The word “Salvia” is derived from the Latin “salvare” (to heal) and indicates that
many species of this genus are used as medicinal and dietary herbs. Traditional medicines
consider Salvia plants useful for numerous biological activities such as antioxidant, antibacterial,
antiviral, anticancer, antiprotozoal, antifungal, blood circulation-improvement activity
and prevention of atherosclerotic plaque formation. Interestingly, salvia plant extracts show
potentially relevant activities against aging and mild cognitive damage and even neurodegenerative
diseases containing different active compounds that enhance memory, attention
and learning. Alzheimer’s disease is associated with a loss of cholinergic synapses and improving
cholinergic function is a target in the therapy.
Salvia officinalis, is mostly used in Mediterranean diet as common spice and added to food
for a traditional longstanding culinary utilization. Some evidence report that its use could be
useful to ameliorate human health and plays the role of an adjuvant in Alzheimer’s disease
therapy and in this view we decided to focus our attention on this species. Exerting beneficial
effects by inhibiting in vitro acetylcholinesterase activity and enhancing cognitive performance
both in healthy subjects and patients with dementia or cognitive impairment.