Health Benefits and Uses of Red Sage

Red Sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza)Health Benefits of Red Sage / Supports Cardiovascular Health - Heart Health: (Heart Attack, High Blood Pressure, Blood Circulation, Cholesterol Levels) / Neurological Health: (Increases Brain Functions, Neuroprotective, Ischemic Stroke) / Improves Cognitive Function: (Alzheimer’s Diseases) / Diabetes: (Diabetic Retinopathy) / Liver Health: (Liver Fibrosis) / Cancer - Treatment and Prevention: / Bone Health: (Osteoporosis) / Women's Health: (Menstrual Cramps, Menstruation and Fertility, Circulatory Congestion, Hot Flashes and Night Sweats) / Skin Care: (Wounds, Sunburn) / Respiratory Health: (Sore Throat) / Antioxidant: / Kills Bacterial Infections: | Uses of Red Sage(Traditional Uses of Red Sage)Ayurvedic Uses and Health Benefits of Red Sage

Salvia miltiorrhiza, also known as Red Sage, Chinese Sage, is a perennial plant in the genus Salvia and belongs to the mint or deadnettle family (Lamiaceae). It is part of the mint family. The plant’s roots are called Danshen and have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years. (+,+)The plant is native to China and Japan and is cultivated for commercial use in northeast China and Mongolia; it grows at 90 to 1,200 m (300 to 3,940 ft.) elevation, preferring grassy places in forests, hillsides, and along stream banks. Chinese salvia, Redroot Sage, Red Sage, Dan shen, Danshen, Radix, Tan-shen, Tanshen, red-rooted sage are some of the popular common names of the plant.

It’s Latin name salvia, meaning “health”, “salvation” or “to save”, refers to the plant’s powerful healing properties. The specific epithet miltiorrhiza means “red juice extracted from a root”. It is used in many parts of the world to treat various conditions due to their excellent medicinal values. It is rich sources of tanshinone I, tanshinone II, miltirone and salvianolic acid and a wide range of chemical compounds. The root and rhizome of this plant have been used as traditional Chinese medicines for more than 2 500 years. Root and rhizome has been developed into various kinds of herbal medicine products and used in at least 19 countries or regions for their therapeutic value and market potential in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, neurasthenic insomnia, liver fibrosis and cancer. It has also been used as an ingredient in health supplements and cosmetics.

Red Sage is a powerful herb with a lot of properties that could improve your health. It is presently going through trials and may even become the first traditional Chinese remedy to gain approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Benefits to Your Everyday Health to the Whole Body:

Red Sage has been an important plant in promoting health for thousands of years. Since ancient times, it is praised for its incredible abilities. This mystic herb helps in modern times with many health conditions. These benefits are exactly why we decided to create our Absolute Red Sage tea. This tea is an easy and delicious way to bring red sage into your life. It is a simple way to naturally support a healthier life.

Red Sage contains many health-supporting properties. And these properties benefit the whole system of the body. Additionally, these herbs have specific benefits to healthy cholesterol, and heart and liver health. Red Sage supports health in many areas of the body.

Supports Cardiovascular Health - Heart Health:

A summary of literature published in Current Pharmaceutical Design analyzed 39 clinical trials that involved the use of Red Sage alone or with other herbs for the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. Researchers found that more than 200 individual compounds have been isolated from Danshen and exhibited various pharmacological activities for the treatment of heart disease, both in animal and cell models.

Studies suggest that it’s able to promote blood circulation and coronary blood flow, reduce risk of heart attack, and improve symptoms of stroke and angina. More research is needed, however, to understand the role of Red Sage in humans, as most studies involve animals or cell models.

According to a study published in the Journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, most traditional uses of Danshen are for heart-related problems, such as: Angina pectoris, Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart walls), Heart attack (deprivation of oxygen supply of heart resulting in heart ischemia and death of the cells).

However, studies so far are inconclusive, but future results look promising. If your doctor recommends you take the herb, you may find that it helps alleviate chest pains. But you shouldn’t rely on it solely. Make sure you’re considering all aspects of your medical needs before incorporating it into your regimen.

