Salvia lavandulifolia (Spanish sage) is a small woody herbaceous perennial native to Spain and southern France, growing in rocky soil in Maquis shrubland, often found growing with rosemary, Lavandula lanata, and Genista cinerea.
S. lavandulifolia grows 1 ft tall and wide, with a reclining habit and narrow, lanceolate, whitish-gray evergreen leaves that are less than 2 in long. The leaves grow opposite each other on the stem and appear to grow in bunches. When the leaves are rubbed, oils give off a fragrance similar to rosemary. These oils are used for scenting soaps. The 1-in-long, pale lavender flowers grow on short inflorescences, blooming for about one month in late spring and early summer. The flowering stems have very few flowers on widely spaced whorls. Some varieties have a dark calyx.
The essential oil of S. lavandulifolia has been found to have a selective acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting effect, (in as far as the regions of the brain in which acetylcholinesterase activity has been demonstrated, such areas are striatum and hippocampus) with an IC50 value of 0.03 μg/ml. The chief reason for this activity are believed to be the monoterpenes 1,8-cineole and α-pinene which have IC50 values of 0.67 and 0.63 mM, respectively.
A 2003 study indicated that S. lavandulifolia improves word recall in healthy young adults.
- Clebsch, Betsy; Barner, Carol D. (2003). The New Book of Salvias. Timber Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-88192-560-9.
- Houghton PJ. Personal communication. (in book Herbal Medicines, Third edition by: Joanne Barnes, Linda A Anderson and J David Phillipson)
- Perry NSL et al. In-vitro inhibition of human erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase by Salvia lavandulaefolia essential oil and constituent terpenes. J Pharm Pharmacol 2000; 52: 895–90
- Tildesley, N. T.; Kennedy, D. O.; Perry, E. K.; Ballard, C. G.; Savelev, S.; Wesnes, K. A.; Scholey, A. B. (2003). "Salvia lavandulaefolia (Spanish sage) enhances memory in healthy young volunteers". Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 75 (3): 669–674. doi:10.1016/S0091-3057(03)00122-9. PMID 12895685.
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