Clary sage carries spiritual timelessness within itself
– a second could be a year, a year a second –
and brings the realization
that it’s how much love we can pour into a second that counts.
Valerie Ann Worwood
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) should not be confused with Sage (Salvia officinalis).
Synonyms: Muscatel sage, clary.
Aroma: Bittersweet, spicy, camphoraceous, muscat-like.
Colour: Pale yellowy green
Plant: Biennial or perennial herb grows between 30 and 100cm with tall flower spikes rising above hairy heart-shaped leaves. The flowers are pale blue, lavender, pink or white.
Main Growing Areas: France, Russia, USA, Morocco, England, the Mediterranean, Australia.
Major Constituents: The exact composition of the oil varies depending on the area where it is grown. Linalyl acetate, linalool, alpha-terpineol, geraniol, sclareol.
Interesting snippets: The herb was highly esteemed in the Middle Ages for digestive disorders, uterine and menstrual complaints and as a general nerve tonic.
In 19th century England the herb was used to add bitterness when brewing beer. The beer was renowned for producing a euphoric intoxication followed by a severe headache.
Was used to combat the night sweats and strengthen the immune system of patients with tuberculosis in the past.
Part of Plant used / Extraction: Flowering tops and foliage by steam distillation. A higher elevation and drier soil will yield 2-3 times more oil per plant than one grown at a lower elevation and in moist soil.
Therapeutic actions: Muscle relaxant, antispasmodic and regulator of woman’s hormones. Scanty periods, PMS and said to be a uterine tonic able to induce labour and to restart contractions if they have stopped. Muscular stiffness and spasm, tired, aching legs, headache and migraine.
Emotional and Spiritual: Stress related conditions. She seems to encourage vivid dreams and enhances creative work due to her narcotic effect. Clary sage causes feelings of euphoria and elation.
Gabriel Mojay writes that clary sage is indicated for nervous anxiety and depression characterised by changeable moods, indecision and emotional confusion. When we have lost our felt instinct for our life’s true purpose unable to see clearly in the here and now clary sage restores lucidity to the instincts and allows inspiration to flow.
Robbi Zeck writes that clary sage switches on the inner lights, caresses the creative mind, awakens your sensory perception and broadens your intuitive horizons. It enables you to access deeper parts of the subconscious as you explore options and sift through information, leading to inspired decision-making.
Aromatherapy Insight Card:
Courtesy of J.Jefferies & K.Osborn
For times of emotional and mental confusion, mood swings and indecision, or just when you feel burnt out and weepy. Clary Sage restores harmony and regenerates interest in life, helping you to be clear about what you want and how to get it. Do not be influenced by others. Stay clear and focused as to what you want. Access and work with your intuition to remove events that distract you from your path. Travel that road emotionally uplifted, but in a calm state. Clary Sage does not throw you over the top, but keeps you confident and steadfast in reality by connecting you to the earth. Broaden your perception and your horizons, tapping into your subconscious to make those choices clearly, and now.
Fragrant Change Healing Card: I listen to my intuition and follow its guidance.
Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Best to avoid using if you will be drinking alcohol as she can lead to a severe hangover and nightmares. Some authors have suggested this oil not be used during pregnancy as it may cause a miscarriage but there has been no evidence shown that supports this.
Sources: Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Davis, P, Aromatherapy, An A-Z. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr, J, Clary Sage Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.3 (1997)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)