Heart Attack:

The whole herb (rather than isolated constituents) has been used in China to assist patients who are recovering from a heart attack, and it appears to support heart function at this critical time. Clinical research in China, however, has shown that Red Sage is most effective when taken as a preventive, rather than as a remedy after the heart attack has taken place.

High Blood Pressure:

Researchers say the herb shows promise in aiding heart problems, such as angina and myocarditis. It also may ease chest pain. Some research also shows that Red Sage could help support healthy blood pressure. It may work by relaxing vessels in the heart. This would improve health in the circulatory system.

Blood Circulation:

Red Sage has been honored by the Chinese for thousands of years as a circulatory stimulant. Like Hawthorn, it is a safe effective remedy for many circulatory problems. It mostly benefits the coronary circulation, opening up the arteries and improving blood flow to the heart, and is thus supportive in treating coronary heart disease. Although it does not lower blood pressure, it relaxes the blood vessels and improves circulation throughout the body.

Red Sage also has the beneficial effect of activating blood circulation. Your body is made up of a very large network of capillaries that provide the blood supply to the body’s microscopic cells. All of the capillaries are collectively termed microcirculation.

This herb also possesses several antioxidative properties by which many free radicals and oxidative substances within the blood are detoxified. Thus, increased blood microcirculation is the well-documented benefits of Red Sage. It has also been found that somehow the substances (tanshinones and phenolic acids) present in Dan Shen, maximize the open capillary network and thus improve the blood flow to the organs.

Cholesterol Levels:

This herb is researched for how it works to support cholesterol health. Some research shows that red sage might be useful in lowering “bad” cholesterol. Red Sage also works to increase the production of “good” cholesterol.

One study, published in the Journal Phytotherapeutic Research, concluded that this effect more than marginal. According to the research, people provided between 400 milligrams to 1500 milligrams of sage daily (either as a powder, tea, or supplement) achieved an overall improvement in their blood lipids after three months. Among the findings: Total cholesterol levels were lowered by 16 to 20%. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a.k.a. bad cholesterol) was reduced by at least 12%. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (a.k.a. good cholesterol) was increased by up to 20%. Triglycerides were lowered by at least 18%.

Other studies have not demonstrated similar results. Moreover, while the activation of PPAR gamma is associated with improved blood sugar, this effect has not been seen when taking sage or a sage extract. Sage's activation of the PPAR gamma molecule may be most apparent in its impact on cholesterol.

Neurological Health:

Increases Brain Functions:

When researchers from Zhejiang University in China looked at the neuroprotective effects of Red Sage on subarachnoid hemorrhage, a life-threatening type of stroke, they found that Red Sage, particularly its compound called magnesium lithospermate B (MLB), exhibits powerful neuroprotective effects against the disease.

More and more people have become interested in the use of medicinal herbs. One of the most commonly known herbal medicines today is Red Sage. For centuries, Red Sage is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb that has been widely used for the treatment of various conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases. 

Earlier studies have shown that MLB, a bioactive ingredient extracted from Red Sage, has exhibited neuroprotective effects on some problems in the central nervous system. However, there is not much information on whether it is effective on brain injuries brought about by subarachnoid hemorrhage. Therefore, the Chinese researchers looked at the neuroprotective effects MLB in Red Sage on brain injury caused by subarachnoid hemorrhage and explored the potential mechanism.

In conducting the study, they administered either 25 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) or 50 mg/kg of MLB to rats 30 minutes after inducing subarachnoid hemorrhage. The results revealed that MLB dramatically reduced brain edema and brain dysfunction brought about by subarachnoid hemorrhage. In addition, it dose-dependently prevented the activation of microglia and decreased nerve cell death. Moreover, the treatment with MLB also reduced inflammatory markers, warding off inflammation. These results show that MLB exhibited its powerful neuroprotective effects against subarachnoid hemorrhage by suppressing nerve inflammation and cell death.

