Clary Sage Oil Health Benefits, Uses, Quality & Best Products Compared

Author: Dr. Michael Tyler
Date: 01.10.2020
Reading time: 8:13 min

Clary sage is a spicy, aromatic type of sage, the essential oil of which has an interesting spectrum of effects.

Name Clary sage
Lat. Name Salvia sclarea
Synonyms Nutmeg Sage, Roman Sage, Sharlei
Origin Mediterranean region
Price per 10ml 14,90
our recommendation
Teebaumöl from

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Psychological effect

Essential clary sage oil lightens the mood and is sometimes even strongly euphoric. It is effective for a sense of melancholy, mild depression or even a generally depressed mood. Mood swings - caused by hormones, or anger management problems - can be gently soothed by the powerful ingredients of the essential oil. It increases creativity and creates a sense of liveliness. By opening certain mental blocks, you can gain more courage to make decisions and move forwards. Overall, clary sage oil is a natural way to counteract stress and contribute to calmer environments. Anxiety is resolved and peaceful sleep is promoted.

Often used for couples: the aroma of clary sage oil is uplifting, euphoric and relaxing. It both minimises everyday stress, and can be very beneficial for a relationship, as both partners are put into a positive mood.

Physical effect

For cramps

Clary sage oil has an antispasmodic effect. This property is particularly useful in treating cramps or abdominal pain. Both digestive cramps can be relieved, as well as menstrual pain. Even with chronic diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, the active ingredients of clary sage oil can help alleviate certain symptoms. The muscle relaxant effect relieves flatulence and stimulates digestion. Intestinal function returns to normal rhythm and abdominal muscles relax. Clary sage oil also has a beneficial effect on the airways. In cases of asthma or infections of the lower respiratory tract, it helps to relieve cramps and to make breathing easier. The ingredients of the essential oil also have a relaxing effect on skeletal muscles. Tense neck muscles, which can trigger migraine-like headaches, can be relieved, as can cramped muscles in the extremities after hard work or major sports units.

For your skin

The ingredients of clary sage oil have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects. Inflamed areas of skin can be cleaned and treated with the essential oil. Common conditions such as acne can easily be alleviated. ‘Acne’ encompasses various skin diseases that are associated with a disruption of the sebum glands in the skin. Clary sage oil regulates the production of these natural oils and reduces the symptoms of the skin disease from within.

This effect is also of great importance for the scalp, because here too, problems can often be traced back to an imbalance of the natural skin oils. This then leads to itching, dandruff or even rapid greasiness of the hair. Clary sage oil helps to promote a healthier scalp and also healthier hair.

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Side effects

Clary sage oil should never be used during pregnancy. Overdosing may cause premature labour. The active ingredients of the essential oil can also increase the intensity of menstruation, sometimes excessively. You should therefore also not use it if you are concurrently experiencing a heavy menstrual period.   Unpleasant interactions with preparations containing Iron have also been observed. It is recommended to avoid taking clary sage oil that have been prepared with iron.

An overdose of the active ingredients of this essential oil can generally lead to hallucinogenic side effects. This effect is intensified by alcohol, and it is advisable not to combinatione the two.

Clary sage oil can be mildly irritating on the skin. To be sure, you can apply it on a small section of skin first and observe the area for 24 hours. If itching or reddening occurs, it is advisable to use the oil diluted in a carrier oil on the skin - or rather avoid its use entirely.  



Internal application

  If necessary, a maximum of 5 drops of clary sage oil can be ingested directly up to 3 times a day. They can be dripped straight onto the tongue or added to a teaspoon of honey. Due to its strong aroma, clary sage oil is also suitable as a condiment and can be used well for marinades, dressings and savoury sauces. If ingestion is for health purposes, the oil should not be heated, but taken cold. Valuable ingredients can be lost when heated.

The direct intake of clary sage oil is suitable for acute cramping pain, headaches or digestive problems. After excessive consumption in heavy meals, it has become established to use 2 drops of clary sage oil to facilitate digestion and reduce the sensation of fullness.

The essential oil is primarily used to treat acute symptomatic complaints but less likely to offer cures. For this, it is better to use clary sage tea, of which you can drink up to 3 cups a day.


