The ethyl acetate and methanol extracts from 16 Salvia L species were screened for their inhibitory activity against acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, lipoxygenase, and tyrosinase; the enzymes linked to neurodegeneration. Their antioxidant activity was also tested using DPPH radical scavenging, metal-chelation, and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Total flavonoid content of the extracts was determined by AlCl3 reagent, while HPLC technique was applied for analysis of various phenolic acids in the extracts. The extracts exerted weak cholinesterase and tyrosinase inhibition, and remarkable inhibition against lipoxygenase (13.07 +/- 2.73-74.21 +/- 5.61%) at 100 mu g ml(-1). The methanol extracts showed higher antioxidant activity in DPPH radical scavenging and FRAP assays. The extracts were analyzed for their gallic, protocateuchic, p-hydroxy-benzoic, vanillic, caffeic, chlorogenic, syringic, o- and p-coumaric, ferulic, rosmarinic, and tr-cinnamic acid contents and the methanol extract of Salvia ekimiana (153.50 mg 100 g(-1)) was revealed to be the richest in terms of rosmarinic acid. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.