Clary Sage Essential Oil (Salvia sclarea)
Mildly euphoric, warm and relaxing ~ Clary sage essential oil offers an uplifting yet calming sensation that’s perfect for brightening moods and supporting women’s health issues.
- Mood elevation
- Euphoric agent
- Induces apoptosis (cell death) in some cancer types
- Menstrual cramps
- Reduces stress/anxiety
- Relieves aches & pains
Dr. Nick Notes
Clary sage is native to Eastern Europe and I have had the pleasure of working with ecologically wildcrafted oils from France as well as organic Clary sage oil cultivated in California. I’m amazed at the powerful relaxation and clarifying effects personified after vaporizing a drop. A wave of calm and crystal clarity sweeps over the body and is accompanied with a mild/medium euphoria. Sadness is instantly swept away and replaced with a world of smiles. Investigation of anti-depressant activity has suggested modulation of dopamine as a potential mechanism for boosting mood (1).
Clary sage essential oil has been traditionally used in balancing hormones for women and appears to be a powerful ally in women’s health. A small study has suggested relief from menstrual cramps when diluted in a carrier lotion with lavender and marjoram and applied topically to the stomach (2). A diterpene alcohol, sclareol, found in Clary sage oil is thought to mimic the actions of estrogen and may be responsible for hormonal balancing action says Franchomme & Penoel (1990). Topcu & Goren (2007) state that sclareol has no estrogenic activity, but 13-epi-sclareol inhibits breast & uterine cancer in vitro, possibily through interacting with estrogen receptors (Sashidhara et al 2007).
Interestingly, sclareol has been found to induce cell death in a variety of human cancer cell lines including leukemia, breast, and colon (3, 4, 5). On a molecular level, sclareol has been shown to activate pro-apoptotic enzymes caspases 8 and 9 and induces cell cycle arrest in the G0/1 phase of cell replication (6). Sclareol has been shown to induce apoptosis independent of the activity of the protein termed p53 (the master guardian of cell DNA integrity whom action is commonly deficient in cancer cells). Additionally, sclareol has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties (7).
An interesting thing of note is the extremely low concentration of sclareol (0.1% – 0.4%) found in clary sage essential oil GC-MS. Sclareol is a very large molecule and has extremely low volatility; hence making it difficult to measure via gas chromatography. Documented in Tisserand/Young’s book is a case where HPLC (liquid chromatography) analysis is utilized w/ clary sage absolute and the result consists of 70-75% sclareol & 13-epi-sclareol.
This suggests three possibilities:
– increased presence of sclareol & 13-epi-sclareol in clary sage essential oil beyond what’s documented through GC-MS (proven by testing through HPLC)
– increased presence of sclareol & 13-epi-sclareol in clary sage absolute (vs. Essential oil)
– both scenarios may also be true
How do I use clary sage essential oil? Typically I tend to work with this oil if I’m feeling stressed out, desire emotional balancing or want to take a euphoric break to drop deeper into myself through meditation. Clary sage oil vaporized through an Essential VAAAPP is a very efficient method for working with the medicinal qualities of clary sage. I also enjoy infusing one drop of Clary Sage extract in 8-16 ounces of hot water to enjoy as a relaxing cup of tea. Clary Sage essential oil is also potent combining with other essential oils for various purposes – euphoria, relaxation, sleep, mood stabilization. Having this essential oil is a powerful ally to keep in your EO repertoire, as it’s a versatile anti-spasmodic and mood stabilizer. Clary Sage stimulates the adrenal gland.
How to Use
- Excellent to use in coffee or tea (1 drop per 8-16oz liquid carrier).
- 1 drop vaporized in an Essential VAAAPP or steam bath, provides immediate relaxation.
- For menopausal symptoms try 1 drop in 8 oz of organic soy milk (the soy milk also contains hormonally supportive isoflavone phytoestrogens).
- Great for relaxing the mind and creating a euphoric environment using 3 drops in a room diffuser.
- To stimulate women’s reproductive organs, add to creams or lotions try 4-15 drops per 1 oz (30ml) of carrier oil/lotion. Apply to stomach or directly over ovaries for menstrual cramps/pain.
- Try a massage for muscle aches and pains as clary sage is an anti-spasmodic.
- Try putting 4 drops clary sage + 3 drops of lavender in a warm bath for a deep relaxing & meditative experience.
- As a room spray, try combining clary sage + ylang ylang or with blood orange infused in water and alcohol.
- Massage 1 drop into temples and back of the neck for headaches/migraines.
