The natural product sage has been shown in many case studies and experiments to induce generalized tonic seizures shortly after being ingested. This adverse effect is dose dependent and has a greater occurrence in children. Many physicians are simply unaware of the adverse effects of herbal medicines such as essential oils containing sage. This poses an issue in both healthcare and in public health as the use of herbal therapy is progressively increasing along with its ease of availability over the counter.
Resource One: Plant Induced Seizures: Reappearance of an old problem
Synopsis: This article outlined three case studies of two healthy adults and a child who used essential oils with sage for therapeutic purposes. It was found that the use of this EO led to consequent generalized tonic seizures. Both adults were relatively healthy and in their early 50’s, and upon discontinuation of the EO, generalized seizures resided and neurological exams were normal, indicating a level of toxicity precipitated by the Sage, with a short time period before a seizure occurred. The third case study followed a 12 month old baby who ultimately suffered from psychomotor and speech delays as, unlike the former case studies, tonic seizures progressively increased even upon discontinuation of use.
Both in vivo and in vitro experiments have taken place that well establish the epileptogenic properties of compound containing sage. One study noted involved the use of rats who were injected with EO and suffered from tonic seizures. As recalled in the case study these effects were increased as a result of increased dosages.
There is currently an extensive number of over the counter EO’s that make no mention of these adverse effects as marketing laws for herbal medicines vary greatly between countries.
Assessment: The data provided a good foundation of evidence for supporting this claim through the use of case studies and data outlining the convulsant essential oils of plants and their major epileptogenic compounds. The case studies supported the claim by noting specifically that the adu...