In a fragrance lamp, the aroma of clary sage oil can spread over the entire room. In addition to a basic improvement in mood, it is very suitable for dream trips and for use in partnerships. Just 3 to 5 drops are enough. It goes very well with various floral scents or spicy aromas such as bergamot, cardamom, cumin or orange oil.

The mood-enhancing effect is also ideal for an aromatic bath. For a relaxing and invigorating bath, use 5 drops of clary sage oil, 3 drops of grapefruit and 3 drops of rose geranium with half a cup of cream.

External application

For direct treatment of external skin problems, it is suitable to wash with clary sage oil. Put a maximum of 20 drops in a glass of water. For inflamed or severely infected skin, you should boil the water for 3 minutes beforehand to be on the safe side. Then wait until the water has cooled down to room temperature before adding the oil. Now you can carefully clean the skin area with the solution. If the skin reacts too sensitively to the abrasions of mechanical washing, you can also apply cool compresses with the prepared solution to the area necessary. To prepare these, place in them covered, in the refridgerator for a brief period.

The active ingredients of clary sage oilis easily absorbed through skin. Internal complaints can be effectively treated from the outside. For headaches, abdominal or abdominal pain, put warm compresses over the appropriate area. To do this, first dip a cloth in warm water and then put about 5 drops of the essential oil on it. In order to make optimal use of the heat, you can also place a towel over the compress to build up the heat. This treatment should last about 30 minutes. The remaining oil does not have to be washed off afterwards.

With a suitable carrier oil, such as jojoba or almond, you can make a massage or rub oil yourself, which is therapeutic for sore muscles and abdominal cramps. To do this, add up to 10 drops of clary sage oil to 30 ml of carrier oil. The massage stimulates blood circulation, which improves the absorption of the active ingredients through the skin. If necessary, a massage can be performed several times a day. Stress-related migraines in particular can bes effectively treated with this method. The pain is often caused by tense neck or shoulder muscles.


Clary sage essential oil is extracted from the clary sage inflorescences. For this purpose, the entire inflorescences of the plant are first dried after harvest. The remaining essential substances are then extracted by steam distillation. The result is a clear, spicy oil with a slightly floral note.


The main component of clary sage oil is up to 75% linalyl acetate. This is a monoterpenoid ester with a fresh and sweet smell, which is only found in lesser amounts in lavender oil. Due to its high stability, lianyl acetate is mainly used in the perfume industry. Up to 30% of clary sage oil consists of linalool. This monotermen alcohol has a very spicy aroma and is irritating to the skin. The remaining components of the essential oil are nerolidol, nerolia acetate or sclareol. However, the exact amount of these substances varies greatly with the time of harvest and the climatic conditions.

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Clary sage was used as a medicinal plant as early as Roman and Greek antiquity. According to historical writings, it was primarily used as headache medication. Leaves or flowers were eaten raw. Later infusions that were drunk or used for pain compressions developed.

Clary sage developed into a natural drug, especially on a psychological level. Its euphoric and intoxicating effect was reinforced in the Middle Ages when it was added to alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine. Typically, clary sage enhanced the bitter taste of vermouth due to its spicy, sweet aroma.  


The clary sage (Salvia sclarea) belongs to the mint family and is found from the Mediterranean to Central Asia. It is an evergreen biennial to perennial herb that releases a sticky secretion through numerous glands, which exudes a typical spicy aroma. Its height is between 50 and 110 centimeters. In the first year, only a rosette of leaves forms with the elongated heart-shaped leaves typical of sage. Only in the period from June to July of the second year do the long inflorescences develop with several purple to white flowers. Small inconspicuous nuts emerge from them that house the seeds of the clary sage.


Clary sage has been cultivated since around the 9th century. There are now numerous different varieties. The plant is often found in gardens as an ornamental shrub, but it is also used for agricultural purposes. Clary sage is mostly grown as a spice herb, less often as a natural medicinal plant. The extraction of the essential oil has a significantly lower priority. Part of this production is processed directly in the cosmetics and perfume industry. Bee colonies are often kept on the edge of larger cultivated areas, as clary sage is an excellent bee pasture. With clary sage, 100 to 174 kilograms of honey can be obtained per hectare per year.

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