Komiža on the island of Vis. S. frutico-
sa is native to eastern Mediterranean including southern Italy,
southern parts of the Balkan peninsula to west Syria (Pignatti
1982; Hedge 1982; Greuter et al., 1986). Due to the value of its
essential oil it has been naturalized in Western Mediterranean
region in Malta, Spain and Portugal (Greuter et al., 1986).  e
presence of this species in Croatia may be related to ancient Greek
colonization of the island in the fourth century BC. In Croatian
ora an interesting spontaneous hybrid of S. o cinalis and S.
fruticosa named S. x auriculata has also been observed on the
island of Vis (Radosavljević et al., 2012). Natural hybrids were
recently detected to exist; prior it was only known as a result
of arti cial crossings from breeding programs (Putievsky et al.
1990; Dudai et al., 1999).
Morphology
S. o cinalis L. is an outcrossing, perennial subshrub up to
60 cm high. Stems are erect or procumbent with numerous  ne
hairy dark green branches. Leaves are petiolate, elongated, op-
posite, simple, sometimes with basal lobes (especially in juvenile
stadium), with serrate margin, rugose surface and more or less
contracted at the base. On lower leaf surface hairs are white and
on upper surface greenish or greenish-grey. Flowers are on 2-4
mm long pedicel, in pseudoverticillasters with 5-10  owers that
form spurious composed spike. Calyx is 10-14 mm long, hairy,
with  ve teeth. Corolla is ca. 35 mm long, rosy, violet-blue, rarely
white. Flowering period of S. o cinalis is from March to July
depending on habitat climatic conditions (Hedge, 1972; Šilić,
1973). S. o cinalis has simple and glandular hairs. Five distinct
types of glandular hair (one peltate and four types of capitate)
have been identi ed, with di erent sites, secretory modes, secre-
tions and a functional role.  e four types of capiatate hairs are
morphologically distinguishable whereas type I capitate hair has
short uni- or bicellular stalk and a large uni- or bicellular secre-
tory head; type II is very small and has a unicellular stalk and
an oblong cutinized secretory head; type III is large with a long
stalk consisting of one to three cells, a neck cell and a cutinized
unicellular head, while type IV is large with a long slender stalk,
with a neck cell and a very large, wide, cutinized, unicellular head
which could be in the shape of trapezoid. Type I capitate hairs
produce hydrophilous secretions, while peltate hairs and other
types of capitate hairs produce mixed secrete of hydrophilous
and lipophilous components (Corsi and Botega, 1999). Salvia of-
cinalis is a diploid (2n = 14) with a genome size of 0.97 pg/2C,
and base composition of 38.55% GC (Maksimović et al., 2007).
Mericarp is spherically ovoid, 2-3 mm long and 2 mm wide, dark
brown in color (Hedge, 1972; Šilić, 1973; Tomašević, 1982).  e
seed usually disperse via barochory and the wind and rain carry
the seeds away from the mother plant (Corsi and Botega, 1999).
Biochemical contents
S. o cinalis L. is one of the most appreciated herbs for rich-
ness of the essential oil content and its numerous biologically
active compounds. It is considered to have the highest essential
oil yield among Salvia species (Newall et al., 1996).  e essential
oil is extremely complex mixture of di erent active compounds.
e two major chemical classes of secondary metabolites have
been identi ed as typical products of the plant: terpenoids and
phenolics (Bakkali et al., 2008).  e essential oil of S. o cinalis
manly comprises the monoterpenes α- and β-thujone, camphor,
1,8-cineole and borneol, and sometimes in larger amounts ses-
quiterpenes α-humulene and β-caryophyllene.  e di- and tri-
terpenes have been found in the leaves (Máthé et al., 2007), i.e.
manool.  ere is a high chemical variability among S. o cinalis
essential oils, however, it can generally be stated that α- and ß-
thujones are the predominant constituents (Newall et al., 1996).
Among the phenolics S. o cinalis contains carnosinic, rosma-
rinic, ca eic, salvianolic compounds, etc. (Zupko et al., 2001).
e essential oil yield of S. o cinalis and its chemical com-
position has been a focus of many investigations worldwide. It
depends on various factors, such as genetic background (Perry et
al., 1999), locality (Perry et al., 1999, Bernotiené et al., 2007), en-
vironmental conditions (Máthé et al., 1992, Kuštrak et al., 1984;
Perry et al., 1999; Hadry et al., 2010) season (Perry et al., 1999),
physiological stage (i.e. time of harvest) (Kuštrak et al., 1984),
plant parts used for the extraction of essential oil (Perry et al.,
1999; Santos-Gomez and Fernandes-Ferreira, 2001), soil mineral
fertilization (Piccaglia et al., 1989), etc. Due to strong in uence
of these factors essential oil composition and yield frequently
does not match the pro le de ned by ISO 9909 standard, which
according to Bruneton (1999) is: α-thujon (18-43%), β-thujon (3-
8.5%), camphor (4.5-24.5%), 1,8-cineol (5.5-13%), α-humulene
(0-12%), α-pinene (1-6.5%), camphene (1.5-7%), limonene (0.5-
3%), linalool and bornyl acetate (2.5% maximum).
