In-vitro activity of S. lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) relevant to treatment of Alzheimer's disease

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2001 Oct;53(10):1347-56. doi: 10.1211/0022357011777846.


Salvia lavandulaefolia Vahl. (Spanish sage) essential oil and individual monoterpenoid constituents have been shown to inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase in-vitro and in-vivo. This activity is relevant to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, since anticholinesterase drugs are currently the only drugs available to treat Alzheimer's disease. Other activities relevant to Alzheimer's disease include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and estrogenic effects. Results of in-vitro tests for these activities are reported here for S. lavandulaefolia extracts, the essential oil and its major constituents. Antioxidant activity (inhibition of bovine brain liposome peroxidation) was found in the EtOH extract of the dried herb (5 mg mL(-1)) and the monoterpenoids (0.1 M) alpha- and beta-pinene and 1,8-cineole. Thujone and geraniol had lower antioxidant effects, while camphor had no antioxidant effects. Possible anti-inflammatory activity (eicosanoid inhibition in rat leucocytes) was found in the EtOH extract (50 microg mL(-1)) and was shown by the monoterpenoids alpha-pinene and geraniol (0.2 mM), but not 1,8-cineole, thujone or camphor. Possible estrogenic activity (via induction of beta-galactosidase activity in yeast cells) was found in the essential oil (0.01 mg mL(-1)) and the monoterpenoid geraniol (0.1-2 mM). 1,8-Cineole, alpha- and beta-pinene and thujone did not exhibit estrogenic activity in this analysis. These results demonstrate that S. lavandulaefolia, its essential oil and some chemical constituents have properties relevant to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and provide further data supporting the value of carrying out clinical studies in patients with Alzheimer's disease using this plant species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Eicosanoids / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Eicosanoids / biosynthesis
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isoflavones*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations
  • Receptors, Estrogen / drug effects
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Salvia / chemistry*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antioxidants
  • Eicosanoids
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal
  • Isoflavones
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Preparations
  • Receptors, Estrogen