Our Complete Guide to Clary Sage Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions

Clary sage essential oil has a long and impressive history of medicinal use. In fact, use of the plant this oil is made from was traced all the way back to Ancient Rome, so it’s been benefiting us for nearly 3000 years! This potent essential oil has a range of uses and it’s a proven antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent. Many people also use clary sage essential oil for hair growth and as a general tonic to boost their well-being.

In this guide, we’ll explain the many different ways that you can use clary sage essential oil in your daily life. We cover everything you need to know about using this amazing oil with an abundance of properties safely and effectively.

Content/Quick links

  • What is clary sage essential oil?
  • Clary sage essential oil - quick facts
  • How is clary sage essential oil made?
  • Benefits of clary sage essential oil
  • Inducing labour
  • Reducing cramps
  • Stress reduction
  • As a hair tonic
  • How to use clary sage essential oil
  • Aromatherapy massage
  • Topical use
  • Bath
  • Inhalation
  • Pillow mist
  • Clary sage essential oil research
  • Clary sage for cramps - 2012
  • Clary sage and relaxation - 2013, 2022
  • Clary sage as a natural antidepressant - 2014
  • The antibacterial properties of clary sage - 2015
  • Side effects of clary sage essential oil
  • Contraindications of clary sage essential oil
  • Where to buy clary sage essential oil
  • volant
  • Amazon
  • Pharmacies
  • DoTERRA
  • Clary sage essential oil FAQs
  • What is clary sage essential oil for?
  • When should you avoid using clary sage?
  • Can you apply clary sage essential oil to the skin directly?
  • Does clary sage have any side effects?
  • Is clary sage essential oil good for inducing sleep?
  • Is clary sage good for hair?
  • Is clary sage the same as sage?
  • In summary

What is clary sage essential oil?

Clary sage essential oil is made from a flowering herb indigenous to the Mediterranean Basin, Central Asia and parts of North Africa. The essential oil gets extracted from the leaves and buds of the plant and has a clean, refreshing, rejuvenating scent. This is what makes it the ideal option for aromatherapy treatments.

Known in some regions as Eye Bright and Clear Eye because it’s traditionally been used as an ocular treatment, people also use clary sage for cramps, among other ailments, and it is cultivated as a tea flavoring too. Its components include alpha-terpineol, geraniol, linalyl acetate, linalool, sclareol and caryophyllene, among others.

Clary sage gets its name from Clarus, a Latin word meaning “clear” and sports thick, square, hairy stems. Its pale purple flowers bloom in bunches and range in color from mauve to lilac.

Clary sage essential oil - quick facts

✅   Latin name: Salvia sclarea

Also known as: Eye Bright, Clear Eye

✅   Country of origin: Southern Europe

   Scent note: Middle

✅   Annual production: 1500 tonnes

✅   Popular uses: pregnancy, labour, cramps, hair care

How is clary sage essential oil made?

woman looking at essential oil in the kitchen

Clary sage essential oil is made using an extraction process that uses the flowering tops and leaves of the plant.

Steam distillation is the most commonly used method for extracting and isolating essential oils from plant material. The steam vaporizes the plant’s volatile compounds to separate them. These compounds then go through condensation and collection processes before making their way onto the market as an essential oil.

Benefits of clary sage essential oil

Clary sage essential oil has a wide range of benefits. These include:

  • ✅   Inducing labour
  • ✅   Reducing cramps
  • ✅   Stress reduction
  • ✅   As a hair tonic

Clary sage for inducing labour

As well as using clary sage for inducing labour, it has been found that this essential oil is also effective in reducing maternal anxiety, fear and even pain during childbirth.

However, clary sage oil pregnancy use is not recommended, as this essential oil stimulates the uterus, which is a problem if you’re not yet full term. But when you’re ready to give birth, using clary sage oil in a bath during pregnancy can have positive benefits.

Clary sage for cramps

Women who experience painful menstruation have found relief using clary sage for cramps. This is because of the linalool and linalyl acetate combination found in clary sage which separately and together calm muscle spasms.

Clary sage for stress reduction

woman focused on working while inhaling essential oil

Clary sage essential oil can induce feelings of wellness. Because it reduces blood pressure, it elicits feelings of relaxation and calm. It also reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine), a precursor to 5-HTP and serotonin, the happy hormone.

Clary sage essential oil for hair

When you use clary sage essential oil for hair, you’ll find it stimulates the growth of stronger, healthier strands. It may also help eliminate dandruff due to its antifungal effects. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it helpful in dealing with dry, itchy scalp conditions too.

