Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is a flowering herb that’s native to the Mediterranean Basin. The essential oil that’s extracted from the leaves and buds of the plant has a clean, refreshing scent that you can use as a skin balm or gently inhale as part of an aromatherapy treatment

Clary sage is easy to grow in high-temperature areas. It’s usually cultivated for its use as a flavoring in tea. It’s also known by the names “clear eye” and “eye bright” because of its traditional use as a treatment for eye health. But it’s now being studied for a variety of other health benefits.

Keep reading to learn about some of the ways clary sage oil can benefit you.

What are the uses and benefits of clary sage essential oil?

1. Stress reduction

Aromatherapy uses the power of scent to calm the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. Your olfactory system directly affects the part of your brain that regulates emotion. That’s why what you smell can trigger memories and elicit feelings, both negative and positive.

When used in aromatherapy, clary sage oil can help alleviate stress by inducing a sense of well-being. One small studyTrusted Source done on women undergoing a stressful medical test indicated that when inhaled, clary sage essential oil elicited feelings of relaxation and helped to reduce blood pressure.

Keep reading: The best anxiety apps of the year »

2. Antibacterial properties

Clary sage oil in diluted form may have a positive impact upon some strains of bacteria. Researchers think it could be an effective treatment alone or in addition to traditional treatments for wound care.

In one laboratory studyTrusted Source, clary sage oil helped heal severe dermatological infections caused by several strains of Staphylococcus bacteria. The lab study used swabs from the bacterial infections of 61 people. Each had a difficult-to-treat wound that wasn’t responding well to antibiotics. The wounds were caused by burns, diabetes, or surgical procedures. Diluted clary sage oil was found to be effective against several bacterial strains.

Learn more about first aid: How to stop bleeding »

3. Natural antidepressant

Clary sage has been tested on both animals and humans to determine its potential benefits as an antidepressant. One studyTrusted Source done on rats indicated that clary sage oil could be beneficial for depression by acting as an anti-stressor.

Another small studyTrusted Source with menopausal women indicated that inhaled clary sage oil reduced cortisol, the stress hormone, and produced an antidepressant-like effect.

Keep reading: Depression treatment options and where to find help »

4. Alleviation of menopause symptoms

One component of clary sage oil is sclareol, which mimics the effects of estrogen in the body. For this reason, clary sage may be effective at reducing some of the symptoms of menopause. Some research suggests that diluted clary sage oil applied to the bottoms of the feet can reduce hot flashes.

5. Reducing menstrual cramps

A small studyTrusted Source examined 48 women who experienced painful menstruation and cramps. Some of the women were given a cream containing clary sage oil and other essential oils to apply onto their lower abdomens daily, between menstrual cycles. The women who used the cream had a significant reduction in menstrual cramps than the control group

EO - Clary Sage

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