Some studies were focused on determining the essential oil
content of indigenous populations (Ivanic et al., 1978; Kuštrak et
al., 1984; Pitarevic et al., 1985; Jug-Dujaković et al., 2012; Stešević
et al., 2014) while others on the analysis of cultivated S. o cinalis
(Perry et al., 1999; Putievsky et al., 1986). Recent investigation
of 25 indigenous S. o cinalis populations from Croatia revealed
essential oil content ranging from 1.93-3.7% (average 2.83%).
e 62 compounds were detected, and among them α-thujone,
camphor, β-thujone, 1,8-cineol, β-pinene, camphene, borneol
and bornyl acetate represented 78.13 to 87.33% of the essential
oil content.  e most abundant compounds were α-thujone (%),
camphor and β-thujone.  e authors identi ed three chemotypes
Agric. conspec. sci. Vol.  () No. 
72 Martina GRDIŠA, Marija JUG-DUJAKOVIĆ, Matija LONČARIĆ, Klaudija CAROVIĆ-STANKO, Tonka NINČEVIĆ,
Zlatko LIBER, Ivan RADOSAVLJEVIĆ, Zlatko ŠATOVIĆ
with predominant: (1) α-thujone, (2) β-thujone and (3) camphor/
β-pinene/borneol/bornyl acetate (Jug-Dujaković et al., 2012).
Analysis of the chemical composition of the essential oils of 12
indigeous S. o cinalis populations from Montenegro resulted
in the identi cation of 40 oil constituents.  e ten main compo-
nents were α-thujone (16.98-40.35%), camphor (12.75-35.37%),
1,8-cineole (6.40-12.06%), β-thujone (1.5-10.35%), camphene
(2.26-9.97%), borneol (0.97-8.81%), viridi orol (3.46-7.8%),
limonene (1.8-6.47%), α-pinene (1.59-5.46%), and α-humulene
(1.77-5.02%) (Stešević et al., 2014).  e essential oils yield ranged
from 1.84 to 2.84%. Cvetkovic et al. (2015) analysed 17 indi-
geous S. o cinalis populations and eight cultivated/naturalized
ones from nine Balkan countries.  e essential oil yield ranged
from 0.25 to 3.48%, whereas southeastern populations tended to
have higher essential oil yields than the northwestern ones.  e
correlation between essential oil composition and geographical
distance between indigenous populations was not signi cant.
Perry et al. (1999) analyzed essential oil variations among
individuals, plant parts, sites and season.  ey grouped the es-
sential oils in three chemotypes, according to the total amount
of thujone (high, 39-44%; middle, 22-28%; low, 9%) and the ratio
of α- and β-thujone (α/β 10:1; 1.5:1; 1:10). Tucker and Maciarello
(1990) suggested that S. o cinalis essential oil should be divided
into  ve chemotypes, depending on the amount of main com-
pounds: (1) camphor > α-thujone > 1,8-cineole > β-thujone; (2)
camphor > α-thujone > β-thujone > 1,8-cineole; (3) β-thujone >
camphor > 1,8-cineole > α-thujone; (4) 1,8-cineole > camphor >
α-thujone > β-thujone and 5) α-thujone > camphor > β-thujone
> 1,8-cineole.
Wide variation in essential oil composition was determined
in the investigation of Bernotiené et al. (2007).  e analysis was
performed on the essential oils of samples collected from eight
gardens in Eastern Lithuania.  e quantity of particular compo-
nents in t he analyzed essential oils varied 2 to 25 times. Essential
oils were prepared by the hydro - distillation of air-dried plant
and analyzed by gas chromatography. In this case, the diterpen
manool was dominant constituent (14.4-20.9%) in two samples,
1,8-cineole (12.4-17.6 %) and β-thujone (12.6%) in two samples.
e second major compound was viridi orol (11.2-16.5%) in four
samples, manool (10.3-11.5%) in two samples, and α-thujone
(11.5%) and β-caryophyllene (9%) in one sample. Similar in-
vestigation was performed on S. o cinalis samples collected
on di erent localities in Vilnius district, Lithuania (Mockuté et
al., 2003). A total of 89 compounds was identi ed, accounting
to 97.5-98.2% of total constituents.  e authors reported that
main constituents of the essential oils were 1,8-cineole (6.8-
8.2%), α-thujone (14.8-19.0%), borneol (6.6-8.0%), α-humulene
(7.6-8.7%), virido orol (7.2-8.2%) and manool (6.4-10.4%). Other
limited compounds, such as α-pinene, camphene, limonene,
1,8-cineole, camphor, linalool and its derivates, bornyl acetate
and α-humulene as well as the α- and β-thujone, ful lled the re-
quirements of ISO 9909 standard (Bruneton, 1999).
Quantitative and qualitative compositions of essential oils are
greatly in uenced by environmental conditions such as temper-
ature, day length, light intensity (Figueiredo et al., 2008), water
availability, salinity, etc. According to Bernáth et al., (1991) both
biomass and essential oil yields are reduced in cold and shady
environments and in general, essential oil concentration tends to
be higher in warmer and drier regions (Kargiolaki et al., 1994).
E ect of light intensity on essential oil yield and composition was
investigated by Li Yan Li et al. (1996).  e plants were grown in
various light conditions (shade or without shade, 15%, 27%, 45%
and 100% of sunlight).  e plants grown at 45% of full sunlight
had the highest level of essential oil (0.38% FW) with higher
content of β-thujone and a decreased accumulation of camphor
in comparison to the essential oils grown at other light levels.
