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All About Clary Sage

Posted by Lydia Noyes on

All About Clary Sage

Essential oils open up the world of aromatherapy, but knowing where to start can be confusing. Which oils will best address your health and wellness needs?

Here, we’ll explore the benefits of clary sage essential oil to help you determine whether this botanical extract is one worth adding to your collection.

What is Clary Sage?

Native to the Mediterranean Basin, clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is a perennial herb that produces a white or light purple flower, depending on the variety. The sage plant has been valued for its medicinal properties since the Middle Ages and remains a popular tea ingredient today.

A clean-scented essential oil can be extracted from clary sage’s leaves. The oil contains linalyl acetate and linalool, two compounds that promote relaxation throughout the mind and body, earning clary sage a reputation as one of the most soothing and balancing essential oils available.


Seven Benefits of Clary Sage

Clary sage’s floral notes are reason enough to keep some on hand, but this essential oil stands out for other reasons too.

1. Acts as a Natural Antidepressant

Studies show that clary sage oil can boost your mood and reduce the symptoms of depression. Research from 2010 on rats revealed that the oil had the most potent anti-stress effects of those tested, making it beneficial for treating depression. It also closely mimics the effects of dopamine, a feel-good hormone that can buoy your mood.

Another study found that inhaling clary sage oil could reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in reduced depression symptoms for test subjects. You can experience similar benefits by adding a few drops of the oil to a diffuser when you’re feeling upset.

2. May Lower Anxiety Levels

Clary sage also shows potential for helping you control your anxiety and high blood pressure. A study from 2013 found that women who inhaled clary sage oil experienced calmer breathing and lower blood pressure.

Similar research, this time focusing on animals, found that ingesting clary sage oil could reduce dominant and anxious behavior in stressed individuals.

If you have a stressful day ahead, consider dabbing clary sage oil onto your pulse points or the soles of your feet to promote a feeling of balance and relaxation.  

3. May Improve Skin and Hair Health

Clary sage oil appears to offer benefits when used topically, too. Many people report that the oil calms and soothes irritated skin, and it’s a common ingredient in hair and scalp treatments.

You can add three or four drops of the oil to your favorite lotion or conditioner to enhance their therapeutic properties and boost relaxation. Consider applying the lotion right before bed to better ease your way into sleep. 

4. May Treat Menstrual Cramps and Menopause Symptoms

Clary sage oil contains a compound called sclareol, which can mimic the effects of estrogen on your body. There’s reason to believe this essential oil can reduce menopause symptoms, as one study found that applying the oil to the soles of your feet reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

On the other end of the female hormone spectrum, clary sage oil is considered beneficial for treating menstrual cramps. Research shows that applying a cream with clary sage oil (along with other essential oils) to your lower abdomen daily may reduce painful cramps during your period.

5. Can Reduce Inflammation

This floral compound also earns credit as a natural anti-inflammatory. Research on rats showed it significantly reduced their signs of inflammation, leading researchers to conclude it could be beneficial for treating inflammatory conditions like gum disease.

6. Natural Antibacterial Properties

As with many essential oils, clary sage oil's antibacterial properties seemingly make it effective for treating wounds and skin irritation. One study found that it healed staph infections that weren’t responding well to traditional antibiotic treatments.

There’s also evidence that the oil can slow down the growth rates of E. coli bacteria and even attack existing cells.

7. May Boost Mental Functioning

Sage plants have long been celebrated for their ability to improve mental prowess. A 2017 review found that this plant family has positive associations with memory improvements, greater concentration, and alertness, and may even have the potential for fighting the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  


Are There Any Clary Sage Side Effects?

There are few, if any, known side effects associated with using clary sage oil.  

Even so, you may want to take precautions when using it for the first time. Consider testing your skin sensitivity by applying the oil to a small patch before using it over your whole body. If you see any redness or irritation, stop using the oil or dilute it further with a carrier oil.  

It’s also smart to talk with your doctor before using it if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication, or have low blood pressure.


Best Clary Sage Essential Oil Pairings

Clary sage oil’s clean, refreshing scent means it pairs well with citrus oils. Consider blending it with lemon, orange, lime, and bergamot oils, or oils that hit the fragrance base notes like frankincense, cypress, and sandalwood.

You can also enjoy clary sage in our Illumination Collection essential oil blends, including within White Aura, Yellow Aura, and Indigo Aura. It’s also found within our Take Root signature oil blend.

Clary sage oil offers impressive, scientifically verified abilities to keep you calm, relaxed, and mentally astute. But beyond these benefits, the oil merely smells amazing. Consider trying clary sage oil today, and we predict it might soon become one of your favorite scents.