Essential Oil Profile- Clary Sage, Salvia Sclarea

6:13 AM Posted by jo

Clary Sage, Salvia Sclarea, is part of the Lamiaceae family. It is also referred to as  Clary Wort, Common clary, Clear eye, and just Clary. It is a one meter high biennial herb with small purple or blue flowers and hairy leaves. The fresh flowering tops are steam distilled to make the essential oil. It grows mostly in Russia, Morocco, and France. It was once used to clear the eyes and the word clary originates from Latin and means clear. In England Salvia sclarea was substituted for hops to produce beer.

The chemical constituents of Salvia sclarea are:
  • Monoterpenes limonene, myrcene, ocimene, terpinolene, a-pinene, and b-pinene.
  • The monoterpenol linalool and nerol. They are antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, antibacterial, and anticonvulsant.
  • The esters linalyl acetate, geranyl acetate and neryl acetate.
  • The diterpernol sclareol.

Salvea sclarea has a sweet, herbal, floral and green top note. It is a very clean, fresh, and pleasant aroma. The middle note is sweeter, more floral, herbal, and pleasant. Clary sage is a very euphoric aroma and it makes me feel good. It is a refreshing, energetic and at the same time very soothing and relaxing. The base note is softer, perfumery, floral, herbal, and fruity. The dry out note is almost musky and sweet.

 The oil has no color and leaves no stain on the blotter. It also dries quickly when I rub it between my fingers.

This is a very euphoric scent as mentioned, Salvia sclarea is a favorite. It is so much joy to smell it and it makes me feel great. It's pleasant and soothing and really lightens the mood. 

Historic uses
 Clary sage has historically been a  very useful oil for nervousness, depression, fear and paranoia. It is revitalizing, stimulating, and regenerative oil. Clary sage has an affinity with the thalamus.

Traditional uses

 According to Battaglia,  Salvia sclarea has traditionally been used in pre-menstrual syndrome and for painful cramps in the back due to its emmenagogue and antispasmodic actions. Battaglia also states that the analgesic and relaxing actions of clary sage are helpful in labor according to a clinical study. Clary sage is an excellent oil for many female conditions.

According to Battaglia, clary sage promotes estrogen secretion and he says it is also believed to act on the pituitary, and it as a harmonizing effect in menstrual distorders. He also says clary sage is useful during menopause.

According to Gary Young, Clary sage is also antidiabetic, may reduce high cholesterol, is estrogen like, and supports hormones.  Young also states clary sage has also historically been used for  menstrual problems, dandruff, depression, insect bites, insomnia, dry skin, throat infections, and circulatory problems.

According to Battaglia, clary sage is said to reduce the production of sebum and may therefore be beneficial for conditions such as greasy hair and dandruff.

It blends well with: Bergamot, cedarwood, German and Roman Chamomile, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, lavender, sweet marjoram, neroli, orange, rosewood, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.

Use with caution after the first trimester. Clary sage is considered non toxic but it can be narcotic if taken internally in doses above RDD. Avoid in hypotension. 

Possible skin sensitivity. If pregnant or under a doctor's care, consult your physician. Dilution recommended for both topical and internal use. Dilute before using on sensitive areas such as the face, neck, genital area, etc. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid using on infants and very small children.

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and  she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
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Salvatore Battaglia (2003) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy Second Edition.The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy.
Gary Young, ND (2006). Essential Oils, Integrative Medical Guide. Essential Science Publishing
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