The antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities of the methanol:chloroform (1:1) extracts of 16 Salvia species indigenous to South Africa were evaluated. Antioxidant activity was measured using the 2,2′-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and the 2,2,-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging assays and compared to the control values obtained with Trolox®. Nearly all the solvent extracts displayed antioxidant activity with the IC50 values ranging from 1.61 to 74.50 μg/ml using the DPPH·, while the IC50 values ranged from 11.88 to 69.26 μg/ml when tested with the ABTS·+. The extract of S. schlechteri, with an IC50 value of 1.61 μg/ml, was three times more active than the reference compound, Trolox® (IC50 value: 2.51 μg/ml). The anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated using the 5-lipoxygenase assay. With the exception of S. radula (IC50 value: 78.78 μg/ml), the extracts displayed poor inhibition of the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme with all IC50 values being greater than 100 µg/ml. The total phenolic content based on gallic acid equivalents (GAE) confirmed the presence of total soluble phenolics in the various extracts from 45 to 211 mg of GAE dry sample and showed strong association (r2 = 0.90) with antioxidant activity. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to identify various compounds in the extracts. Betulafolientriol oxide and rosmarinic acid were detected in all the species investigated and rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, carnosol and oleanolic acid/ursolic acid were abundant in many species.