Dr. Nick’s Safety Notes:
Clary sage has also been used during pregnancy or intravaginally. Because of the hormonal actions of the oil and potential ability to stimulate uterine contractions caution is advised during pregnancy as it could theoretically cause miscarriage. Essential oils should not be applied undiluted (“neat”) to mucous membranes including the vagina or eyes. Internal use or mucous membrane application should only be attempted under close medical supervision in appropriate dilutions.
Hazards: Skin sensitization (moderate risk). Avoid use during first trimester. May cause photosensitization.
Contraindications: None known
Maximum dermal use level: 0.25% (This was the highest concentration where 25 sensitive individuals whom had previous reaction to fragrance materials, had no allergic reactions)
~ Adopted from Tisserand & Young, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed. 2013 ~
Scent: Overpowering, intoxicating herbaceous notes with a touch of sweetness.
Blends Well With: Frankincense, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cedar, Clove, Cypress, Rose-Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Neroli, Bitter Orange, Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang
Origin: France | Bulgaria
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
~ Be Blessed ~
Constituent Range (Lawrence 1993 p. 106-108)
Linalyl acetate (49.0 – 73.6%)
Linalool (9.0 – 16.0%)
Germacrene D (1.6 – 2.0%)
β – Caryophyllene (1.4 – 1.6%)
Linalyl acetate (45.3 – 61.8%)
Linalool (10.4 – 19.3%)
α- Terpineol (1.2 – 2.5%)
Germacrene D (0.7 – 2.0%)
β – Caryophyllene (1.1 – 1.8%)
Geranyl acetate (0.8 – 1.2%)
Geraniol (0.6 – 1.2%)
This information was documented by Lawrence 1993, p. 200-201 published by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young in 2013 and is posted to demonstrate some general range of chemical constituents of this essential oil. Each distillation & plant source varies and current batch will likely have some variance to the information published above. When possible, we will post current GC-MS analysis separately for our oils sold on this site, correlating with batch numbers for your enjoyment & awareness.
- SeolHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed?term=Seol%20GH%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=20441789” GH, Shim HS, Kim PJ, Moon HK, Lee KH, Shim I, Suh SH, Min SS. Antidepressant-like effect of Salvia sclarea is explained by modulation of dopamine activities in rats. J HYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/20441789″EthnopharmacolHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/20441789”. 2010 Jul 6;130(1):187-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.04.035. Epub 2010 May 2.
- OU, Mc, and TF Hsu. Pain Relief Assessment by Aromatic Essential Oil Massage on Outpatients with Primary Dysmenorrhea. A Randomzied, Double-blind Clinical Trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 38.5 (2012): 817-22
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- Dimas K, Papadaki M, Tsimplouli C, Hatziantoniou S, Alevizopoulos K, Pantazis P, Demetzos C. Labd-14-ene-8,13-diol (sclareol) induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer cells and enhances the activity of anticancer drugs. Biomed HYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/16527443″PharmacotherHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/16527443”. 2006 Apr;60(3):127-33. Epub 2006 Feb 21.
- Dimas K, Hatziantoniou S, Tseleni S, Khan H, Georgopoulos A, Alevizopoulos K, Wyche JH, Pantazis P, Demetzos C. Sclareol induces apoptosis in human HCT116 colon cancer cells in vitro and suppression of HCT116 tumor growth in immunodeficient mice. Apoptosis. 2007 Apr;12(4):685-94.
- MahairaHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed?term=Mahaira%20LG%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21620827” LG, Tsimplouli C, Sakellaridis N, Alevizopoulos K, Demetzos C, Han Z, Pantazis P, Dimas K. The labdane diterpene sclareol (labd-14-ene-8, 13-diol) induces apoptosis in human tumor cell lines and suppression of tumor growth in vivo via a p53-independent mechanism of action. EurHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/21620827” J HYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/21620827″PharmacolHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/21620827”. 2011 Sep;666(1-3):173-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.04.065. Epub 2011 May 20.
- Huang GJ, Pan CH, Wu CH. Sclareol exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in both lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages and the λ-carrageenan-induced paw edema model. J Nat Prod. 2012 Jan 27;75(1):54-9. doi: 10.1021/np200512a. Epub 2012 Jan 17.
- HudaibHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed?term=Hudaib%20M%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=11409330” M, Bellardi MG, Rubies-HYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed?term=Rubies-Autonell%20C%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=11409330″AutonellHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed?term=Rubies-Autonell%20C%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=11409330” C, Fiori J, Cavrini V. Chromatographic (GC-MS, HPLC) and virological evaluations of Salvia sclarea infected by BBWV-I. FarmacoHYPERLINK “http://0-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.library.touro.edu/pubmed/11409330”. 2001 Mar;56(3):219-27.
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