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A Guide To Clary Sage Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

A Guide To Clary Sage Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses In Aromatherapy | Photos of the clary sage plant and aromatherapy accessories

The abundance within the fragrance of clary sage essential oil (Salvia sclarea) "is captivating, full of prosperity of spirit," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. The oil "brings realization that it's how much love we can pour into a second that counts."

Worwood goes on to state the emotional benefits of clary sage oil are to encourage balance, calm, grounding, confidence, regeneration, tranquility,  restoration, and revitalization.

Basic Clary Sage Facts

Plant family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae

Production: Steam distilled from flowering tops and leaves of the plant.

Aroma: Herbaceous, earthy, slightly floral.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is clary sage safe to use during pregnancy? No, according to Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby and multiple other sources. However, the oil may be useful to help relieve pain during labor.

Is clary sage essential oil safe for children? Do not use with babies.

Cautions: Clary sage can make some people feel woozy and faint, so avoid using it when driving or needing to focus.

Older aromatherapy books often suggest the oil may be estrogenic; however, evidence does not support that assertion. Aromatherapy expert Robert Tisserand has written a blog post, Is clary sage estrogenic?, about why the oil is not estrogenic.

Main components: The main component of clary sage is linalyl acetate, ranging from about 45% to 66%, depending on the source of the oil. The next most abundant component is linalool, ranging from about 9% to 19%. The component that caused some sources to list clary sage as estrogenic is sclareol. However, the oil typically contains only 0.1% to 0.4% sclareol, and Tisserand writes no evidence shows that component is estrogenic.

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Benefits Of Clary Sage Essential Oil

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Clary sage eases muscle and nervous tension, pain, menstrual cramps, PMS, and menopausal problems. In skin and hair care, this essential oil is especially useful for mature skin and hair, acne-prone skin, inflammation, and dandruff. Emotionally, the oil helps relieve stress-related conditions and depression, especially if it's related to hormones.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Use clary sage to help relieve menstrual problems and cramps, PMS, menopausal problems and hot flashes, memory problems, insomnia, nervousness, depression, anxiety, stress, and muscle aches, pain, fatigue, or spasm.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): In skin care, use clary sage for acne, boils, dandruff, hair loss, inflamed conditions, oily skin and hair, ulcers, and wrinkles. The essential oil may also help reduce high blood pressure, reduce muscle aches and pains, and relieve asthma, throat infections, indigestion, flatulence, menstrual pain, depression, migraine, nervous tension, and stress-related conditions.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, clary sage strengthens depleted Qi-energy and circulates stuck Qi-energy. Use the oil to relieve PMS tension, menstrual pain, muscle stiffness and spasm, headache, migraine, and tired, aching legs. The oil can both strengthen and circulate Lung Qi. Psychologically, the essential oil creates a balance between stimulation and relaxation.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, clary sage calms the mind, promotes relaxation and mild euphoria, and promotes emotional stability and renewal. Physically, the essential oil restores hypotonic/weak conditions and relaxes hypertonic/tense conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the essential function of the oil is to nourish the Blood and Yin, descend the Yang, and calm the Shen. Suggested blends:

  • Clary sage + rose for menstrual cramps, PMS, menopause symptoms
  • Clary sage + lavender for nervous burnout with anxiety and tension
  • Clary sage + geranium for congestive menstrual cramps, varicose veins, or hemorrhoids

Subtle Aromatherapy: Clary sage enhances dreaming and strengthens the inner eye to help you see more clearly. Do not use alcohol and clary sage together — doing so may cause nightmares rather than revealing dreams.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, use clary sage for contemplation, meditation, prayer, and to support intuition. Mentally, the essential oil helps you release judgement. Emotionally, the oil relaxes, comforts, and grounds. It's especially useful for calming emotional outbursts caused by PMS, menopause, or other hormone-related conditions.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Clary sage calms, uplifts, and restores. The oil is especially useful for the sixth chakra to increase dreaming, support intuition, and strengthen the inner eye to see more clearly.

Clary Sage Oil Uses and Recipes

Diffuser Blends

  • Stress Relief: 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil + 2 drops clary sage

  • Uplifting Blend: 3 drops bergamot essential oil + 2 drops clary sage

  • Joyful Blend: 2 drops frankincense essential oil + 2 drops orange essential oil + 1 drop clary sage

Relaxing Shower Gel

  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap or unscented natural shower gel
  • 11 drops clary sage
  • 11 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 22 drops lavender essential oil

Add the essential oils to the castile soap or shower gel and mix well. Store in a  squeeze bottle.

Relaxing Bath Salts

  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 3 drops clary sage
  • 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 3 drops orange essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a container. Add one teaspoon to a warm bath to help you relax.

Throat Ease Blend

  • 2 teaspoons carrier oil
  • 3 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 3 drops clary sage essential oil

Mix the carrier oil and essential oils. Store in a dark glass bottle. Massage into the neck and chest to help ease a sore throat.

Adapted from 100 Amazing Blends and Uses of Essential Oils

Blends For Women's Concerns

Menstrual Cramps

  1. Combine 6 drops clary sage essential oil with 1 tablespoon evening primrose oil.
  2. In a clockwise direction, massage the blend over your lower abdomen.
  3. Place a warm, moist hand towel over the abdomen for 10 to 15 minutes.

Source: 150 Ways to Use Essential Oils

Menopausal Bath For Sleep

  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Epsom salt
  • 2 drops clary sage
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  1. Combine the salts with the essential oils.
  2. Add one tablespoon of the blend to warm bath water in the evening for tranquil sleep.
  3. Store the rest of the blend in a jar for other stressful days.

Menopause Relaxation Massage Blend

  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 1 drop clary sage
  • 1 drop neroli essential oil
  • 1 drop spikenard essential oil
  1. Combine the essential oils with the almond oil in a suitable bottle.
  2. Massage a small amount of the blend externally over the location of the ovaries and on the mid to lower back.

Source: Elizabeth Ashley. "Menopausal Personality Changes and Anxiety." NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Autumn 2016.3, p. 49.

Buy Clary Sage Essential Oil

I recommend clary sage essential oil from Young Living.



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Photo Credit: Buendia22 / CC BY-SA

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