How to use clary sage essential oil

  • Ways to use this essential oil:
  • ✅    Aromatherapy massage
  • ✅    Topical use
  • ✅    Bath
  • ✅    Inhalation
  • ✅    Pillow mist

Let’s look at these methods in a little more detail.

Aromatherapy massage with clary sage

Because aromatherapy treatments harness the power of scent to reduce anxiety and calm your mind, clary sage essential oil is the ideal choice. This oil offers exactly these benefits, so incorporating it into an aromatherapy massage is an excellent idea.

Clary sage essential oil takes care of the practical side of things by improving your digestion, offering antibacterial support and boosting blood circulation. At the same time, it works as an antidepressant and stress reliever.

An aromatherapy massage is also a popular way to use clary sage for inducing labour.

Topical use of clary sage

Clary sage oil pregnancy use is not recommended before 37 weeks, but it’s a wonderful option for topical use on your abdomen, back or on your temples during labour to reduce stress and help relieve pain.

Topical use of clary sage oil can also help curb the growth and spread of bacteria and offset the chance of a fungal infection. So if you’re not pregnant, go ahead and use it on your skin with a carrier oil! Clary sage essential oil also has antiseptic properties, so using it on wounds will ensure they don’t get infected. It can help your skin to heal more quickly, too.

Using clary sage with your shampoo or conditioner may also help smooth out and strengthen your hair cuticles and follicles.

Bath with clary sage

Using a few drops of clary sage with a tablespoon of carrier oil in the bath is a great way to benefit from its fast-acting relaxing effects at the end of a long, stressful day. It will also benefit your skin with its antiseptic properties.

If you’re at least 37 weeks pregnant, using clary sage oil in a bath may not only help soothe your muscles and sore back and feet, it may also help baby come sooner!

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

13 €
volant unwind essential oil blend bottle. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant unwind essential oil blend bottle. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant unwind essential oil blend bottle and diffuser. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant unwind essential oil blend bottle packaging. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant clay diffuser using unwind essential oil blend. This mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.

Unwind

13 €

Inhaling clary sage

Putting clary sage essential oil in your diffuser can elicit feelings of calm and leave you feeling more relaxed. Even just rubbing a couple drops between your palms and breathing it in for a minute will drastically reduce your stress levels - at work, at school, or wherever you are!

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volant clay essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy
volant's clay diffuser brings the joy of the Mediterranean into your home
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volant clay diffuser for diy bathroom spa

Clay Volant Diffuser

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Using clary sage in a pillow mist

A very effective way to put the relaxing properties of clary sage essential oil to work so you can get a good night’s sleep is to make a pillow mist with it. Add a few drops to distilled water in a spray bottle and spray this mix onto your pillows before bedtime. Its fresh scent will calm you, ensuring that your rest is as regenerative as it can be.

Remember, however, that because people use clary sage for inducing labour, you should not do this if you’re pregnant and not yet ready to deliver your baby.

Clary sage essential oil research

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

There is a surprising amount of quality research on clary sage essential oil in humans. Scientists have put clary sage to the test in multiple laboratory settings. Let’s have a look at the results of some of this research.

Clary sage for cramps - 2012

In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 48 women suffering from dysmenorrhea, when a cream containing this essential oil and a blend of others was applied to the lower abdomen on a daily basis between menstrual cycles, pain levels were notably lowered.

Clary sage and relaxation - 2013, 2022

In a double-blind, randomized, controlled study, it was revealed that women undergoing stressful medical tests were more able to relax when they inhaled clary sage essential oil, and that the effect was even more powerful than that of lavender.

Another recent study tested the effect of several aromas on women, and clary sage was one of them that stabilized the prefrontal cortex and reduced blood pressure, indicating relaxation and stress reduction.

Clary sage as a natural antidepressant - 2014

Clary sage essential oil has been tested on humans and animals alike when it comes to its benefit as an antidepressant. This study revealed that when menopausal women inhaled its scent, their cortisol levels dropped and their 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) levels increased, which had an antidepressant effect on their moods.

The antibacterial properties of clary sage - 2015

The efficacy of clary sage oil, when used to treat serious dermatological infections, was confirmed in this research. Participants had wounds caused by burns, surgery or diabetes that weren’t responding to antibiotic treatments. Diluted clary sage essential oil proved very effective.

Side effects of clary sage essential oil

Before you begin using any essential oil, you should discuss the use thereof with your doctor. They may be able to inform you about any potential side effects, especially if you are on medication, are pregnant or have an illness.