According to Putievsky (1986) cit. Burmeister and Guttenbetg
(1960), a long dry period in vegetative phase may result in higher
production of essential oil. Bettaieb (2009) studied the e ect of
di erent water de cit levels (moderate water de cit; MWD and
severe water de cit; SWD) on essential oil composition and
yield. MWD increased the essential oil yield and the main es-
sential oil constituents were camphor, α-thujone and 1.8-cineole.
Under these conditions biosynthesis of these main compounds
increased as well.  e in uence of soil salinity on yield and com-
position of essential oil was investigated by numerous scientists
(Solinas and Deiana, 1996; Tabatabie and Nazari, 2007; Taarit
et al., 2009).  e results of Taarit et al. (2009) showed that the
increase of NaCl level up to 100 mM signi cantly decreases the
plant growth (65%) and content of essential oil. On the other
hand the content of essential oil signi cantly increased at 75 mM
NaCl. At 25 mM NaCl viridi orol was predominant compound
and at 50 and 75 mM NaCl 1, 8-cineole, while at 100 mM NaCl
manool was the predominant compound. Environmental con-
ditions change greatly during the vegetation period, leading to
a pattern of seasonal variation in active compounds content. In
Dalmatian sage, the monoterpenes 1,8-cineole, camphor, and the
α and β-thujone show pronounced dynamics during a vegetative
cycle (Pitarevic, 1984). According to Grausgruber-Gröger et al.
(2012) 1,8-cineole steadily decreases approximately from May
to October while α and β-thujone content increases gradually
during the vegetative period and the highest concentration of
camphor is in the middle of the vegetative period. Perry et al.
(1999) found the lowest total thujone levels (25%) around  ow-
ering in spring and summer. Similar results were obtained by
Bouverat-Bernier and Marquis (1993) where lower thujone and
camphor levels were determined in  owering stage of the plants
but higher levels of β-pinene and 1,8-cineole. Numerous authors
report the highest essential oil yield a er  owering is complete
(Pitarevic et al., 1984; Putievsky et al., 1986; Hay, 1993). e
same results were obtained in the study Maric at al. (2006).  e
authors investigated the in uence of development stages and
locality altitudes on essential oil composition and yield. 
e oil
yield between vegetative period, prior to  owering and a er the
owering greatly di ered whereas the highest yield was noticed
a er the  owering of the plants. Lakušić et al. (2013) analysed
variations in the yield and composition of essential oil in leaves,
in two genotypes of di erent geographic origin and in various
phenological stages.  ey determined signi cant impact of both
factors.  ere were large variations in the essential oil yields in
three distinguished phenological phases (young leaves, early old
leaves and late old leaves) ranging from 0.2-2.9%. Furthermore,
leaves of the same plant in di erent stages of development syn-
thesized di erent essential oil types. In the young leaves collect-
ed in April sesquiterpenes were dominant (50.7-57.0%), while in
Agric. conspec. sci. Vol.  () No. 
73
Dalmatian Sage (Salvia officinalis L.): A Review of Biochemical Contents, Medical Properties and Genetic Diversity
later development stages increased the amount of monoterpenes
(55.4-88.4%). Essential oils analyzed in the same stages di ered
among genotypes.
Avato et al. (2005) investigated the essential oil composition
in micropropagated S. o cinalis plants.  e major compounds
of the essential in all analyzed samples, but in di erent extent,
were 1,8-cineol, camphor, borneol, bornyl acetate, camphene, α-
and β-thujone, linalool, α- and β-caryophyllene, α- humulene,
α- and β-pinene, viridi orol and pimaradiene.  ey determined
variations in α and β-thujones and camphor contents in di er-
ent physiological stages of development.  e amount of camphor
was high and inversely correlated with the total thujones content.
Various studies have demonstrated that the essential oils iso-
lated from  owers, leaves and stems di er in composition.  e
results of the research by Santos-Gomes and Fernandes-Ferreira
(2001) showed that  ower oil contains less α-thujone, camphor
and viridi orol than the oil extracted from leaves. An opposite
correlation was found for borneol. Viridi orol was among the  ve
major constituent of the oil isolated from the leaves. Moreover,
the leaves growing on di erent position on the plants produced
essential oils containing di erent amounts of particular com-
pounds.  e α-tujon was the major compound of the leaves es-
sential oil from Albania (Asllani, 2000). In investigations of
Couladis et al. (2002) the major compound of the  ower essen-
tial oil from Serbia and Montenegro was diterpene manool.  e
essential oils isolated from  owers, leaves and stems, originat-
ing from southeast Serbia, had similar composition (Veličković
et al., 2003), with manool as the predominant component (9.0-
11.1%). Perry et al. (1999) reported higher essential oil yield,
higher β-pinen contents and lower thujone levels in the  ower-
ing parts of S. o cinalis than in the leaves (1.6 vs. 1.1%; 27 vs.
10% and 16 vs. 31%, respectively).
Piccaglia and Marotti (1989) studied the e ect of soil ferti-
lization on S. o cinalis essential oil composition.  e authors
determined that various concentrations of fertilizers a ect con-
centrations of β-thujone, camphor, p-cymene, β-caryophyllene,
α-humulene and caryophyllene oxide.  e extraction proce-
dure and extraction agents (Veličković et al., 2006), distillation
(Mastelić, 2001) and drying (Venskutonis, 1997) are among
other factors that a ect the yield and composition of S. o ci-
nalis essential oils.
