Clary Sage Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects
Clary sage oil benefits are abundant. It helps in treating depression, proven effective for epilepsy, cures skin problems, relaxes the body, and so on. If you aren’t aware of its health benefits, you are probably missing a lot.
So, here is a detailed article that outlines clary sage essential oil’s medicinal properties, history, benefits, uses, chemical structure, and lots more.
What Is Clary Sage Oil?
Clary sage essential oil is extracted from the herb called Salvia sclarea. It is nicknamed as “the woman’s oil,” as it is highly helpful for women’s health, especially in maintaining their menstrual cycle or menopause. (1)
It is also useful in soothing the ruptured skin or inflammation. Its cooling property helps smoothen the ruptured skin. Besides these, it is added to foods, beverages, and perfumes for aroma & flavoring. This oil has been traditionally used to flavor Muscatel Wine, and hence is often called Muscatel oil too.
Scientific Name Of Clary Sage Oil
The botanical name of clary sage is Salvia sclarea L.
History Of Clary Sage Oil
The herb is a native to Italy, southern France, and the region surrounding these areas The name “clary sage” derived from the Latin word “Clarus,” which means “cleansing.” Evidence of its growth was found as early as the 1st & 4th centuries.
It has been found in the scripts of Theophrastus from the 4th century BCE, “Dioscorides” and “Pliny the Elder” from the 1st century CE. (2)
About the plant:
Salvia sclarea belongs to the family called Lamiaceae. It reaches a height of 3 – 4 ft. (0.91 – 1.22 m). The stem is square shaped, which is covered with hairs.
At the base, the leaves are approximately 1 ft. (0.30 m) long and grow to a height of 0.5 ft. (0.15 m). The upper surface of leaves is rugose and are covered with glandular hairs as well.
The flowers are arranged in verticals – usually, 2-6 flowers are seen in each vertical with prominent, colorful bracts ranging from pale mauve to lilac or whitish-pink with pink marks on the edges. The corolla is blue or pale blue, and is approximately 1 in (2.5 cm), with the lips wide open.
Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Clary Sage Oil
- The color of clary sage oil is pale yellow.
- The consistency of clary sage oil is thin.
- The smell of clary sage oil is sharp and herbal.
Properties Of Clary Sage Essential Oil
The medicinal properties of clary sage oil include (3):
- Anti-depressant – Eases depression
- Anti-convulsant – Reduces or prevents the severity of convulsions
- Antispasmodic – Relieves the spasms of the involuntary muscles
- Aphrodisiac – Helps increase the libido
- Digestive – Aids in a healthy digestion
- Emmenagogue – Increases or stimulates the menstrual flow
- Deodorant – Removes unpleasant smell or bad odor
- Astringent – Helps in the contraction of the skin cells and bodily tissues
- Anti-inflammatory – Reduces swelling, pain, and redness
- Analgesic – Helps in relieving pain
- Antiepileptic – Helps in the treatment of epilepsy
- Hypotensive – Lowers the blood pressure
- Euphoric – Increases the mood of happiness or helps emit the happy hormones
Chemical Compounds In Clary Sage Oil
The main chemical constituents of clary sage oil are Linalyl Acetate, Germacrene-D, Linalool, Sclareol, diterpenes, and alpha-Terpineol.
However, the diterpenes in this oil aren’t used while making its oil because of its massive molecular weight. It creates problems in the distillation process.
Every chemical component in the clary sage oil has its importance and benefits, given that where and how you are using it for. Say, for instance, Linalyl Acetate is useful as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, analgesic, and hypotensive agent. Thus, it is used in many medicated products.
Linalool, on the other hand, is a well-known supplement for medicines made for sedative purposes. It acts as an anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, and analgesic.
Germacrene-D is a component that is used in medicines that help treat diseases related to microbial, bacterial, and fungal problems. It also treats septicemia infections and other allergic reactions.
Alpha-terpineol and Sclareol almost have the same properties as defined for the above.
Health Benefits Of Clary Sage Oil
Since it is obtained from a herb that is aromatic in nature, it is often used in beverages and perfumes. However, not many many know that clary sage is more than that. The oil is popular for its therapeutic properties. A few of them include:
1. Effective in menopause
Clary sage essential oil is found useful during menopause. Sclareol, a vital chemical component found in clary sage oil simulates the female hormone levels – i.e., “estrogen” in the body.
Due to the altered effect on the estrogen levels, it reduces some of the symptoms of menopause, which include anxiety, restlessness, burning feet, and lack of sleep.
A few studies also suggest that the topical application of diluted clary sage oil at the bottom of the feet reduces hot flashes. (4)
2. Reduces pain during menstruation
Clary sage essential oil is a well-known anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It balances the hormonal impact and sacral chakras in women. Menstrual cramps are one of the common problems women face during menstruation.
Linalyl Acetate, an active component in clary sage essential oil, has anti-inflammatory properties. Besides this, the compound sclareol is found effective in neutralizing the internal swelling and regulating the muscular cramps. This relieves the pain during menstruation.
Just inhaling the aroma of clary sage oil during menstruation gives an antidepressant-like effect by reducing the cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone.
3. Works as a neuroprotective agent
One of the clary sage oil benefits is its neuro-protective property, which works excellently on neural signaling. It has been tested on both animals and humans to determine its potential benefits as an antidepressant.
