The healing power of clary sage

Clary sage grows to over a meter in height. A large part of the length of the plant is taken up by the lilac flowers; these can be 75 centimeters high. Clary sage is a beautiful ornamental plant and also has medicinal properties. The leaves and flowers of this plant can be eaten. You can make a tea from the flowers. Clary sage is related to sage. The medicinal value of clary sage can be compared to that of sage, except that clary sage has a milder effect. It works, among other things, for flatulence, menstrual pain and anorexia. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing clary sage / Source: Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm), Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Traditional use
  • Naming
  • Active substances
  • Clary sage and digestion
  • Clary sage, good for menstruation and menopausal complaints
  • Other medicinal effects of clary sage
  • Dose and safety
  • Visit a doctor or herbal therapist

Traditional use

Clary sage is a soothing plant. The calming effect is especially true for menstrual problems. It is a decongestant herb. It also helps drive away wind, is good for digestion and stimulates the appetite. Nicolas Culpeper, an English botanist and herbalist, wrote that clary sage seeds have a mucilage layer. This allows the seed to be placed in a person’s eye to ensure that something such as sand or a substance can bind to the mucus layer, making it easier to remove it from the eye. Sclarea means bright; the Latin name refers to this effect of clary sage.


In Latin, clary sage is called Salvia sclarea . In Dutch, in addition to clary sage, we also say Scarlet Herb, Sage Musk and Algoede. This plant is called Salvia because it is related to the sage. Sclarea or actually clarea means clear or clear. You could translate the letter ‘S’ as ‘is’. Vision becomes clear again if a substance is removed from the eye with clary sage seed, as described in the paragraph above.

Active substances

The entire herb growing above ground or just the leaves are used for phytotherapeutic purposes. It contains the following important active ingredients: Essential oil that mainly contains the ester linalyl acetate and the monoterpenol linalol. This essential oil also contains germacrene D and caryophyllene.

Clary sage and digestion

Clary sage promotes appetite and digestion. Furthermore, it is a despasmodic herb and has a carminative or carminative effect. It has a much milder effect than sage. Herbalists could prescribe it for the following indications:

  • Anorexia or loss of appetite,
  • Dyspepsia or poor digestion,
  • Flatulence or flatulence.

Clary sage, good for menstruation and menopausal complaints

Clary sage has a menstrual-stimulating effect. It features phytoestrogens; that is a kind of bioidentical hormones. When the body has too few hormones, for example during menopause after years of taking the contraceptive pill, clary sage can be a solution. It should be noted that the essential oil has more phytoestrogens

Salvia sclarea or clary sage / Source: Udo Schröter, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-2.5)

than the herb itself.

  • PreMenstrual Syndrome or PMS,
  • Dysmenorrhea or menstrual pain,
  • Amenorrhea or absence of menstruation,
  • Oligomenorrhea or lack of menstruation,
  • Menopausal complaints such as hot flushes,
  • Genital infections due to hormone insufficiency.

Other medicinal effects of clary sage

The effect on menstruation, menopausal complaints and the despasmodic effect on the digestive system are the most important and most commonly used applications of clary sage. In addition, there are two other medicinal activities:

  • Clary sage strengthens the veins; it is a phlebotonic, a medical term for a substance that strengthens the walls of the blood vessels. This makes it suitable for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
  • Clary sage is a neurotonic; it strengthens the nervous system and is therefore used for fatigue that is due to reduced functioning of the nervous system.

Dose and safety

There are a number of ways to use this medicinal plant. To use it internally you will really have to consult your herbalist. He or she gives a prescription. External use could be applied in a strong dilution, with a carrier oil such as almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, perilla oil or sunflower oil. Use a few drops at most. You can also use it in a bath; then use a few drops. If someone is suffering from estrogen-dependent cancer, clary sage should be avoided. Pregnant women should avoid this drug.

Visit a doctor or herbal therapist

Much of the information about the medicinal plant mentioned in this article comes from the book Groot Handboek Medicinal Plants by Geert Verhelst. That is a handbook in phytotherapy. However, it is not suitable for self-healing. Anyone who suffers from something should consult a doctor or herbal therapist for a good diagnosis and choice of the best remedies, tailored to your personal situation. The knowledge and science mentioned here is of a purely informative nature.