Medical properties
e species is a well-known medicinal and culinary herb,
widely used in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic indus-
tries.  e areal parts (Salvia folium) are included in several
European Pharmacopeias and the council of Europe lists the
drug as a natural source for food  avoring (Council of Europe,
European Pharmacopeia, seventh ed., 2010). It has been used as
an antidiabetic (Swanston-Flatt et al., 1991; Eidi and Eidi, 2009;
Hamidpour et al., 2013), antioxidans (Nickavar et al., 2007; Yadav
and Mukundan, 2011), anti-in ammatory (Baricevic et al., 2001),
antimicrobial (Khalil and Li, 2011), antiviral (Schnitzler et al.,
2008; Smidling et al., 2008), gastroprotective and antimutagen
(Patenković et al., 2009) agent. Also, it has been proven to be ef-
fective in cardiovascular and cancer diseases (Itani et al., 2008;
Pedro et al., 2010; Keshavarz et al., 2011) and in the treatment
of mental and nervous conditions (Baricevic and Bartol, 2000;
Perry et al., 2003; Iuvone et al., 2006; Eidi et al., 2006; Khan et
al., 2011).
Preparations of S. o cinalis leaves have traditionally been
used as a remedy against diabetes.  e potential anti-diabetic
properties of S. o cinalis extract against type I and type II dia-
betes were investigated by Swanston-Flatt et al. (1991).  e results
have shown that ethanol extracts of S. o cinalis signi cantly
reduce the blood glucose in healthy rats and decrease hyper-
glycemia in type I diabetic rats (Alarcon-Aguilar et al., 2002).
Moreover, Eidi et al. (2005) found that methanolic extract of S.
o cinalis diminish serum glucose in type I diabetes, without
a ecting pancreatic insulin production. In addition, Lima et al.
(2006) have noticed that tea-infusion of S. o cinalis reduces liver
glucose production and increases the action of insulin in type II
diabetes, similar as metformin, which is o en used in clinical
treatment of diabetes. Furthermore, Eidi and Eidi (2009) have
found that oral administration of S. o cinalis extract exerts re-
markable lowering of serum glucose, trigycerides, total choles-
terol, urea, uric acid creatinine, AST, ALT and increase plasma
insulin in dose-dependent manner in diabetic rats.  e activ-
ity of S. o cinalis extract was similar to the glibenclamide, the
standard antidiabetic drug. Broadhurst et al. (2000) have dem-
onstrated insulin-like activity of aqueous extract of S. o cinalis.
Antioxidants play a major role in the protection of the body
from oxidative stress and free-radical damages, which cause
various illnesses such as diabetes, heart disorders, cancer, dys-
function of brain, weakened immune system, etc. (Eidi et al.,
2005; Yadav and Mukundan, 2011). Numerous studies showed
that variety of plants, among them S. o cinalis exhibits anti-
oxidant and free radical scavenging activity.  e avonoid and
phenolic plant compounds are the strongest antioxidant agents
(Nickavar et al., 2007; Yadav and Mukundan, 2011; Hussain et
al. 2011). Phenolic compounds found in the ethanol extract of S.
o cinalis are carnosol, carnosic and rosmaric acids, rosmadial,
rosmanol, epirosmanol, methyl carnosate, luteolin-7-O-beta-
glucopyranoside (Aleksovski and Sovova, 2007) and co eic acid
(Cuvelier et al., 1996). However, intensive studies of S. o cinalis
antioxidant activity resulted in knowledge that the rosmaric and
carnosic acids mainly contribute to this activity (Lu and Yeap
Foo, 2000; 2001). Moreover, Lu and Yeap Foo (2000) have proven
that salvianolic acid, the dimmer of rosmaric acid also exerts
very signi cant antioxidant and free radical scavenger activities.
Stanojević et al. (2010) found that aqueous extract of S. o cinalis
may improve the liver antioxidant status in two weeks. Due to
antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities S. o cinalis
might be an important source of food additives (Babović et al.,
2010). Apart from antioxidative activity, phenolic compounds
and  avonoids are also known for their anti-in ammatory and
antimicrobial activities.  us, the variety actions of S. o cinalis
can be attributed to the content of these compounds. Veličković
et al. (2003) examined potential antimicrobial activities of S. of-
cinalis
ower, leaves and stems extracts that showed remarkable
activity against Bacillus mycodis, Bacillus subtilis, Enterobacter
cloacae and Proteus sp. (Itani et al., 2008). In addition Khal il et al.
(2011) determined a signi cant antibacterial activity of S. o ci-
nalis extract against the bacteria resistant to the antibiotics.  is
Agric. conspec. sci. Vol.  () No. 
74 Martina GRDIŠA, Marija JUG-DUJAKOVIĆ, Matija LONČARIĆ, Klaudija CAROVIĆ-STANKO, Tonka NINČEVIĆ,
Zlatko LIBER, Ivan RADOSAVLJEVIĆ, Zlatko ŠATOVIĆ
knowledge made a S. o cinalis a good alternative for traditional
antibiotics and food preservatives. Study of Kermanshah et al.
(2009) have shown that the hydroalcoholic extract of S. o cinalis
inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus rham-
nosus and Actinomyces viscosus, bacteria causing dental caries.
e results support the use of S. o cinalis as a natural remedy
for treatment of mouth and teeth diseases, instead of chemical
solutions. George et al. (2009) demonstrated the e ectiveness
of herbal toothpaste with S. o cinalis extract in the control of
plaques and gingivitis. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of S. of-
cinalis were also e ective against herpes simplex virus type 1
and 2 (Schnitzlera et al., 2008; Smidling et al., 2008).