Clary sage essential oil has been found beneficial in the treatment of depression, as it acts as an anti-stressor. This is mainly due to the presence of linalyl acetate, which works as an anti-depressant and helps in protecting the nervous system.
4. Treats epilepsy
Clary sage oil is found effective in the treatment of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a disorder where the activity of brain’s nerve cells is disrupted, causing seizures in return. It is usually accompanied by multiple symptoms like an abnormal behavior, unusual sensations, loss of consciousness, etc.
However, clary sage oil is proven effective in treating seizures. This is mainly due to the compound linalyl acetate present in it, which cures the symptoms of epilepsy. (9)
5. Cures skin problems
One of the best health benefits of clary sage essential oil is its ability to treat boils, skin inflammation, hair loss, dandruff, dry skin, muscular pains, intestinal cramping, nervous, stress, etc.
It exhibits the properties to keep the body calm and further, balances the production of natural oils and sebum. This, in turn, strengthens the skin and muscles.
Linalyl acetate plays a key role in strengthening the muscles and eliminating skin related problems. When clary sage oil is applied topically (diluted), or in the form of creams, it is found beneficial for the skin.
Also, a calm and gentle massage of this oil can help in getting rid of dandruff from the scalp. Dandruff occurs due to Microbacterium furfur. Linalyl acetate plays a vital role in sublimating the effect of dandruff. (10)
6. Helpful in cholera
Clary sage essential oil is helpful for stomach health. It helps in different digestion-related issues. It is also found useful in constipation, gastritis, and various kinds of stomach infections.
It is also found useful in severe food poisoning condition like cholera. Since it is a natural anti-spasmodic, it helps in stimulating the digestive system and assists in curing stomach aches, muscular cramps, coughs, and cholera. Besides these, it also helps in relieving the symptoms of fatigue.
Germacrene-D, a vital chemical component in clary sage essential oil is found effective in different kinds of microbial infection. No wonder it helps in the treatment of cholera (a microbe born disease, which is accompanied by dehydration). (11)
7. Prevents septicaemia
Clary sage oil is also found effective on sepsis. This oil, when directly applied to open wounds, bruises, burns, and irritations, helps in preventing septicemia.
Also, it recovers the patients suffering from it in an early stage. This is mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties. The active compound behind this is linalyl acetate, which helps in reducing inflammation and regenerating the cells that are damaged due to wounds and bruises.
8. Increases the feeling of euphuism
Clary sage is a well-admired relaxant. Its soothing and aromatic properties help relax the body. This oil is known to be good for libido in both men and women, as it possesses the properties of seductiveness and can alleviate dizziness, anxiety, and irritability.
Its narcotic properties help people suffering from insomnia and get rid of that bafflement stage.
9. Lowers the blood pressure
Clary sage essential oil also works as a diuretic. It helps in excreting the excess salts from the body. When excess salt is removed from the body via urine, the blood pressure is self-regulated.
It is often used in drugs used for reducing hypertension. By regulating elevated blood pressure, it further prevents or reduces the chances of heart failure, kidney failure, and liver failure. It also protects the brain from damage, which is an after effect of increased blood pressure. (12)
10. Reduces body temperature
Clary sage oil helps in reducing the body temperature (or fever). Fever is the consequence of your body’s protection mechanism. When the body is exposed to any foreign particle (non-internal to the body), it raises its temperature to kill the pathogen.
During this protective mechanism, your body fails to identify the appropriate temperature that it can handle. This is when medicines are required to lower down the increased body temperature.
However, clary sage essential oil is helpful in decreasing the body temperature naturally. Again, thanks to the compound linalyl acetate in it. (13)
What Blends With Clary Sage Oil?
Clary sage oil diffuses easily with other essential oils. Depending upon the need, it has the ability to diffuse with other oils in different concentrations. However, the best ones include:
- Orange oil
- Cilantro oil
- Geranium oil
- Peppermint oil
- Lavender oil
- Jasmine oil
- Lemon oil
- Neroli oil
- Citrus oils
- Bergamot oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Frankincense oil
- Sandalwood oil
- Amyris oil
How To Use Clary Sage Oil?
By keeping the antagonistic effects of this oil in mind, some preventive measures are to be taken before its use. Pregnant women and children below 7 years are advised to use this oil only after a proper prescription. Furthermore, before using this oil on the skin, some laboratory tests are required to find out the appropriate blend to check if it suits a particular skin type. This oil should not be used near the eyes, ear, nose, or any sensitive area of the skin.
Those seeking a clinical care to manage their behaviors, moods, or other disorders, must treat this oil as a simple remedy than a replacement for any medicinal treatment or prescription.
In case there is an allergy after its application, avoid using it and consult a doctor, allergist, or pharmacist right away for a proper medical assessment. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional before use.
Side Effects Of Clary Sage Oil
A significant side effect that is usually reported after using this oil is headaches. If it is used with alcohol or any other narcotic elements, it may create the state of intoxication, which may lead to insomnia.
Patients suffering from several health disorders like diabetes, cancer, heart disease or other heart-related problems, low blood pressure, liver damage, peptic ulcers, bleeding disorders like hemophilia, estrogen-related issues, and skin disorders, are recommended to use this oil under proper guidance because it may actively react with certain medications like the ones prescribed for diabetes or any other anticoagulant.
It may cause dyspnea and might finally lead to several permanent disorders or ailments.