Salvia sclarea, clary, or clary sage, is a biennial or short-lived herbaceous perennial in the genus Salvia. It is also known as ‘clear eye’. It is native to the northernMediterranean, along with some areas in North Africa and Central Asia. It is cultivated worldwide. The plant has a lengthy history as a medicinal herb, and is currently grown for its essential oil. The plant is a biennial or perennial; generally reaches a height of one meter and has large hairy leaves which are green with a hint of purple. The small flowers are purple or blue in color. The producing plant organs are the flowering tops and leaves. The name is derived from the Latin 'Claris' that means 'clear'. It was known in the Middle Ages as 'Oculus Christi' - the 'Eye of Christ' and was a highly esteemed medicine. Like its relative sage, clary tea, the leaf juice in ale or beer, was recommended for many types of women’s problems, including delayed or painful menstruation. It was once used to stop night sweating in tuberculosis patients. An astringent is gargled, douched and poured over skin wounds. It is combined with other herbs for kidney problems. The clary seeds form a thick mucilage when soaked for a few minutes and placed in the eye, helps to removed, small irritating particles. A tea of the leaves is also used as an eyewash. Clary is also used to reduce muscle spasms. It is used today mainly to treat digestive problems such as gas and indigestion. It is also regarded as a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve premenstrual problems. Because of its oestrogen-stimulating action, clary sage is most effective when levels of this hormone are low. The plant can therefore be a valuable remedy for complaints associated with menopause, particularly hot flashes.
The health benefits of Clary Sage Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, anticonvulsive, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, digestive, emenagogue, euphoric, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, stomachic and uterine substance.
Clary sage is found in shampoos, conditioners, anti-dandruff treatments, face and body moisturisers, face cleansers, body wash and scrubs, balms, eyewash, deodorants, perfumery, massage oils, aromatherapy oil, candles, muscle and body rubs, tonics and tea.