Mayer et al. (2009) examined the gastro-protective action of
hydroalcoholic extracts of S. o cinalis. It was shown that the
extracts prevent gastric mucosal lesions, reduce gastric secretion
and inhibit the H+,K--ATP-aze activity. Medical use of S. o ci-
nalis was also examined in diarrhea and abdominal spasm by in
vivo and in vitro tests (Khan et al., 2011).  e study demonstrated
that a crude extract of S. o cinalis protects from diarrhea with
gut relaxation.  ese results provide the pharmacological base
for medicinal use of S. o cinalis in treatment of gut disorders,
such as diarrhea and abdominal colic.
Patenković et al. (2009) demonstrated potential antimuta-
genic e ect of S. o cinalis tea whose mode of action might be
through suppression of metabolism by antioxidative action. On
the basis of these  ndings, the anticancerogen activity of S. of-
cinalis was also investigated. As it is known, cancer is char-
acterized by uncontrolled proliferation, and needs a potential
for producing a new blood vessels (angiogenesis) for nutrients
supply (Keshavarz et al., 2011). Study of Keshavarz has shown
that extract of S. o cinalis at pharmacological concentrations
in vivo inhibited angiogenesis, which should be a novel start for
development of a new anti-angiogenic drugs. Earlier it was re-
ported that urosolic acid in S. o cinalis inhibits angiogenesis,
tumor invasion and metastasis, and suppresses the lung colo-
nization of B16 melanoma (Jedinak et al., 2006). Prevention of
colon cancer was examined on rats treated with S. o cinalis tea
(Pedro et al., 2010). It was noticed that water extract of S. o ci-
nalis remarkably decreases DNA damage in vitro. Some diter-
penoids isolated from the roots of S. o cinalis showed strong
cytotoxic and DNA damage activities in human colon carcino-
ma (Caco2) and hepatoma (HepG2) (Hadri et al., 2010). Same
authors have demonstrated that sesquiterpene fraction of the
essential oil with α-humulene exerts a strong cytotoxic activity
in human prostate cancer cells (LNCaP). In addition, trans-car-
iophyllene, a main component of sesquiterpene fraction, exhib-
ited a strong cytotoxic e ect on melanotic melanoma and renal
adenocarcinoma cells.
S. o cinalis has been used in folk medicine (Bommer et
al., 2011) as well as in clinical trials (Walch et al., 2011) for sup-
pressing the menopause symptoms.  ese include hot  ashes,
insomnia, night-time sweating, dizziness, headaches and pal-
pitations. Application of a fresh S. o cinalis extract once a day
demonstrated a good clinical value regarding safety, e cacy and
tolerability in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. S. o ci-
nalis is also known for bene cial e ects on memory disorders,
depression and cerebral ischemia (Perry et al., 2003). S. o cinalis
has also been used in treating Alzheimer’s disease, whereas es-
sential oil acts as inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, which may
play a role in the loss of memory associated with the disease, and
enhances the acetylcholine, neurotransmitter substance in the
transferring signal between the synapses in the brain (Ferreira
et al., 2006). Furthemore, a variety of studies has shown that S.
o cinalis improves memory a nd cognition (Tildesley et al., 2005;
Eidi et al., 2006). In addition, the aroma of essential oil in u-
ences mood and cognition and produces remarkable enhance-
ment of quality memory factor (Moss et al., 2010). S. o cinalis
can be used in skin care to relieve sores, wound, bumps, cuts
and other skin injuries. Its embrocation is helpful in relieving
muscular pain. It can also be used as a lotion or compress for
wounds (Fluck, 1988) and ulcers (Grieve 1984). It is a good hair
tonic and the infusion can be rubbed on to the scalp every other
day for healthy hair.  e essential oil is used in perfumes as a
deodorant. Apart from its medical uses S. o
cinalis is used for
avoring meat,  sh and poultry dishes and the amount of sage
leaf consumed as a culinary herb in food presents no hazard.
Use of S. o cinalis in prescribed doses is safe and there are no
reports of negative side e ects (Tildesley et al., 2005).  erefore,
recommended doses should never be exceeded and preparations
of S. o cinalis should not be used for prolonged periods.  e
adverse e ect is caused by high content of thujones (Baricevic et
al., 2001), hence its overdose can lead to a permanent damage of
the nervous system and cause dementia and seizures.  eir per-
mitted proportion is 0.0005 g/kg (Tisserand and Balacs, 1995).
Pure essential oil should never be consumed and sage prepara-
tions should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation.
It has been employed as an ornamental garden plant
(Armitage, 1997) and several cultivars were developed for that
purpose. Furthermore, cultivation of S. o cinalis can bring a
double bene t. In addition to preventing erosion (Kušan, 1941;
Tuca kov, 1984) S. o cinalis plants are grazed by bees that pro-
duce honey with characteristic aroma and high medical value
(Devetak, 1950; Tucakov, 1984).
Genetic diversity
Molecular genetic studies of S. o cinalis are limited and
mostly focused on the analysing of localized wild populations.
