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The Clary Sage (Clary Sage Essential Oil) plant has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, and it’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, carminative, euphoric and antidepressant properties have earned it a permanent role in the brewing of natural healing concoctions.
In recent times, however, Clary Sage has come to be highly valued for its essential oil, which harbors numerous health benefits. In particular, it's one of the best essential oils for hormone balancing in women and has, consequently, come to be known as the “woman’s oil”.
It’s also famous for its ability to boost blood circulation, support body systems, fight leukemia, and improve eye health.
Clary Sage essential oil in history
Clary Sage gets its name from the Latin word “clasus” which means “clear”. It’s a short-lived perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region and parts of Central Asia. It belongs to the genus Salvi, and its botanical name is salvia sclarea. The plant grows to about five feet in height, with thin square stems and broad prickly leaves. Flowers bloom in bunches directly from the long stems and collectively have a prominent shade of lilac or mauve.
The earliest records of Clary Sage use date back to medieval Southern Europe, where the sticky mucilage from its seeds was used as an eye cleaner, to remove impurities in the eye, cure infections and relieve inflammation. In fact, ancient authors called the herb “clear eye” given its strength in healing visual problems.
In the middle ages, wine brewers discovered the relaxing and intoxicating effects of Clary Sage and, consequently, used it in wine and beer adulteration.
Currently, Clary Sage grows in all the temperate regions of the world. The essential oil is derived from the leaves, buds, and flowers through steam distillation. When fresh, the oil is a colorless liquid, sometimes with a pale yellow or green shade. Its aroma is sweet, nutty and herbaceous, and is initially strong, but gradually loses potency in storage.
Clary Sage oil uses
Clary Sage owes its many health and lifestyle benefits to its chemical structure, which make it useful as an antidepressant, anticonvulsive, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, hypotensive, nervine, stomachic and nervine.
Some of the common uses of Clary Sage essential oil include:
Balances the hormones
Clary Sage has a powerful effect on hormones because it contains phytoestrogens, also called “dietary estrogens.” The oil, therefore, maintains healthy levels of estrogen and keeps the uterus healthy, minimizing the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer. It’s also used to ease menopausal symptoms such as discomfort, headaches and mood swings.
Recent studies have also uncovered that inhaling Clary Sage oil can reduce cortisol levels by up to 36 percent and improve thyroid hormone production. Often called the “stress hormone,” high amounts of cortisol induce depression and undermine the immune system.
Relieves Menstrual discomfort
As one of the most widely used essential oils among women, Clary Sage makes menses easier by balancing hormones and opening obstructed systems.
Inhaling the vapors of Clary Sage cures menstrual symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, mood swings and food cravings. By relaxing the nerves, Clary Sage also alleviates spasms, stomachaches, and headaches.
The esters in Clary Sage essential oil have a relaxing effect on the muscles and body tissues. People suffering from insomnia stand to benefit from the sedative and stress relieving effects of Clary Sage, which work better and are safer than prescription drugs. Studies have also shown that the oil could help in easing depression because it has antidepressant properties.
Because of its soothing properties, Clary Sage oil has also found use in maternal aromatherapy, where it’s used together with oils like chamomile and geranium to reduce childbirth anxiety and labor pains.
When used topically, Clary Sage opens up blood vessels to improve the flow of blood. By relaxing the arteries and veins, Clary Sage also regulates blood pressure, boosting metabolism and encouraging the healthy functioning of organs and muscles.
This essential oil has the ability to lower the cholesterol levels in the body hence reducing the risks of having a heart attack or stroke.
Clary Sage astringent properties make it useful in strengthening the gums, toning the muscles and hair follicles.
Additionally, Clary Sage oil is also included as an ingredient in various eye treatments. Like the viscous mucilage extracted from the plant in the past, the oil removes impurities in the eyes, heals ruptured capillaries and improves eyesight.
Since the primordial times, Clary Sage has been an essential ingredient in antiseptic herbal treatments.
The antimicrobial properties of the essential oil, however, are much more potent than those in the raw seeds, leaves, and flowers of the herb. When used on wounds, the oil efficiently curbs infections and promotes quick healing. It can also be taken internally in regulated amounts to stop the spread of harmful microbes which enter the body through food or water.
Treating skin conditions
Because of its high linalyl acetate concentration, Clary Sage oil is used to reduce skin inflammation, wash off harmful bacteria, remedy malignant rashes and clear off scars. It also regulates the production of oil, maintaining the natural look of the skin.
Combining Clary Sage with jojoba oil or cocoa butter results in the perfect skin moisturizer, which keeps the skin even all day long.
Clary Sage is known to possess remarkable antioxidant properties, which inhibit the deterioration of body cells and tissues. Studies show that a chemical compound in the oil; sclareol, plays a huge role in killing cancerous cells through the process of apoptosis.
Clary Sage is especially effective in lowering the number of abnormal white blood cells and is sometimes used to treat leukemia.
Clary sage essential oil improves digestion by boosting the secretion of gastric juices and bile. The oil can also play a major role in maintaining the health of the stomach by healing ulcers and wounds in the stomach. Therefore, it prevents stomach disorders and stimulates nutrient absorption processes.
Experts serve cautionary advice against the use of Clary Sage during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester, because it can induce uterine contraction, menses, and a miscarriage.
Clary Sage should not be administered to infants or toddlers because its relaxing effects on blood pressure can be too much for young hearts.
Despite the well-known benefits of Clary Sage to the eyes, there’s still not enough research to support the safe use of the oil in the eyes. Discuss it with your ophthalmologist before using it directly.
To some people, the sedative properties of Clary Sage may induce drowsiness while driving or working. Avoid using the oil during or after taking sleep-inducing medicine, as well as alcohol.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.