Clary sage essential oil is extracted from the herbaceous plant Salvia sclarea, closely related to garden sage (S. officinalis). The medicinal use of Clary sage, especially as an eye cleanser, goes back thousands of years. Â The term â€˜claryâ€™ comes from the Latin word â€˜clarusâ€™, which means clarifying or cleansing.
The oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, carminative, sedative, hypotensive, euphoric, and antidepressant properties. Â It is considered a milder, and relatively safer, alternative to sage essential oil in many respects.
Clary sage essential oil has several uses in the cosmetic industry. It is a common ingredient in many deodorants, herbal soaps, shampoos, face wash, and other hygiene products, thanks to its pleasant aroma and antiseptic properties. Another popular use of this herb is for improving female reproductive health. It is also used in food manufacturing as a flavoring agent and preservative. Â Clary sage seeds and the essential oil are known as muscatel sage and muscatel oil respectively, because of their use in muscatel wine.
Stress relief is one of the most welcome effects of Clary sage oil.Â Chronic stress and anxietyÂ can seriously affect our physical and mental well-being. They often rob us of restful sleep, further aggravating the situation. Lack of sleep invariably affects our performance the following day, besides increasing the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and depression.
Clary sage oil has a calming, mildly sedating effect on the nervous system, which is very useful in reducing anxiety and insomnia. ItÂ has a balancing effect on hormones, and can help regulate the stress hormone cortisol.
If you have difficulty falling asleep, use 3-4 drops of this essential oil in a diffuser at bedtime. Having a warm bath at the end of the day with a few drops of Clary sage oil diluted in a carrier oil and added to the water is also effective.
2. Relieves Depression
The antidepressant effect of Clary sage oil is closely related to its stress-busting and hormone-regulating properties. Anxiety and stress are common causes of depression, as is a lack of sleep. Hormonal imbalances also result in mental disturbance. Instead of taking several drugs, all these problems can be tackled by using Clary sage oil in a diffuser. The euphoric property of this oil can improve mood and induce a sense of confidence and happiness.
Use 2-3 drops each of Clary sage oil and lemon oil in a diffuser or in a spray bottle. One or two drops can be applied behind the ear and under the feet after diluting with sweet almond oil or another carrier oil.
3. Stimulates & Improve Digestion
This essential oil increases the secretion of digestive juices and accelerates the digestive process. The antispasmodic effect of the oil suppresses painful muscle spasms and its carminative effect reduces the formation of gas, preventing bloating and heartburn.
Using the oil in a diffuser or rubbing in a few drops diluted in a carrier oil on the abdomen usually brings quick relief.
4. Promotes Bowel Regularity
Bowel regularity is not usually given the importance it deserves. In many ancient medical streams like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC) and Ayurveda, it is an important measure of general health. It is based on the belief that most diseases have its origin in the stomach. This is now being recognized by modern medicine with regard to autoimmune diseases and colorectal cancers.
Many toxins enter the body through food, and many more are generated during digestion. Food should not remain in the digestive tract longer than necessary because these toxins can then damage the intestinal walls and increase the risk of abnormal growths. They can also enter the bloodstream, and trigger strong immune responses. Clary sage essential oil can improve digestion and promote timely elimination of wastes, thus reducing the risk of such diseases.
5. All-Natural Skin & Scalp Care
Clary sage essential oil is added to many skin formulations for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It can protect the skin from dermatitis and bacterial and fungal infections. It also regulates the function of sebaceous glands, and helps control and eliminate acne and dandruff.
To control dandruff, mix 5-6 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of warm coconut oil and rub into your scalp before washing your hair. It is also believed to increase hair growth.
Four drops of Clary sage oil diluted in jojoba oil makes an anti-acne face wash. The antibacterial effect of the oil prevents infections and the astringent effect helps dry out acne. Regular use may prevent breakouts.
