Steam distillation of sage leaves

Steam distillation of sage leaves

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This image is part of the feature Medicinal Plants

Credit: DILSTON PHYSIC GARDEN/COLIN CUTHBERT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Steam distillation of sage leaves. Sage leaves (green, upper left) having their oil extracted by steam distillation. Steam passes up from the heated flask (lower right) and extracts the oil. The oil in sage leaves is being investigated for its medicinal effects. Sage has been used by herbalists for centuries to improve memory, and a medical trial in 2003 showed improved short-term memory recall in those given sage oil tablets. It is thought that sage oil tablets could slow the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Sage species being investigated include Salvia lavandulaefolia and Salvia officinalis. This research is being carried out at laboratories at the Universities of Newcastle and Northumbria, UK, as part of work by the Medicinal Plant Research Centre.

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