Lorena Pizzale, Renzo Bortolomeazzi, Stefania Vichi, Eva Überegger, Lanfranco S Conte, Antioxidant activity of sage (Salvia officinalis and S fruticosa) and oregano (Origanum onites and O indercedens) extracts related to their phenolic compound content. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2002; 82 (14): 1645-51

In this study the antioxidant activity of methanolic extracts of oregano and sage samples was tested. Samples of oregano belonged to Origanum onites and O indercedens species, whilst samples of sage belonged to Salvia officinalis and S fruticosa species. Two methods were used to evaluate the antioxidant activity of sage and oregano extracts: the crocin test and the Rancimat test. The methanolic extracts were also analysed by HPLC for the qualitative/quantitative determination of phenolic compounds. The total phenolic compound content of oregano samples showed no significant differences between the two species, but rosmarinic acid was present in higher amount in O indercedens. Carvacrol content sharply differentiated flowers from leaves. Samples of O indercedens had a higher antioxidant activity evaluated by the crocin test, whereas no differences were evidenced by the Rancimat test. For sage samples, carnosic acid and methyl carnosate showed a significant difference between the two species, with S fruticosa samples having a higher content than S officinalis samples. Samples of S fruticosa also had a higher antioxidant activity evaluated by the crocin test. The antioxidant activities of sage samples were, on average, higher than those of oregano samples. Some samples of sage had a very high antioxidant activity, with induction times more than 10-fold higher than that of lard used as the reference sample.