Salvia pomifera (Lamiaceae)


  • The plant

Salvia pomifera is an East Mediterranean species, restricted to Greece and to Asia Minor and especially on the island of Crete, where it is known with the vernacular name “pikri faskomilia” (bitter sage).  Its commercial name is “Cretan sage” or “Apple sage”. It is an evergreen perennial herb or sub-shrub, which grows to 1 meter height. It is resistant to drought and prefers full sun, well-draining soil, and good air circulation. 

  • Ethnopharmacology and traditional medicine

The name of the genus is derived from the Latin salvere ("to save"), referring to the long-believed healing properties of salvia. Pliny the Elder was the first to use the name salvia.
The oil and different extracts of this herb are used in folk medicine, in cosmetics and for culinary purposes.
Traditionally it has been used as antipyretic, antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, hypoglycemic, and tonic.

  • Chemical composition and active constituents

The leaves have high oil content. The most active constituents of sage are found in its essential oil, which contains cineole, borneol, and thujone. Sage leaf contains also tannic acid, oleic acid, ursolic acid, and different polyphenolics, which are well known for their antioxidant activity such as fumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, niacin, nicotinamide, flavones, flavonoid glycosides.


             Cineol             Borneol                    Cafeic acid                         Chlorogenic acid