DILSTON PHYSIC GARDEN / COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DILSTON PHYSIC GARDEN / COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Steam distillation of sage leaves. Medical researcher preparing to carry out a steam distillation on sage leaves (green, in round flask) to extract their oil. Sage leaves contain an oil that 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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