Earthy, musky, a summer meadow of secret scents and yet light and sweet: Clary Sage, called “the good one” by farmers in Provence, means memories of old and hidden laughters behind hedges and hay. It is the Sage of good fortune that saves from worry and distress, a female helper that opens closed up and repressed energies and balances hormonal functioning, inebriating nearly, and a stolen grace from the angels of Creation.
Clary Sage, in its estro-gene-like properties, is the #1 oil against amenorrhea and for pre-menopause. It has good properties in cases of high blood pressure. Its floral esters convey powerful anti-spasmodic effects useful to treat asthma, whooping cough, colics and cramps. It is a good cell regenerator and toner for the skin and works well against dandruff and hair loss. Its highly euphorizing, neuro-tonic-relaxing nature make it a choice oil against nervous fatigue and de-pression. An effective aphrodisiac, Clary Sage wakes up dormant desires and unfulfilled dreams and may be a well chosen “aromatic” answer to frigidity and impotence. A jester and a physician, a healer and a clown, Clary Sage adamantly pushes us to let loose and to give in to the gravitational force of earthly happiness, releasing the “imp in the bottle”, making the human fate of “con-traction in matter” more acceptable. A liberator from grief and sorrow, heaven and earth in a drop!
Clary Sage with its Latin name Salvia sclarea is a member of the Lamiaceae plant family. The Latin word ‘clarus’ meaning ‘clear’ hints at the herb’s usage over centuries to treat eye inflammations. It was held in high esteem during the Middle Ages known as ‘Oculus Christi’ – the Eye of Christ. Nicholas Culpeper describes in his ‘Complete Herbal’ Collection from 1653 a common application of Clary Sage: Whenever a patient was bothered by a foreign object in his eyes, the herbalist recommended to implement a seed of Clary Sage into the eye and make use of the seed’s mucilaginous surface to remove the object. It is said that the herb has a general cleansing effect on the eyes and can prevent cataract formation and the loss of sight due to age.
The plant is native to Southern Europe and today is mainly cultivated in France and Russia. Apart from mercantile purposes it has worldwide found its way into people’s gardens and is used as a culinary delight for salads, soups or vegetable dishes. Within folk medicine it is famous as a medicinal plant. Clary Sage though should not be mistaken for the related Salvia officinalis. Both essential oils are very different.
The herb Salvia sclarea is a perennial shrub growing up to 1 m in height with large, hairy green leaves showing the tender cells that contain the oil on their upper side. The plant loves to spread its leaves on the ground in a rosette-shaped manner out of which it produces a sturdy, square stalk with several side shoots. The flowers range from rose to violet, magenta and white. Both, the leaves and the flowers fill the air with their herbaceous, refreshing, warm, sweet, flowery and nutty fragrance.
Clary Sage essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the flowers and leaves. 100 kg of the herb yield about 1 kg of the essential oil. Chemical analysis of the plant proved ingredients of linalool, linalyl acetate, caryophyllene, α-terpineol, geraniol, neryl acetate, sclareol and germacrene D. The essential oil harmonizes beautifully with Geranium, Frankincense, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Pine and Sandalwood.
Clary Sage is an important component in many perfumes and is used as a muscatel flavouring substance for liqueurs, vermouths and wines.
Clary Sage – Highly Appreciated Panacea
The health promoting potential of Clary Sage truly makes it a panacea delivering a wide range of supporting effects. Historical reports of the medicinal usage of Clary Sage can be traced back to Theophrastus (4th century BC) and Dioscorides (1st century BC) in his Materia medicina.
The oil acts strongly as an anti-bacterial agent and thus prevents the spread of infections caused by bacteria. According to a group of polish scientists Clary Sage is active against staphylococci bacteria causing wound infections.1 Their study was able to prove that the essential oil is an active natural antimicrobial agent and therefore can be applied to treat wound and skin infections, such as tetanus. The initial reason for their investigation was the increasing number of bacteria being resistant to antibiotics – and the tremendous problems this brings to hospital routine. These challenges are motivating more and more research to find new and more complete antibacterial agents.
