Identification of 1,8-cineole, borneol, camphor, and thujone as anti-inflammatory compounds in a Salvia officinalis L. infusion using human gingival fibroblasts

Ehrnhöfer-Ressler MM, Fricke K, Pignitter M, Walker JM, Walker J, Rychlik M, Somoza V
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013


Drinking or gargling Salvia officinalis L. infusion (sage infusion) is thought to soothe a sore throat, tonsillitis, and inflamed, red gums, although structure-based scientific evidence for the key anti-inflammatory compounds in sage infusion is scarce. Human gingival fibroblasts (HGF-1) were treated with sage infusion (SI) or SI fractions containing either its volatile components and water (aqueous distillate, AD) or its dry matter (DM) for six hours. SI, AD, and DM reduced a mean phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate/ionomycin (PMA/I)-stimulated release of the pro-inflammatory interleukins IL-6 and IL-8 by more than 50% (p < 0.05). Cellular uptake experiments and subsequent GC-MS analysis using stable-isotope-labeled internal standards revealed the presence of 1,8-cineole, borneol, camphor, and α-/β-thujone in SI-treated cells; LC-MS analysis demonstrated the presence of rosmarinic acid. A significant, more than 50% mean inhibition of PMA/I-induced IL-6 and IL-8 release was demonstrated for the volatile compounds 1,8-cineole, borneol, camphor, and thujone, but not for the nonvolatile rosmarinic acid when applied in concentrations representative of sage infusion. Therefore, the volatile compounds were found to be more effective than rosmarinic acid. 1,8-Cineole, borneol, camphor, and α-/β-thujone chiefly contribute to the anti-inflammatory activity of sage infusion in human gingival fibroblasts.


Ehrnhöfer-Ressler MM, Fricke K, Pignitter M, et al. Identification of 1,8-Cineole, Borneol, Camphor, and Thujone as Anti-Inflammatory Compounds in a Salvia officinalis L. Infusion Using Human Gingival Fibroblasts. J Agr Food Chem. 2013; 61:3451-3459.

[maxbutton id=”1415″]