With these findings, the researchers conclude that Red Sage could potentially be used as a promising treatment for treating brain damage caused by subarachnoid hemorrhage. These findings were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Stroke, together with heart attacks, are the leading causes of death around the world. In 2016 alone, both caused 15.2 million deaths. For the last 15 years, both stroke and heart attacks have remained the world’s biggest killers.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a type of stroke that occurs due to bleeding into the space surrounding the brain, which can be caused by a ruptured aneurysm, brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), or head injury. This disease can cause disability and death. For those who will survive, they need treatment that focuses on stopping the bleeding, restoring normal blood flow, and preventing the sudden constriction of a blood vessel.


Research has displayed that acute treatment with herbal extracts containing Red Sage and Cacao has neuro protective effects in stroke models. When stroke animals received Red Sage and Cacao extracts, they showed a significant reduction in ischemic cell death and better performance in routine motor and neurological tasks.

Ischemic Stroke:

Red Sage root is also believed to help prevent stroke recurrence. Naoxintong capsule, which consists of Red Sage root, is in Phase IV of clinical trials. The capsule is effective at preventing the recurrence of strokes after the first stroke and decreasing the negative impacts of strokes. These studies, combined with the heart medication studies, show that Red sage root is coming to be recognized as a powerful ingredient in Western medicine.

Two clinical researches have demonstrated that Red Sage root, when combined with other traditional Chinese medicines, can reduce the rate of ischemic stroke as well as the mortality of strokes. Ischemic stroke occurs due to blood clots and is the most common type of stroke in older adults. Red Sage extract, combined with other traditional herbs, treat the convalescent phase of ischemic stroke (after the stroke has occurred).

Improves Cognitive Function:

Alzheimer’s Diseases:

As far-fetched as it may seem, there is evidence that sage can improve memory and information processing, even in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Two human studies, one involving 11 people with early Alzheimer's and the other involving 30 reported overall improvements in cognition as well as a reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms after using a Salvia extract.

While the evidence remains sparse, a 2017 review of studies suggested that substances in Red Sage can influence biological mechanisms associated with cognition. According to the research, two types of phenolic acid found in Red Sage, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid, have been shown to improve alertness and cognitive skills in mice.

Other studies included in the review consistently showed improvements in short-term memory, alertness, and speed recall. Improved mood and alertness were also cited.


One study published in the Journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the use of Red Sage dripping pills significantly improved the visual function of people with diabetic retinopathy (vision problem because of retinal damage caused by diabetes).

Diabetes occurs due to the increased blood glucose levels within the blood and the commonly occurring Type 2 diabetes is related to obesity. It helps reduce blood sugar levels and also helps prevent diabetes-related complications.

Diabetic Retinopathy:

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects people with diabetes. It occurs when high blood sugar starts to damage the blood vessels in the retina. Medicine found that using danshen-dripping pills helped improve visual function in people with diabetic retinopathy.

Research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concludes that a Red Sage dripping pill may be safe and efficacious for treating or delaying diabetic retinopathy, and may improve vision or delay vision loss in diabetic patients.

Liver Health:

Red Sage has long been used for liver health. The liver is important as it detoxifies the body. The Red Sage root supports a healthier liver.

It has also been found to help in the regeneration of liver cells when taken in pill form, according to the study published in the Journal Liver International. Scientists expect that one day this can be used as a drug for helping people with severe liver damage. Thus, it is an important herb in keeping the body free of toxins.

When taken in pill form, Red Sage has also been shown to be effective in liver regeneration in rats, according to a study published in the Journal Liver International. It might one day do the same for people with severe liver damage.

If you suffer from cirrhosis or other serious liver issues, ask your doctor if this herb might help you. Don’t confuse it with the sage you have in your spice drawer. Red Sage is very different from the Sage you probably use for cooking.

