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.