Clary sage is a plant found in the Mediterranean Basin and has a long history of use as a culinary spice and natural medicine. Highly regarded by aromatherapists for its calming effects, clary sage essential oil is a staple in aromatherapy. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, it helps with depression, insomnia and libido. Topically, you can use it to enhance the appearance of your skin and boost circulation. Here are 8 awesome benefits and uses of clary sage oil backed by recent scientific evidence:
1. Combats Depression
A 2010 study found that clary sage essential oil interacts with the brain’s chemistry when inhaled and alleviates depression by lowering stress hormones and boosting dopamine levels. Dopamine is a “feel-good” hormone that boosts feelings of motivation and can be effective against depression in people with low dopamine levels. The researchers suggested it could have therapeutic use for patients with depression and that its modulation of the dopaminergic pathways act similarly to certain antidepressant medications .
2. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
In animal studies, clary sage has been shown to have the most potent anti-stress effect among several popular oils that were tested, including lavender, rosemary and chamomile. It works by lowering cortisol, which is a hormone that elevates in response to stress . Chronic high cortisone levels are associated with chronic stress, as well as anxiety disorders. By using clary sage as an aromatherapy oil, you can help lower stress levels and create feelings of relaxation and inner peace.
3. Enhances Libido
The stress-lowering properties of clary sage essential oil can help you get in touch with your sexual desire. Clary sage oil raises libido in both men and women by balancing hormone levels. It’s shown to boost testosterone, which improves performance, endurance and interest in sex.
4. Boosts Digestive Health
Clary sage has historically been used as herbal medicine for stomach and intestinal troubles. You can use clary sage oil to relieve digestive ailments and promote long-term digestive health. When taken internally at the right doses, it promotes regular bowel movements, helps heal stomach ulcers, alleviates constipation, stops stomach cramping and reduces abdominal bloating. It works by increasing the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach and increasing the liver’s production of bile. This eases and speeds up digestion and helps relieve symptoms of indigestion such as bloating, gas and abdominal discomfort.
5. Balances Hormones and Improves Women’s Health
Clary sage oil is a source of natural phytoestrogens, which are a plant compound linked to better hormone balance in women. Phytoestrogens can reduce symptoms of PMS and menstrual discomfort, and even reduce your risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancers. Research shows it also improves symptoms in women experiencing menopause, and reduces uterine tumors, bleeding and pain .
6. Reduces PMS and Menstrual Pain
Clary sage oil can get your menstrual cycle on track and reduce problems like irregular periods, PMS and pain and discomfort during menstruation. It works by balancing the female hormones that can cause mood swings, headaches, food cravings and other symptoms. It relaxes the uterus, improving blood flow. It relieves menstrual cramps by acting as an antispasmodic, simply when it’s inhaled. You can massage it on your abdomen or use it in an essential oil diffuser to alleviate pain during your period .
7. Boosts Circulation and Lowers Blood Pressure
Research on clary sage oil has found that it dilates your blood vessels, thereby improving circulation. By relaxing the arteries and improving the flow of blood, it naturally lowers blood pressure and promotes better oxygenation in your body, from your brain to your muscles and organs. In a study from Korea, participants had significantly lower systolic blood pressure after inhaling clary sage oil for 1 hour, compared to a placebo. Clary sage oil also lowered their breathing rate, suggesting that its sedative effects are linked to its ability to boost oxygen and reduce overall exertion .
8. Heals, Beautifies and Moisturizes Skin
When used topically, clary sage benefits your skin in many ways. It contains a phytochemical called linalyl acetate, which is known to reduce inflammation in the skin and heal rashes. You can mix clary sage with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil and apply it to your skin as an everyday moisturizer. It promotes an even skin tone and balances the production of oil on the skin, so that you can control oily skin or prevent your skin from drying out.
Clary sage essential oil is a powerful oil you can use in massage oils, essential oil diffusers, homemade beauty products and household sprays to incorporate aromatherapy into your life. Be sure to find oil labeled “100 percent pure” to avoid chemical additives that reduce the oil’s quality. While clary sage oil is very beneficial for skin, it’s wise to combine it with a carrier oil before ever applying it directly. Clary sage is considered safe to ingest in small amounts for its medicinal benefits. As a general rule, any essential oil consumption should be limited to 3 drops per day; essential oil is the most concentrated form of the active medicinal compounds in any given plant.
1. “Antidepressant-like effect of Salvia sclarea is explained by modulation of dopamine activities in rats” Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010
2. “Randomized Controlled Trial for Salvia sclarea or Lavandula angustifolia: Differential Effects on Blood Pressure in Female Patients with Urinary Incontinence Undergoing Urodynamic Examination” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2013
3. “Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls: a preliminary controlled clinical study.” Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012