Before using any essential oil topically, always carry out a patch test to reduce the risk of skin irritation or a reaction.

Contraindications of clary sage essential oil

It’s advised that you don’t use clary sage for cramps or any other purpose if you’re taking prescription drugs or are scheduled to undergo major surgery without talking to your healthcare practitioner first. They’ll be able to advise you whether there are any contraindications you need to be aware of.

Clary sage essential oil is not appropriate for use in people with low blood pressure and it should also be avoided during or after alcohol consumption.

As we mentioned earlier, clary sage oil in bath pregnancy use should be steered clear of because of the contraction effect it has on the uterus. Unless of course you’re wanting that baby to come out!

Where to buy clary sage essential oil

In today’s world, whether you want to use clary sage essential oil for hair or anything else, it’s easy to get hold of. You can browse brick-and-mortar stores at your leisure or shop online. You’ll find this oil at the following places:

Volant

Founded in 2020, Volant has already established itself as a leading online store for premium organic essential oils. We believe that our ongoing success is a direct result of our dedication to quality. The clary sage in Volant’s Unwind Essential Oil Blend plays a huge role in this product’s calming capabilities. Use it to start your day off peacefully or create a serene setting at the end of the day. All our oils are 100% pure, organic, vegan friendly and cruelty free.

volant unwind essential oil blend bottle. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant unwind essential oil blend bottle. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant unwind essential oil blend bottle and diffuser. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant unwind essential oil blend bottle packaging. This is a mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.
volant clay diffuser using unwind essential oil blend. This mix of Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot is perfect for the end of a busy stressful day.

Unwind

13 €

Amazon

There are hundreds of options when buying clary sage essential oil from Amazon. Just make sure to check that the product you’re ordering is pure, since you’ll be viewing oils from multiple vendors and each one will be different.

Pharmacies

The fact that this essential oil has so many medicinal benefits means that pharmacies generally stock it. This is the option to take if you want to actually handle the product before you buy it. Just be sure it’s 100% pure and not an extract.

doTERRA

doTERRA created the industry standards for purity, so any oil they offer is sure to be high quality and pure. Their clary sage oil contains no contaminants, adulterations or fillers.

Clary sage essential oil FAQs

What is clary sage essential oil for?

You can use clary sage oil for stress, anxiety, menstrual cramps, symptoms of menopause, as a labour aide and more.

When should you avoid using clary sage?

Don’t use clary sage essential oil when you’re pregnant because it can induce labour.

Can you apply clary sage essential oil to the skin directly?

No, this is generally not advised when using essential oils. Dilute clary sage oil in a carrier oil, adding 3-6 drops to an ounce of carrier oil.

Does clary sage have any side effects?

Although side effects are exceedingly rare, clary sage oil may cause drowsiness, which is something to be aware of.

Is clary sage essential oil good for inducing sleep?

Yes. It has a calming effect, so falling asleep is easier if you spritz it on a pillow or use it in your diffuser at bedtime. .

Is clary sage good for hair?

Many people swear by clary sage essential oil for hair growth. It may also strengthen hair and help to fight dandruff due to its antimicrobial effects. It’s often used to treat scalp conditions because of its anti-inflammatory benefits.

Is clary sage the same as sage?

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is not the same as sage (Salvia officinalis). It has a different chemical makeup and therefore different effects.

In summary

Recent research tells us that clary sage essential oil has as many health benefits as people traditionally believed for hundreds of years. These advantages include positive effects on a physical, mental and emotional level.

Clary sage oil supports hair health, induces labour and helps relieve labour pains, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and anxiety and combats menstrual cramps, among many other benefits. It has also been suggested that, because it’s a member of the sage family, it can improve memory overall, and mental function specifically.

If you’re thinking about trying clary sage essential oil, the most important part of the process, after checking in with your doctor, is that you find a reputable vendor. Volant is proud to be one of the finest providers in operation as we insist on only the best quality plants when producing our organic essential oils.

If you buy one of our oils, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best product available and that it’s 100% pure, with no traces of toxins or chemicals. We are not only cruelty-free but vegan-friendly as well, and conduct our business with a focus on ethics and fair treatment for all at every stage, including the sourcing, creation and selling of our products.

We’re also happy to help our customers with whatever they need. So, if you have a question about clary sage essential oil that hasn’t been answered in this article, or want assistance with anything else, reach out to us via email. Send your message to support@volantaroma.com and we’ll get back to you shortly.

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