6. Heal Bacterial & Fungal Infections
The essential oil of Clary sage displays wide-ranging antibacterial and anti-fungal property when applied externally on cuts and wounds. Mix 5-6 drops of the essential oil in a teaspoon of coconut oil to wash and disinfect wounds. It is found to be particularly effective against Staphylococcus spp., responsible for many stubborn infections.
Mix Clary sage essential oil and coconut oil to make an anti-fungal â€˜paintâ€™. This may be applied on ringworm, athletesâ€™ foot, and other topical infections.
7. Improve Oral Health
The antimicrobial and astringent properties of Clary sage oil make it excellent for improving oral hygiene. If you have problems like halitosis, red and swollen gums, or bleeding from the gums while brushing or flossing, regular use of this essential oil may bring about dramatic changes. It can act against various bacteria that cause bad breath and dental caries. Besides reducing the total bacterial load in the mouth, the astringency helps reduce inflammation of the gums and prevents gum disease.
Clary sage has antifungal action too, which may help prevent or treat oral yeast infections like thrush that sometimes appear in immunodeficient individuals and those taking steroids or other immuno-suppressant drugs.
Mix in a few drops of clary sage essential oil and coconut oil in powdered sea salt to make a gum paint. Massage this mixture into your gums and rinse with warm water.
8. Can Be Used As A Natural Deodorant
We know synthetic products contain a host of harmful chemicals that can put our health at risk, especially since deodorants are applied directly on the skin, and all too often. Aromatic essential oils make excellent deodorants, minus the chemical load. They are cost effective since a little goes a long way. Their effect lasts much longer too because they have wide-ranging antimicrobial activity against bacteria causing body odor.
Use Clary sage oil by itself or combined with lavender or citrus oils to produce unique personal fragrances. Add 5-6 drops to water in a glass spritzer bottle and spray on. Add these oils to bath salts for a scented and very relaxing bath mixture.
9. Helps Relieve Menstrual Problems
This essential oil can help with almost any problem associated with the female reproductive system. This age-old use of Clary sage essential oil has earned it a reputation as â€˜the essential oil for women.â€™ Those having premenstrual syndrome and postmenopausal syndrome benefit equally from the use of this oil.
This is because of the many phytoestrogens present in the oil. These substances act like the natural hormones produced by the body and help regulate existing hormonal imbalances. They may protect women from polycystic ovary disease and even uterine and ovarian cancers triggered by the overproduction of estrogen.
The antispasmodic and analgesic effect of Clary sage oil reduces pain and cramping during periods. In a study conducted on school girls, massaging a few drops of Clary sage oil diluted in a carrier oil on the abdomen once a day was found to provide significant relief.
10. Helps Relieve Asthma & Respiratory Problems
Clary sage essential oil is traditionally used on its own or in essential oil blends to treat respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Inhaling the vapors can open up airways and sinuses and reduce congestion. Since it relaxes the bronchial tubes, asthma sufferers find Clary sage very helpful.
Mix 2-4 drops of the oil with a tablespoon of almond oil and use it as a chest rub. Using 2-3 drops in a diffuser is also effective.
11. Reduce High Blood Pressure
In clinical studies, Clary sage essential oil has been proven to reduce blood pressure and increase blood circulation. A significant reduction was observed in both systolic and diastolic readings compared to control group. This essential oil lowers blood pressure by relaxing and opening up the blood vessels. This cuts down the load on the heart because blood can be pumped less forcefully when the arteries are relaxed.
Diffusing the essential oil is sufficient to bring about the blood pressure-lowering effect, so, for people with hypertension, this benefit comes without any drugs.
Clary Sage Essential Oil Precautions
Clary sage essential oil should not be used on young children. Check for allergic reactions by doing a patch test. If you are taking any prescription drugs, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about possible drug interactions before use. Excess use can precipitate headaches, drowsiness, and over-excitement. Avoid its use during pregnancy and after consuming alcohol.