Liver Fibrosis:

Research has shown that Red Sage root is an effective treatment for liver fibrosis, which is the buildup of scar tissue, due to hepatitis B. Over time, scar tissue can prevent the blood infusion in the liver, hardening the cells. Red Sage root compound called salvianolic acid B was shown to inhibit the production of cells, called LX-2, that become scar tissue.

Fibrosis has varying levels of severe ness with cirrhosis as the most severe. Applying Red Sage compounds during the less severe stages could help prevent degeneration into severe cirrhosis.

Cancer - Treatment and Prevention:

Perhaps the most controversial claim by alternative practitioners is that Red Sage can help prevent cancer. That is not to suggest there is no evidence to support these claims; it's just that most of it has been limited to test tubes.

Within this context, scientists have been able to prove that components of Red Sage (including carnosol, rosmarinic acid, and ursolic acid) can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tubes, including breast cancer, colon cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and small cell lung carcinoma.

While test tube results infrequently translate to humans, a 2013 review of studies reported that rosmarinic acid given daily to mice was able to prevent skin cancer as well as bone metastasis from breast cancer.

While none of this should suggest that eating or drinking Red Sage can prevent cancer, the current body of research may help pave the way to the development of effective anti-cancer drugs in the future.

Bone Health:


Red Sage, a herb has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine holds the to a new treatment for osteoporosis can prevent bone loss without causing any side effects. Clinical trials involving Red Sage show that it has successfully targeted osteoporosis. It’s believed that the herb provides potent compounds targeting specific pathways in bone resorption and bone formation.

A study was conducted to know the effects of known traditional Chinese herbs in preventing fractures in osteoporosis patients. The results were quite promising and it was concluded that some of the osteoporosis symptoms actually improved.

According to another research study conducted by the researchers of the University of British Columbia, substances present in the Red Sage selectively block an enzyme called Cathepsin K (CatK), which plays a major role in the breakdown of a bone-strengthening protein called collagen during osteoporosis. This astonishing study, along with its findings, was published in The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Women's Health:

Menstrual Cramps:

Red Sage root has been used to treat menstrual cramps for millennia in China, the treatment may soon be available in the United States as well. Red Sage root promotes a healthy menstrual cycle when sharp fixed pain and clotting of the blood occur, another form of "blood stagnation".

Research is presently underway examining the efficacy of treatments from two different areas in China. If approved, a Red sage based menstrual drug would be a more natural alternative to Midol.

Menstruation and Fertility:

Salvia miltiorrhiza is commonly taken for menstrual problems like irregular bleeding. There isn’t actually much hard evidence that it has an effect. It just hasn’t really been studied, so most of the evidence relies on clinical use in traditional medicine and not on severe trials. Red Sage also has estrogen-like effects in rats, which may help improve menopause symptoms.

Circulatory Congestion:

Red Sage is used traditionally to treat conditions caused by blood stagnation, mainly those affecting the lower abdomen, such as absent or painful menstrual periods and fibroids.

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:

Hot flashes and night sweats are common occurrences in women experiencing menopause.

A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences reported that a 100 mg daily dose of Red Sage, delivered in an oral tablet over eight weeks, reduced the incidence of these and other menopausal symptoms when compared to women who took a placebo.

Moreover, it appeared to do so without influencing hormone levels. What this confirms is that, while Red Sage may improve symptoms of menopause, it is unlikely to help women with abnormal periods since the disorders are primarily influenced by hormone levels.

Skin Care:

Red Sage has properties to repair injured tissue. The water-soluble chemicals like danshensu (DSU) and salvianolic acid B (SAB), extracted from the Red Sage plant have been shown to enhance the proliferation and differentiation of connective tissue forming cells called fibroblasts. These fibroblasts in turn ease the healing of injured tissue or regrowth of tissue by increasing the synthesis of collagen.


Research has shown that it consists of anti-microbial properties too. These anti-microbial properties can be beneficial to humans and plants alike, since Red Sage root could be manufactured into a natural protection for agricultural crops. The tested Red Sage root compound demonstrated antimicrobial properties against eight bacterial species and one fungal species.


