Origin and History
Clary sage is native to the mediterranean region where the herb was first used as an eyewash and in cooking. The herb clary sage was documented by both the Ancient Greeks and the Romans as early as 4th century BC.
Later in history, clary sage was used throughout the Middle Ages in Europe for its medicinal properties .
Today, clary sage oil is mostly produced in Europe, Morocco and the US. It is popularly used in aromatherapy and for its health benefits in cosmetic products.
Benefits of clary sage essential oil
Clary sage oil is often used in aromatherapy to help relieve stress and anxiety. There is some scientific evidence to support its use to reduce anxiety. A 2020 study looked into the effect clary sage has on mood and pulse rate. The study found that the essential oil helped to decrease the pulse rate in both groups.
However, the result varied for each gender and method of exposure to clary sage oil. The study found the observed pulse rate decrease was stronger in women than in men. This study also found that the effect of clary sage oil was stronger when it was inhaled rather than applied to the skin after dilution in a carrier oil.
However, this study only had 30 participants, so it is more of a pilot investigation rather than a full scientific study.
Clary sage essential oil is often used in skincare products for its wonderful fragrance.
Clary sage oil is said to have strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. There is some evidence to support this, for example a 2015 study found clary sage oil has antibacterial qualities. It was effective against E. Coli and S. Aureus
Clary sage essential oil blending suggestions
Clary sage is used as a middle note and has a sweet and herby aroma. It blends well with oils like cedarwood, lavender and sweet orange.
Here are a few of our favourite blends with clary sage:
Spiced woody and herbal blend
3 drops Fir needle oil
3 drops Vetiver oil
3 drops Clary sage oil
3 drops Cedarwood oil
Sweet and floral blend
2 drops Lemongrass oil
5 drops Clary sage oil
6 drops Lavender oil
Clary sage essential oil for hair
Clary sage is often claimed to be great for the scalp and hair. It is said to reduce oil production on the scalp and promote hair growth. However, there are few studies into the benefits of clary sage for hair, so we cannot confirm these claims.
Clary sage essential oil for skin
Clary sage oil is mostly composed of linalool and linalyl acetate. Both of these components were analysed in a 2003 study which found that essential oils containing these ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, clary sage is suggested to be beneficial for reducing acne or irritation on the skin. However, there are no scientific studies to back these claims at the moment.
Clary sage oil safety
Clary sage oil should always be diluted in a carrier oil before applying it to your skin. If you’re not sure if it is suitable for your skin, or you have sensitivities, make sure you test some diluted clary sage oil on a small patch of your skin first.
The IFRA document shows no restrictions for clary sage essential oil, however we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.25% for skin contact. This is based on the concentration found by Bouhlal in 1988 to have no adverse skin reactions.
Make sure to keep it out of reach of children. It is not food grade and should not be ingested.
Despite the history of the clary sage herb being used as an eye treatment, the essential oil is definitely not safe for use in eyes!
What note is clary sage essential oil
Clary sage essential oil is a middle note with a fresh herbaceous scent. It blends well with other floral scent and citrus oils like bergamot, lavender, lime and chamomile.