Židovec (2004) and Liber et al. (2014) analysed genetic diversity
and structure of ten populations from the East-Adriatic coastal
region using Random Ampli ed Polymorphic DNA markers
(RAPD).  e Ampli ed fragment length polymorphism markers
(AFLP) were employed in the ana lysis of 25 natural S. o cinalis
populations (Jug-Dujaković, 2010), covering the distributional
range of S. o cinalis in Croatia with two populations being from
Bosnia and Herzegovina. All the abovementioned investigations
revealed high genetic diversity levels of natural S. o cinalis.  e
isolation and characterization of speci c S. o cinalis microsat-
ellite loci was recently provided by Molecular Ecology Resources
Primer Development Consortium et a l. (2010) and Radosavljević
et al. (2011).  e developed SSRs were used in assessing genetic
diversity, population structure, geographic di erentiation, the
occurrence of demographic bottlenecks, and ecotypic diver-
gence of wild S. o cinalis from the east Adriatic coastal region.
e authors also examined the transferability of S. o cinalis
Agric. conspec. sci. Vol.  () No. 
75
Dalmatian Sage (Salvia officinalis L.): A Review of Biochemical Contents, Medical Properties and Genetic Diversity
microsatellite markers to the analysis of S. fruticosa, S. praten-
sis L., S. sclarea L., S. verticillata L., and Rosmarinus o cinalis
L.  e results have shown that the developed SSRs are poten-
tially useful for the analysis of closely related species, especially
S. fruticosa. Moreover, Radosavljević et al. (2012) tested the de-
veloped SSRs on the natural S. brachyodon populations; whereas
15 out of 30 developed SSRs were successfully ampli ed. More
recently Stojanović et al. (2015) performed a plastid DNA-based
phylogeographic survey on eight S. o cinalis populations from
Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia with the aim of elucidating
the origin (anthropogenic vs natural) of four disjunct inland
populations.  e authors found seven haplotypes and high total
gene diversity (HT = 0.695) and genetic di erentiation (GST =
0.682). Moreover, two lineages, a sub-structured inland-Adriatic
lineage and a purely Adriatic lineage have been determined, with
the latter being less diverse (Hd = 0.426 vs.0.403). On the basis
of their  ndings as well as previous scienti c data assumptions
on their anthropogenic origin were rejected. Genetic analysis of
cultivated forms of S. o cinalis is also very scarce. Mader et al.
(2010) analysed genetic structure of nineteen S. o cinalis gen-
ebank accessions of di erent origin with RAPD, SNP and SSR
markers, Böszörmenyi et al. (2009) investigated chemical and
genetic relationships among S. o cinalis cultivars using GC-FID,
GC-MS and RAPD markers and Bazina et al. (2002) compared
the genetic patterns, assessed by RAPD markers and volatile oil
composition in S. o cinalis clones.  e RAPD markers were also
employed in assessing genetic relationships between commer-
cial cultivars and Brazilian landrace accessions of S. o cinalis
(Echeverrigaray and Agostini, 2006).
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acs80_10
... Dalmatian sage (hereinafter referred to as "sage") originates from the northern Mediterranean coast, where it grows abundantly on dry calcareous rocky soil. It belongs to a group of Balkan-Apennine endemic species, which is indigenously distributed in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania with outmost southern populations in northern Greece and disjunctive populations in southern Serbia and west part of North Macedonia (Jug-Dujaković et al., 2012;Grdiša et al., 2015;Rešetnik et al., 2016). However, it is commonly cultivated around the world, especially in Europe and North America (Ghorbani and Esmaeilizadeh, 2017) as valuable medicinal, culinary, honey and ornamental plant ( Figure 2). ...
... epitomizes the importance of cultivation at that time (Dweck, 2000;Kamatou et al., 2008). In the early middle ages, S. officinalis was mandatory plant in all Catholic monasteries (Grdiša et al., 2015). Even today, S. officinalis enjoys the reputation of powerful medicinal herb which is extensively examined for its pharmacological properties and as a source of biologically active components. ...
... Sage has been appreciated as one of the most powerful medicinal plants for thousands of years, furthermore, ancient Greeks considered it as panacea and ancient Romans -a "holy plant" (Grdiša et al., 2015;Sharma et al., 2019). Literature survey showed that sage leaves were more frequently used in comparison with the whole plant and other individual plant parts (root, flower, stem, buds). ...
Chapter
Salvia officinalis L. (Dalmatian sage, common sage, garden sage) (Lamiaceae), is well known from ancient times due to its prominent healing and flavoring properties. This species is native to the northern Mediterranean coast, however it is cultivated worldwide as valuable medicinal, culinary, honey and ornamental plant. Tea prepared from sage leaves is extensively used in traditional medicine for treatment of throat and skin inflammations, mild dyspepsia, ulcers, seizure, gout, rheumatism, dizziness, tremor, convulsion, hyperglycemia, excessive sweating, age-related cognitive disorders, to boost immune system etc. In recent years, numerous studies have been focused on the scientific confirmation of traditional usage of this herb and on searching and identifying the sage active principles. Up to date, chemical composition and diverse biological effects of sage essential oil, different extracts, as well as their individual components have been reported. Sage possesses antimicrobial, antioxidant, carminative, astringent, antihydrotic, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, anticancer, antidiabetic, memory-enhancing and many other health beneficial properties. As main active principles of sage, constituents of the essential oil, diterpenes, phenolic acids, flavonoids and tannins have already been identified. As the most extensively revealed bioactivities, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic and antineurodegenerative effects of essential oil and extracts are reviewed in this chapter. The long-time usage and contemporary discoveries proved S. officinalis as an invaluable source of health promoting substances.
