Table of Contents
- Are Sage Oil And Clary Sage Oil The Same Thing?
- Clary Sage Oil Benefits For Hair Explained
- Clary Sage Oil Benefits For Skin Explained
- Sage Oil Benefits For Hair Explained
- Sage Oil Benefits For Skin Explained
- Can Clary Sage Oil Be Used To Induce Labor?
- Using Clary Sage Oil For Hot Flashes And Menopause
Today, we have hundreds of different beauty products available to us, and even more medicines; face washes, moisturizers, shampoos, pills, supplements, ointments — the list goes on and on. But what did people use to treat themselves before commercial chemicals became available? They also had skin problems, hair problems, digestive issues, and colds, pretty much all the same ailments we deal with today. They must’ve found some way to cope, right?
The way the ancient (and not so ancient) civilizations controlled their health was by turning to nature. They made medicines out of herbs, extracted the essence of plants and made potions, wrapped their wounds in herbal leaves, soothed their burns with natural oils, and drank herbal teas and tonics. While some of these practices may have had only a minor effect on the ailment (if any), some of the herbs they used did indeed have of powerful healing abilities, and these are the remedies that have made it through history to still be with us today. Meet Sage and Clary Sage, some of the world’s oldest and most respected natural medicines.
Are Sage Oil And Clary Sage Oil The Same Thing?
Both sage essential oil and clary sage essential oil are extracts from evergreen shrub family of the genus Salvia. While they look similar and have some similar effects, they are very different oils and should be treated as such. Sage oil is definitely the stronger of two, with clary sage oil often being used as a more gentle substitute when the sage oil is too strong or is having negative effects on the user. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Sage essential oil is extracted using steam distillation from the leaves of the herb Salvia officinalis. Also known as garden sage, the plant has beautiful purple flowers on it and is native to southern Europe and regions surrounding the mediterranean. Sage gets its name from the Latin word “salvere”, which means “to save” — that’s how well known it was for it’s therapeutic properties!
The most predominant component in sage oil is thujone, with significant amounts of camphor, 1,8-cineole, and camphene. The safety of thujone is still a subject of debate among experts because of its negative effect on the nervous system. Research shows that it can have a hallucinogenic effect on some people, as well as cause convulsions. However, when used in correct and controlled amounts, thujone does not have this effect.
Some of the uses of sage oil include fighting bacteria, treating digestive issues, reducing inflammation of the skin and gut, promoting a healthy metabolism, regulating the menstrual cycle, activating estrogen, and stimulating the brain. It should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, children, and anyone with any sort of skin sensitivity or medical condition, especially people with epilepsy. This is one of the strongest essential oils, and as always, it’s best to consult with your doctor before using – especially before ingesting.
Clary sage essential oil is from the same herb family as regular sage, and it’s genus species is Salvia sclarea. Clary sage oil is also extracted through steam distillation, and since these two oils look alike (pale yellowish-green) and sound similar, always make sure to check the label for the genus species to be aware of exactly what you are buying or using. Clary sage oil is much more gentle, and is often the preferred choice of aromatherapists. Its popularity among natural remedy enthusiasts has grown tremendously, and while the clary sage plant originally was indigenous to southern France, Italy, and Germany, it is now grown all over the world.
The exact chemical composition of clary sage oil depends on where it was grown, but they all have a very high concentration about 72% esters. It contains the ester linalyl acetate, which gives the oil antispasmodic and sedative properties, used in treating tension and stress. It also contains sesquiterpenes such as diterpene sclareol and sesquiterpene caryophyllene, which are both proven antimicrobial compounds that have been shown to fight many forms of bacteria and and fungi. Other uses of clary sage oil include use as an aphrodisiac, relieving headaches and muscle stiffness, aiding digestion, regulating blood pressure, relieving menstrual cramps, and clearing up oily hair and skin. Fun fact about clary sage oil: it was used as the main fragrance in the first commercial cologne ever, made in — you guessed it — Cologne, Germany.
Clary Sage Oil Benefits For Hair Explained
Clary sage oil is a great choice to add to your hair care. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, and clary sage oil can foster that. It helps soothe irritated or cracked skin on the scalp, which can hinder the growth of hair. It also helps control and regulate your scalps’ production of sebum, the natural oil that your skin produces to moisturize, protect, and nourish your skin. Not enough sebum can result in a dry, itchy, dandruff covered scalp, as well as malnourished hair, and too much sebum can result in an oily scalp, oily hair, clogged pores, and clogged follicles, which is a perfect environment for unwelcome bacteria and fungi.
To treat your scalp, dilute five drops of clary sage oil in two tablespoons of coconut oil or jojoba oil, and massage it into your scalp in firm circular motions using your fingertips. After massaging for several minutes, cover your hair with a shower cap, let it sit for an hour or two; even overnight if possible, and then thoroughly wash the oil out with a natural shampoo. Besides for the anti-fungal and sebum controlling effect this will have on your scalp, massaging your scalp, combined with the natural stimulant properties in the clary sage oil, will help encourage increased blood flow to your scalp. This blood flow helps with healthier hair growth, stronger roots, and faster cell regeneration. Clary sage oil is also said to help stimulate dormant follicles to start producing hair again, although there is no significant research to support this.
