Chronic food administration of Salvia sclarea oil reduces animals' anxious and dominant behavior

J Med Food. 2013 Mar;16(3):216-22. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0137. Epub 2013 Feb 27.


Recent studies indicate that an oil extract from Salvia sclarea may provide clinical benefits in various pathological conditions. In comparison to extracts from other Salvia species, S. sclarea oil contains twice as much omega-3 fatty acids, which are involved in eicosanoid synthesis pathways, and has been found to contain significant levels of the psychoactive monoterpane linalool. In the present study, we examined the mood stabilizing and anxiolytic-like effects of chronic food administration of S. sclarea oil extract on behavioral and physiological parameters of mice with prominent dominant and submissive features in behavioral assays used to test mood stabilizing and antidepressant drugs. Experimental animals received oil supplemented food from the age of 4 weeks or from conception via their pregnant dams. Each age group received either S. sclarea oil- or sunflower oil-enriched feed. Dominant animals, whose pregnant mothers received S. sclarea oil-enriched feed from the date of conception, showed a significant reduction of dominant and anxiety-like behavior, in comparison to their sunflower oil-treated counterparts. S. sclarea oil-treated submissive animals exhibited a similar tendency, and showed a significant reduction in blood corticosterone levels. These findings enforce the hypothesis that S. sclarea oil possesses anxiolytic properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety / blood
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Salvia / chemistry*
  • Sunflower Oil


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Plant Oils
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Corticosterone