... Its essential oil is a complex mixture usually rich in many biologically active compounds mainly α-and β-thujone, camphor, 1,8cineole and borneol, α-pinene, α-humulene and βcaryophyllene. [12,13] Several studies have investigated the potential anti-diabetic properties of different extracts of Salvia officinalis collected from different regions. [14][15][16] For instance, the treatment of diet-induced obese (DIO) mice with Tunisian methanol extract of S. officinalis (100 and 400 mg kg −1 /day bid), or rosiglitazone (3 mg kg−1 /day bid), showed that methanol extract at the lowest dose exhibits similar effects to rosiglitazone. ...
... First, hydro-distillation of air-dried leaves of Lebanese cultivated S. officinalis resulted in an EO yield of 1.75% w/w, higher than that obtained from Lebanese endemic S. libanotica (0.86% w/w) on a dry weight basis. This can be explained by the fact that, among different Salvia species, S. officinalis is known to have the highest essential oil yield (up to 3%) [12,13] Our results were close to the literature findings in the same conditions. Belhadj et al (2018) reported that S. officinalis leaves collected from Tunisia yielded 1.53% of EO. [14] Similarly, Lebanese S. libanotica has been reported to yield 0.7% of EO during pre-flowering stages, a value close to that obtained in our study (0.86%). ...
... Salvia officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) is a long-lived perennial subshrubby sub-Mediterranean species, occurring in many southern European countries, from Spain to Ukraine (Euro + Med 2006Pignatti et al. 2017Pignatti et al. -2019. Known since ancient times for its medicinal properties, S. officinalis has been traditionally cultivated and used as folk medicine, spice, food and ornamental plant (Grdiša et al. 2015). Having been spread and cultivated throughout Europe, it is often difficult to distinguish natural from naturalized populations (Pignatti et al. 2017(Pignatti et al. -2019. ...
... MSEO and SOEO chemical compounds were reported by numerous studies [36][37][38][39]. ese investigations showed the richness of SOEO by thujone, caryophyllene camphor, eucalyptol, α-pinene, β-myrcene, borneol, and c-terpinene as main compounds and MSEO by pulegone, limonene, camphor, menthone, α-pinene, and thujone as main compounds. ...
Article
Full-text available
This work evaluated in vitro antioxidant, antidiabetic, and antibacterial properties of Salvia officinalis (S. officinalis) and Mentha suaveolens (M. suaveolens) essential oils (EO). The EOs were extracted, and their chemical composition was determined using GC-MS analysis. The in vitro antioxidant, antidiabetic, and antibacterial activities of S. officinalis and M. suaveolens EO were shown to be remarkable. Furthermore, S. officinalis EO demonstrated better antioxidant findings (using DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP test) than M. suaveolens EO ( p < 0.5 ). There were no significant differences in the inhibitory effects of the EOs on α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities in the antidiabetic assays. All of the examined bacterial strains (10 different strains), with the exception of P. aeruginosa, demonstrated significant sensitivity to the tested EOs, with M. suaveolens EO exhibiting better activity than S. officinalis EO. Thus, the research indicated that EO from these two medicinal plants has considerable potential for application in the formulation of antibacterial, antioxidant, and antidiabetic pharmaceuticals. However, more research studies are required to interpret the pharmacologic action of the studied EOs and their principal constituents and to confirm their safety.
... Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) is a perennial plant with the woody stems and a blue-purple flower (Miraj & Kiani, 2016), originating from the Mediterranean region, which can grow to a height of 60 cm (Grdiša et al., 2015). Sage is a rich source of bioactive compounds, terpene, phenolic compounds, carbohydrates, alkaloids, polyacetylene, steroids, glycoside derivatives, and waxes (Ghorbani & Esmaeilizadeh, 2017), and their content depends on geographical location and stage of plant development (Lakušić et al., 2013). ...
Article
Valorization of waste materials became an important economical and ecological aspect of the sustainable development. Sage herb has been well known for antimicrobial properties, so the use as antimicrobial agent has a lot of potential in food industry. In this work, sage herbal dust essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation and supercritical fluid extraction, and supercritical fluid extract were screened for antimicrobial effect against L. monocytogenes ATCC 15313 in minced pork. Application of supercritical fluid extract had lower antimicrobial effect of 1 log CFU/ml in a meat simulation medium, compared to the essential oils (2.5‐3.5 log CFU/ml). On the other hand, all analysed samples showed statistically significant reduce of the L. monocytogenes growth in minced pork. Sage herbal dust essential oil and supercritical fluid extract have the potential for control of L. monocytogenes growth in minced pork during storage up to 6 days at refrigerating temperature.
