Clary sage is a biennial or short lived perennial of the lamiaceae family that occurs naturally on the northern shores of the Mediterranean sea. The plant has been used for a long time for its medicinal properties, and is now also used in aromatherapy. It is also known for its anti-oxidant properties thanks to the substance sclareol contained in it.
The plant is of the Sage (Salvia) genus, but is much taller, with bigger leaves and a high flower stalk.
Normally, Clary sage only flowers in its second year of growth. The flowers exhale a strong and balsamic perfume, which you either like or dislike. It is used in the perfume industry as an ingredient in male perfumes.
Clary sage essential oil has hormone-like properties and has a balancing effect on pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). It also appears to have lactogenic properties for breast feeding women. However, it needs to be taken with caution: best is to incorporate it at a ratio of 2-3% in a base oil like sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or calendula oil, and use it as a massage oil.
In Provence, Clary sage is cultivated as an aromatic crop, which needs to be handled with care. The essential oil content is quite low, and very volatile: one needs to harvest it on a hot sunny day in July, when the flowers are seeding. At that time however, one may quickly loose the essential oil if the plants are not handled carefully.
At La Comba Aromatica, we pride ourselves in bringing you high quality Clary Sage oil gently distilled from certified organic fields