I began studying essential oils and aromatherapy in 2013, and it’s been a favorite hobby of mine since. I have used aromatherapy to treat such conditions as acne, sore throats, and insomnia. One of the many oils I own is called clary sage (salvia sclarea). While clary sage has many therapeutic qualities, its ability to treat feminine conditions make it a must-have for all women.
What is clary sage?
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless describes clary sage as a “stout biennial or perennial herb” with “large, hairy leaves” dotted with small purple and blue flowers. This herb can grow up to one meter in height and is native to southern Europe. It belongs to the plant family known as lamiaceae, which also includes lavender, rosemary, and catnip.
Chemical properties of clary sage
If you break down the chemical properties of clary sage, you will find it is nearly 75 percent esters, in particular linalyl acetate. According to RJ Buckle’s Foundations in Clinical Aromatherapy, esters are generally safe to use and have a calming effect along with anti-fungal and anti-spasmodic qualities. These properties make clary sage an effective treatment for many feminine conditions.
Using clary sage for feminine conditions
Clary sage can benefit women in many ways. First, it can be used to treat menstrual cramps and PMS. In a single person case study I conducted for my certificate in clinical aromatherapy, my test subject experienced intense headaches during menstruation. After massaging a blend of clary sage with grapeseed oil on her uterus and temples, her headaches became “less acute” and their intensity was reduced by 50%.
There is also strong evidence clary sage may assist women during labor. A 2000 study published by Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery found clary sage (along with chamomile) was effective in alleviating pain during childbirth. In this same study, many of the over 8000 participants reported aromatherapy gave them stronger contractions.
Finally, because of its hormonal properties, clary sage may also help minimize hot flashes that come with menopause.
For your safety
Never use undiluted essential oils on your skin. Blend with a carrier oil like grapeseed or sweet almond. Overuse of clary sage may also induce headaches. Because clary sage has relaxing properties, do not ingest use when drinking alcohol or taking sedatives, as this may enhance their effectiveness. Due to its hormonal properties, avoid this essential oil if you have a history of estrogen dependent tumors.
RJ Buckle and Associates, Foundations in Clinical Aromatherapy workbook (2011)
Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, 2013 edition