In aromatherapy, clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is known as THE woman’s oil. It helps regulate hormones at all stages in a reproductive woman’s life by soothing PMS, assisting with labor, and easing the transition through menopause. But it’s not just for gal problems – it can also relax muscles, reduce depression, and relieve pain. In ancient times clary sage was revered as an aphrodisiac, showing it is a powerful plant with many uses.
My introduction to clary sage was as an aid for insomnia. Many people do not realize that it can benefit this condition, but the oil is considered a strong sedative. The oil helps you sleep by reducing tension in the body (tight muscles) and the spirit (as a euphoric) without the “hangover” you can get from prescription sleep aids. It does have a heavy, intoxicating smell and is best blended with a lighter scent like lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), as in our Deep Sleep blend, or neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara). It is especially good for menopausal insomnia.
Another use for clary sage in menopause is as an antidepressant. In a Korean study, it was found that “after inhalation of clary sage oil, cortisol levels were significantly decreased.” The conclusion was that “clary sage oil has antidepressant-like effect (in menopausal women).” It also helps curtail menopausal hot flashes, so it can be an important oil for women experiencing “the change.”
For younger women, it helps with many problems associated with PMS. It takes the edge off of irritability, relaxes painful cramps, eases anxiety, reduces stress, and is considered uplifting. Through hormone regulation, clary sage can dissolve PMS and make the best of every week.
If a women is in the midst of labor, she too can be helped by clary sage. It is “beneficial for its analgesic effects, relaxing effects and its ability to accelerate labor. (The oil enables) the expectant mother to relax and eases post-natal depression.”
Both sexes can use clary sage for its antispasmodic qualities. A massage with the diluted oil can soothe back pain, and reduce inflammation and muscle stiffness. The oil also relaxes spasms of the bronchial tubes to help with asthma and spasms of the digestive tract to help with intestinal cramps. Clary sage is wonderful for men and women and has a multitude of powerful uses.