But the antiseptic qualities of the oil are not only benefical in treating wounds. It acts as well internally and supports the colon, the excretory system, the intestines and the urinary tract. Through its strong carminative qualitites Clary Sage prevents gas formation in the intestinal tract. It boots digestion by increasing the secretion of gastric juices and bile acid. Additionally it helps to eliminate bacteria on food and in water before consumption. Also the cosmetic industry makes use of the anti-bacterial effect: Many deodorants have proven a long lasting effect in preventing body odor through the help of Clary Sage!
Apart from its antiseptic qualities Clary Sage has demonstrated its benefits in dentistry. Applied on the gums around loose teeth it helps them to regain strength and stability through its astringent and toning effects. Likewise the oil shows tonic effects on the skin and rejuvenates hair follicles. Therefore it is very helpful to prevents hair loss.
Further on the oil is highly appreciated for its anti-spasmodic porperties. Scientific research has shown that in case of hypertension the essential oil is able to lower blood pressure by relieving the veins and arteries and therefore is very effective in preventing heart attacks and brain hemorrhage. If bothered by muscular cramps, cramps in the respiratory tract or headaches Clary Sage promotes immediate relaxation. Even with epileptic seizures the oil is very supportive and has made a name for itself.
As a woman’s best friend, the oil is known to ease obstructed and painful menses and stabilizes these moody and emotional days. With its estrogen-like properties it supports female health in general and especially takes care of the repdoductive system. According to scientific studies the oil is very beneficial with abdominal pain, bleeding of the uterus cavities and even prevents the formation of uterine tumors. As natures’ medicine always offers a complete healing sytem rather than only treating specific symptoms – Clary Sage is known to tranquilize nervous tensions, unrest, vertigo and depressive states. What else would you look for if bothered by painful monthly bleedings?
Clary Sage opens our consciousness and wants us to get rid of worn-out and useless patterns. Its anti-depressant qualities inspire us to reconnect with our Higher Self and to try out new ways. As the plant herself grows in a rosette-like manner spreading her leaves in all directions, she guides us peacefully to do the same in our daily routines. Have a look to the right. Open up a little bit more to the left. Clear your emotions to welcome joy. Relax your tensions and get ready for growth. Be in tune again with Natures’ Laws – set yourself on a path for higher development.
Clary Sage – Outline
- Botanical Name: Salvia sclarea. Family: Lamiaceae, labiate family
- Country of Origin: Mediterranean Region, today mainly cultivated in Russia, France, Italy, Spain and Yugoslavia
- Manufacturing the Oil: Steam Distillation of the blossoming plant
Properties of the Oil: Light color, earthy, musky aroma, reminds of a summer meadow, herbaceous, refreshing, warm, sweet, flowery. 100 kg of the plant deliver less than 1 kg of the essential oil.
- Main Compounds: linalool, linalyl acetate, caryophyllene, α-terpineol, geraniol, neryl acetate, sclareol and germacrene.
- Goes well with: Geranium, Frankincense, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Pine and Sandalwood.
Physical Effects: Anticonvulsant, anti-spasmodic, anti-bacterial, astringent, toning, regulates female cycle, eases painful menses, disinfectant agent.
Application: Premenstrual syndrome, menopausal syndrome, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, uterine tumors, high blood pressure, headache, epileptic seizures, stimulation of digestion, flatulence and stomach spasms, prevention of hair loss, loose gums, wound infections, acne, prevention of hair loss, loss of sight/ cataract.
Psychological Effects: Relaxing, calming, soothing, stabilizing, antidepressant, uplifting, inspiring.
Application: Unreleased tensions and fears, repressed energies, insomnia, desperation, frigidity.
Attention: Don’t use together with alcohol. Don’t use when taking ferrous medicaments.