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Functional beverages based on herbal extracts are highly demanded products due to the presence of bioactives with promising health benefits and interesting and characteristic sensory properties. Mediterranean medicinal and aromatic herbs contain a wide range of bioactives (non-volatile polyphenols, volatile terpenes) that are important constituents of herbal extracts and essential oils. The antioxidant capacity and potential health benefits of these bioactives could be associated with their synergistic effects. Therefore, this study aimed to characterize the non-volatile and volatile bioactives of sage (Salvia officinalis L.), wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.) and laurel (Laurus nobilis L.) aqueous extracts and their two- and three-component mixtures as well as their antioxidant capacity. The content of total phenols, flavonoids, hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonols was determined spectrophotometrically. Individual polyphenols were analyzed by LC-MS/MS, the volatiles were analyzed by HS-SPME/GC-MS, and the antioxidant capacity was analyzed by ORAC and DPPH assays. The results showed that aqueous extracts of all examined herbs and their mixtures contained a high content of phenolic compounds ranging from 0.97 to 2.79 g L−1 of the sample, among which the most common were flavonols. At the same time, mono- and sesquiterpenes were the main volatiles. All extracts showed high antioxidant capacity, especially L. nobilis (781.62 ± 5.19 μmol TE mL−1 of the sample in the DPPH assay; 1896.10 ± 8.77 μmol TE mL−1 of the sample in the ORAC assay) and the two-component mixture of L. nobilis and T. serpyllum (679.12 ± 5.19 μmol TE mL−1 in the DPPH assay; 1913.38 ± 8.77 μmol TE mL−1 in the ORAC assay). Mixtures of herbal extracts have been shown to possess additive or synergistic effects, consequently contributing to higher antioxidant capacity. Therefore, two-component mixtures of herbal extracts showed promising potential for the production of functional beverages.
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Herbal teas contribute to human health as a dietary source of phenolic compounds, with health benefits thought to be associated with these bioactive compounds. Commercially consumed sage (Salvia officinalis) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita) teas, purchased in bulk packaging, were used in this research aimed for phenolic content and antioxidant activity determination. Water and ethanol (30:70 v/v) were used as extraction solvents. The extraction was carried out at four different temperatures, 50 ℃, 60 ℃, 70 ℃ and 80 ℃, respectively. Phenolic content was determinated using Folin-Ciocalteu spectrophotometric method and the pFRAP method was used for antioxidant activity determination. Extraction with ethanol at 80 ℃, which was established to be optimum for both teas, resulted in higher phenolic content, as well as higher antioxidant activity, with max TPC in sage teas (1197.08 ± 86.27 mg GAE/100g) and chamomile teas (1133.78 ± 74.04 mg GAE/100g). Antioxidant activity of sage teas was higher than chamomile teas, 550.35 ± 16.56 mg GAE/100g for ethanol extracts and 456.70 ± 30.72 mg GAE/100g for aqueous extracts of sage. Positive correlation was noted between phenolic content and antioxidant activity in sage and chamomile teas. Experimental results indicate that phenolic content can provide substantial antioxidant activity as well as that sage and chamomile teas could be a good alternative as dietary source of bioactive compounds with high antioxidative power.
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Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) is not found in Turkey's natural flora; however, its cultivation has been increasing in recent years. The species is widely cultivated in many provinces of the Aegean and the Mediterranean regions. There has been no information regarding genetic characteristics and the intra-individual phylogeny of cultivated sage. The levels of genetic relatedness of 19 Salvia samples from Izmir were determined by molecular tools. The sequences from the internal transcriber spacer (ITS) region of 18S–28S nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) locus were amplified by PCR and sequenced. Approximately, a 710 bp single amplified product was obtained in all genotypes. Of the nineteen Salvia specimens, six were identified as Salvia x sylvestris L. and the remaining 13 specimens were S. officinalis. The sequences of both species shared no similar secondary structures. The ITS region of all specimens contains several indels and substitutions. In the phylogenetic dendrogram, three major clusters (I, II, and III) and two independent branches (IV and V) were observed. Ninety-seven percent of local Salvia specimens were clustered in two branches (I and II), indicating a high diversity of genetic relatedness. Sequence divergence was higher among the specimens of S. officinalis than the specimens of Salvia x sylvestris.
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The essential oils from fresh plant materials of Salvia officinalis L. (sage) were subjected to GC/MS analysis in order to determine the impact of the locality altitudes and seasonal variations on their volatile constituents. The sage plant materials were collected from two different localities (altitudes 110 and 400 m) in central Herzegovina near Mostar and at four different stages of development: vegetative period (leaves and stalks, January 2003), prior to flowering (leaves and stalks, April 2003), in the course of flowering (flowering tops, leaves and stalks, May 2003) and after flowering (leaves and stalks, August 2003). The oil yields varied from 0.29% to 1.07%. The qualitative composition of the components appeared to be constant. However, there were notable differences in the amounts of several compounds depending at the stages of plant development. The main components were -thujone (9.3-35.6%), camphor (6.9-29.1%) and viridiflorol (6.0-24.0%). Other important components were -humulene (3.1-13.6), manool (3.0-13.3%), 1,8-cineole (8.6-12.7%) and borneol (2.0-5.5%).
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Aromatic plants represent a renewable source of flavouring substances which can be employed in food industry, in perfumery and in pharmaceutical preparations. In this research, several aromatic plants typical of the Mediterranean area, were studied and their oil content and quality were evaluated. In particular, the composition of the essential oils was established by GC and GC/MS and its possible changes due to the effects of some agricultural practices, environmental conditions and plant development stages were studied. Relevant differences in the oil compositions due to different climatic conditions were observed in Satureja montana L. am/Thymus vulgaris L. crops grown in two successive years and changes in oil compositions were found in Salvia officinalis L., Foeniculum vulgare Mill. and Mentha x piperita L. harvested at different development stages. On the basis of oil composition, three chemotypes were evidenced among ten samples of Ocimum basilicum L. and the chemotypes of S. montana and T. vulgaris were established.