Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae
Description: Clary sage is a tall biennial or perennial herb with big, hairy, purple-green leaves and prolific, small blue-violet or white flowers. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowering tops and leaves.
Countries of origin: France, Russia, Morocco, England, America
Characteristics: Clary sage has sweet, musky, herbaceous top notes and nutty, almost floral undertones. It blends well with the citruses, and also with lavender, coriander, cardamom, frankincense, jasmine, pine, geranium, cedarwood and palmarosa.
Main therapeutic properties: Anti-convulsive, anti-depressant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, hypotensor, nervine, sedative, tonic.
Clary sage is the most euphoric of the essential oils, and it can produce an almost druglike narcotic ‘high’. Combined with its pronounced antidepressant qualities, this euphoria makes clary sage a powerful aid to easing depression, melancholia, anxiety, stress and chronic general dissatisfaction. Overall, clary sage is intoxicating, sensuous and uplifting.
One of the most valuable essential oils in treating menstrual cramps, clary sage in baths or hot compresses on the abdomen relaxes mind and body, eases pain and its oestrogenic action helps to bring on and regulate menstruation. Clary sage also helps to treat menopausal symptoms, and can be used in childbirth in a massage oil during early labour. It is an aphrodisiac, especially good for those who are so stressed that their sexuality has diminished.
Clary sage is good in a massage oil over the chest and back to help relieve asthma. Added to shampoo or massaged into the scalp, it can prevent dandruff and balances sebum levels, so it is beneficial for all skin and hair types. Clary sage can also help to reduce excessive sweating when used in a footbath or bath.
Psychologically clary sage is deeply relaxing, euphoric and revitalizing.
Used in small quantities, it is a useful aid to meditation, and facilitates dream work by encouraging powerful and vivid dreams. Clary sage helps strengthen subtle energies and divine inspiration.
Contraindications: Avoid throughout pregnancy. Do not use before or after drinking alcohol.