Sage tea-thyme-peppermint hydrosol oral rinse reduces chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis: A randomized controlled pilot study

Complement Ther Med. 2016 Aug;27:58-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 May 25.


Objective: This pilot study aimed to investigate the preventive effect of sage tea-thyme-peppermint hydrosol oral rinse used in conjunction with basic oral care on chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis.

Design: An open-label randomized controlled study.

Setting: Two oncology hospitals in Ankara, Turkey.

Interventions: Patients receiving 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy regimens were divided into the intervention group (N=30) and control group (N=30). Basic oral care was prescribed to the control group, while the intervention group was prescribed sage tea-thyme-peppermint hydrosol in addition to basic oral care. All patients were called to assess their compliance with the study instructions on day 5 and 14.

Main outcome measures: Oral mucositis was evaluated using an inspection method or by assessing oral cavity photos based on the World Health Organization oral toxicity scale on day 5 and 14.

Results: Most of the patients in the intervention group did not develop oral mucositis on day 5. In addition, the incidence of grade 1 oral mucositis was statistically lower in the intervention group (10%) than the control group (53.3%) on day 5. By day 14, the majority of patients in both the groups had grade 0 oral mucositis.

Conclusions: Sage tea-thyme-peppermint hydrosol oral rinse has promising results in alleviating oral mucositis. This hydrosol can be recommended for clinical use as it is well tolerated and cost-effective. However, further randomized controlled trials are needed to support the study.

Keywords: Nursing; Oral mucositis; Oral rinse; Peppermint; Sage tea; Thyme.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouthwashes / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Salvia officinalis / chemistry
  • Stomatitis / chemically induced*
  • Stomatitis / drug therapy*
  • Tea / chemistry
  • Thymus Plant / chemistry
  • Turkey


  • Mouthwashes
  • Plant Preparations
  • Tea