Seasonal variations of phenolic compounds and biological properties in sage (Salvia officinalis L.)

Chem Biodivers. 2012 Feb;9(2):441-57. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201100219.


The aim was to investigate the phenolic content, antioxidant capacity, and antibacterial activity of Dalmatian sage (Salvia officinalis L.) leaves collected during different vegetation periods. Separation and quantification of the individual phenols were performed by reversed-phase (RP)-HPLC coupled with a PDA (photodiode array) detector and using an internal standard, while the contents of total phenols, flavonoids, flavones, and flavonols were determined spectrophotometrically. The antioxidant properties of the sage leaf extracts were evaluated using five different antioxidant assays (FRAP, DPPH, ABTS, Briggs-Rauscher reaction, and β-carotene bleaching). The antimicrobial activity of the extracts was tested against two Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus) and two Gram-negative (Salmonella Infantis and Escherichia coli) bacterial reference strains. All extracts were extremely rich in phenolic compounds, and provided good antioxidant and antibacterial properties, but the phenophase in which the leaves were collected affected the phenolic composition of the sage extracts and consequently their biological activity. The May Extract, the richest in total flavonoids, showed the best antioxidant properties and the highest antimicrobial activity. Thus, collection of the plants during May seems the best choice for further use of them in the pharmaceutical and food industry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Phenols / isolation & purification
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Salvia officinalis / chemistry*
  • Seasons*
  • beta Carotene / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • beta Carotene