A 2013 study further reported that sage oil exerted both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, providing relief of mild inflammatory skin conditions like sunburn and folliculitis.

Respiratory Health:

Sore Throat:

A 2009 study from Switzerland showed that an extract of sage and echinacea, when used as an oral spray, was just as effective in treating an acute sore throat as the combination of chlorhexidine and lidocaine, pharmaceutical drugs commonly used in oral anesthetics. It is these same properties that are believed to be effective in relieving tonsillitis pain or speeding the healing of cold sores when applied as a salve or ointment.


Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that Danshen is an effective free radical scavenger and promotes cellular defense activity in the protection against peroxynitrite, a free radial that’s involved in the formation of disease.

Kills Bacterial Infections:

Red Sage kills certain species of bacteria, including bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, in dishes. Moreover, it was used to make a silver-based compound that can kill both bacteria and the mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus. Research studies have concluded that the extracts from the roots of Red Sage have antimicrobial properties that help kill the infective microbes present within the body.

Traditional Uses of Red Sage:

  • Red sage has long been used in Chinese medicine and recent research has confirmed the validity of its use in the treatment of heart and circulatory problems.
  • Root is adaptogen, alterative, anti-cholesterolemic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, emmenogogue, hepatic, sedative, tonic and vulnerary.
  • It acts mainly on the heart energy, removing excess heat and clearing stagnation.
  • Its use improves the micro-circulation, increases blood flow to the coronary artery, improves myocardial contraction and adjusts the heart rate.
  • It has an antibacterial action, preventing the growth of Pseudomonas, E. coli, Vibrio Proteus, Bacillus typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneri, Staphylococcus aureus etc.
  • It is used internally in the treatment of coronary heart disease, poor circulation, palpitations, irritability, insomnia, breast abscesses, mastitis, ulcers, boils, sores, bruises, menstrual problems and post-natal pains.
  • Red sage has been used to improve body function (e.g., promote circulation, blood flow), as well as to treat hemorrhage, dysmenorrhea, miscarriage, swelling, insomnia, and hepatitis.
  • It has also been used for treating heart disease, including conditions like atherosclerosis, thrombosis and hypertension.
  • It is often used as a treatment for high blood pressure by opening up the arteries and improving blood flow.
  • The herb may be useful in treating osteoporosis.
  • It has been used to lessen stress and ease anxiety which in turn has a favorable effect on angina pectoris that is worsened by anxiety and stress.
  • It is also used for menstrual disorders, diabetes, chronic liver disease, and insomnia caused by a rapid heartbeat and tight chest.
  • It is regarded as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and has been used as a remedy for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
  • It is also used to relieve inflammation, lessen bruising and to speed up wound healing.
  • Herb might be useful in lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increasing the production of “good” cholesterol (HDL).
  • It is known to inhibit bacteria such as Staphylococcus (Staphylococcus aureus) and Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis).
  • Buerger’s Disease: Mix 1 teaspoon each of Dong Quai and Red Sage. Consume it with a glass of water, twice daily.
  • Debility: Ginseng Korean, Polygonatum, Chinese Knotweed, Dong Quai, Schisandra, Wild Yam, Chinese Licorice, Goji Berry, White Peony, Hoelen, Eucommia, Glehnia, Cornus Officinalis, Citron, Paeonia Suffruticosa, Red Sage and Bupleurum in conjunction are beneficial for Energy, Stamina and improve overall feeling of well-being. OR You may buy the formula, containing the above mentioned Herbs. Capsule form is readily available. Consume 1 capsule per day.
  • Heart Enlarged: Take 10 drops of extract or tincture.
  • Liver Diseases: Take 1 to 2 g powder of Yellow Dock root, Dandelion root, Red sage, Sarsaparilla, and Pau de Arco. Mix each Herb into a wide mouth jar. Shake it up and your perfect formula for liver detoxification is ready. Prepare the tea and add 2-3 full drops of the Milk Thistle Seed extract to the tea. Let it cool and drink. Take this tea twice a day.

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