I remember the first time I met clary sage and inhaled her mesmerizing perfume. The experience literally stopped me in my tracks. All I wanted to say was “Wow! Where on Earth do you come from?!”
Clary sage is native to Southern Europe and Northern Africa. It is a hardy plant that loves rocky soil, and can reach 6 feet in height! It does grow in North America, and is a magical addition to any herbal garden.
The genus Salvia encompasses all the sages, and its name derives from the Latin salvere ("to feel well and healthy, health, heal"), the verb related to salus (health, well-being, prosperity or salvation), referring to the herb's healing properties.
Descriptions of medicinal use of the plant goes back to the writings of Theophrastus (4th century BCE), Dioscorides (1st century CE), and Pliny the Elder (1st century CE). In the Middle Ages clary sage was widely used for eye health. Nicolas Culperer in his Complete Herbal (1653) referred to the plant as “clear-eye.” Clary Sage has been traditionally used as an ingredient in wine and beer production. In 16th-century Germany elderflower infused clary was added to Rhine wines to make a more potent varietal known as a Muscatel.
As her sweet and floral perfume permeates not only the flowers but also leaves and stems, the essential oil is obtained from the distillation of the whole plant.
Today the essential oil of clary sage is recognized for its powerful calming, relaxing, soothing and rejuvenating properties. Research has shown that inhaling clary sage oil reduces levels of cortisol (“stress hormone”), alleviates anxiety, improves mood, and relieves hypertension caused by stress. It is deeply relaxing and grounding, yet uplifting and revitalizing.
The oil has been successfully used to induce labor and to bring on contractions by increasing levels of oxytocin. As an antispasmodic and nervine tonic, it relieves cramps and period pains, and can be used to alleviate emotional tension in asthma sufferers.
I have witnessed clary sage to be a great ally in restoring para-sympathetic nervous system after major physical or emotional trauma, as well as fostering our creative self and deepening dreamwork!
Clary Sage is one of the most precious ingredients in our Unwind essential oils roll-on. You can easily distinguish her beautiful perfume next to cardamom, lavender, vetiver, frankincense, geranium and sandalwood. This transporting blend can be used to deepen relaxation, creativity, dreamwork, sleep, and inform your meditation practice. Apply the blend liberally to the inside of your wrists. Rub your wrists together in circular motions to warm and activate the oils, then inhale deeply and delight in the beauty!