The healing power of false sage

False sage can grow 30 to 60 centimeters high. False sage is found in Morocco, northern Portugal, northern Spain, throughout France, northern Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, southern Sweden and southern Norway. It likes to grow along railways, forest paths, dunes, freshly cleared plains and roadsides. In its taste and smell, false sage resembles hops. It is even used as a substitute for hops in beer making. It makes the beer clear faster, but false sage gives more color to the beer. False sage is used for medicinal purposes. In folk medicine it has long been an herb that controls kidney and bladder problems and it counteracts rheumatic diseases. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

False sage / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)


  • Naming
  • False sage in traditional folk medicine
  • Active substances
  • False sage for digestive problems
  • False sage for the respiratory tract
  • Other medicinal effects of gamander or false sage
  • Dose and safety
  • Visit a doctor or herbal therapist


In Latin, false sage is called Teucrium scorodonia . In addition to false sage, this plant is also called gamander in Dutch. Teucer or Teucros was a son of Telamon who was brother of Ajax and a prince of Troy. Teucer seems to have discovered that this plant has all kinds of positive properties; that is why the plant is named after him. Skorodon means ‘garlic’ in Greek; that doesn’t seem to be an appropriately chosen name because there are no associations with garlic when studying false sage. In Frisian it is called Loaze sealje.

False sage in traditional folk medicine

False sage was traditionally seen as a remedy that supports the functioning of the kidneys and bladder. This makes it easier for the body to remove waste products. This then leads to the causes of rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and gout being removed; These are caused by an increased presence of uric acid. It was also used for throat problems and to clean old sores. Today, false sage is recognized as having the following properties: it is astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, menstrual stimulant, general tonic and wound healing.

Active substances

The entire herb growing above ground is used for phytotherapeutic purposes. It contains the following important active ingredients: essential oil, teucrioresins, the bitter substance morrubin, saponins, polyphenolic acids, tannins and flavonoids.

False sage for digestive problems

False sage has an appetitive effect. Gastric juice secretion is increased and therefore food is digested more efficiently. In addition, more bile is secreted after ingesting false sage. Bile is important for the liver; the more bile there is, the better the liver can perform its function. This also means that more nutrients are processed and absorbed into the blood. For these reasons, false sage also has a tonic effect; it is a strengthening substance for the entire body. Herbalists can prescribe it for:

  • Anorexia or decreased appetite,
  • Atonic dyspepsia or poor digestion due to lack of digestive juices,
  • Weak liver function,
  • Decreased intestinal peristalsis.

False sage for the respiratory tract

False sage has expectorant abilities. This is useful for all kinds of respiratory problems. However, there are plants that work better in this area than false sage. Examples include golden primrose, aniseed, eucalyptus and hyssop.

Other medicinal effects of gamander or false sage

  • False sage has a diuretic effect.
  • This plant prevents diarrhea.
  • False sage can drive away worms.
  • It can be used externally to treat wounds and ulcers.
  • Inflammations of the nose and mucous membranes are treated with a gamander-based rinse and gargle.

Dose and safety

There are a number of ways to use this medicinal plant.

  • Mother tincture: take 40 drops three times a day before each meal,
  • Infusion or tea: boil two teaspoons of dried herb gently for 10 minutes, which is called infusing.

No side effects are known at the above therapeutic doses. It is advisable to be sure that it is Teucrium scorodonia, false sage, and not Teucrium chamaedrys because the very related and similar Teucrium chamaedrys can cause liver problems.

Visit a doctor or herbal therapist

Much of the information about the medicinal plant mentioned in this article comes from the book Groot Handboek Medicinal Plants by Geert Verhelst. That is a handbook in phytotherapy. However, it is not suitable for self-healing. Anyone who suffers from something should consult a doctor or herbal therapist for a good diagnosis and choice of the best remedies, tailored to your personal situation. The knowledge and science mentioned here is of a purely informative nature.