If you are just looking to add a little extra shine and pouf to your hair, mixing a few drops of clary sage oil into your shampoo can help improve your hair’s elasticity, and give it a smoother, healthier looking texture, while controlling the frizz.
Clary Sage Oil Benefits For Skin Explained
Similar to how it acts on the scalp, clary sage oil can also be to regulate oily skin. Its astringent properties means that it can help tighten up your pores, and control excessive sebum excretion and sweating, which are two of the main causes of acne. Four drops of clary sage oil in a tablespoon of jojoba oil makes a great face wash; it’s antibacterial properties help clear out the bacteria, and its astringent properties help dry out the acne. Regular application may help prevent acne breakouts.
The astringent properties of the clary sage oil also help it reduce the signs of aging. It’s able to tighten up loose skin causing wrinkles, moisturize dry skin, and help fade age spots and scars by encouraging faster cell regeneration. To reverse aging, dilute some clary sage oil in your favorite carrier oil and apply it regularly to the affected area.
What clary sage oil was often used for in the past was treating cuts and other minor wounds. Its antibacterial properties have been researched and proven to be very effective in fighting some of the most common and stubborn bacterias that cause inflammation. To disinfect a cut, mix 5-6 drops of clary sage oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply it generously to the wound. Since clary sage oil is also antifungal, you can use this mixture on other topical infections as well, such as ringworm, athlete’s foot, and others.
Clary Sage Oil can boost self esteem, confidence, hope and mental strength, it's also a euphoric and aphrodisiac? pic.twitter.com/rUpQdZHIff
— BRI LUNA (@YungKundalini) April 18, 2016
Sage Oil Benefits For Hair Explained
Sage oil does very similar things to clary sage oil for hair. It is also an astringent, so it will help control the sebum levels on your scalp, and promote a healthy, bacteria, dandruff free environment for hair to happily grow. The procedure for application is the same as for clary sage oil
Sage oil has been used since ancient times to combat hair loss and baldness. Sage contains beta sitosterol, a compound which has been found to be effective in treating male pattern baldness. In fact, sage oil is much more stimulative than clary sage oil, making it the better choice if stopping hair loss is your goal. Mix about 6-10 drops of sage oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage it into your scalp as described above regarding clary sage oil. If possible, mix 3-4 drops of sage oil, with 3-4 drops each of rosemary and peppermint essential oil, and mix them with one tbsp of carrier oil to really give your hair follicles a stimulating kick.
An additional excellent use for sage oil is to help darken gray hair. Sage oil has been shown to increase the activity of melanocytes, which are what produce the melanin that gives our hair its color. As we get older and these melanocytes weaken, diluted sage oil massaged vigorously into the scalp can help strengthen these melanocytes, and stimulate them to produce more melanin. Additionally, adding a few drops of sage oil to your shampoo can give your a much needed volume boost while lending it a nice, healthy shine as well.
Sage Oil Benefits For Skin Explained
The antioxidants in sage oil reverse the effects of ageing such as wrinkles, face lines, and age spots. These antioxidants attack and neutralize the free radicals that cause our healthy skin cells to break down. Free radicals caused by stress, toxins, and other oxidative forces are the number one cause of ageing, and antioxidants help reverse the effects these free radicals have.
Like clary sage oil, sage oil can also act as an astringent to control oily skin and acne, and it’s application procedure is the same. You may want to use a little bit less though at first, since sage oil is significantly stronger. You can also try diluting the sage oil in apple cider vinegar for more intense cases of acne, or if you have particularly oily skin and don’t want to apply even more oil.
Sage oil is also an incredible bacteria fighter, which makes it a great choice for disinfecting cuts. And because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to help cool the inflammation of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, and encourage those area to regenerate healthy new skin cells.
Since sage oil is know to be very strong and is quite often too intense for people, if you’re the type of person who has sensitive skin I would recommend you go with the more gentle clary sage oil, for both hair and skin. When using on broken skin such as psoriasis and eczema, it is best to consult with your dermatologist first, since in some cases it can cause negative reactions. In any case, you should always do a patch test before using, by applying a small amount of diluted sage or clary sage oil to the inside of your elbow or wrist, and waiting 24 hours to see how your skin reacts. Sage and Clary Sage also both interactive negatively with alcohol and and narcotics, so never use them together.
Can Clary Sage Oil Be Used To Induce Labor?
Before starting this section, I need to ask you to please not use clary sage essential oil for labor until you have spoken with your doctor, midwife, or doula about it. It can have wonderful effects on your labor, but since every pregnancy is its own unique and complicated miracle, you need to first talk with someone who knows everything about your pregnancy.
That being said, clary sage oil can definitely be used to make your labor much easier. The truth is, there is no real natural and safe way to actually induce labor. All of the “proven” methods you can find online are, at best, extremely questionable. Your body will go into labor exactly when it is ready, unless you cause yourself sudden trauma or have a medical induction, both of which can have very negative effects on both the mother and the baby. However, once your body has decided that it is ready to go into labor, clary sage oil can really help the process. Once you are full term, consult with your health practitioner and do a patch test 24 hours before use like explained above, to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction. If you are all clear, here are several ways it can be used:
The first method is to pour a small amount of clary sage oil into a bowl, and soak some unbleached cotton balls or pads in it. When you are full term, and your doctor or midwife tells you that it is safe to do so, place the cotton balls inside your pillowcase under your pillow while you sleep, or somewhere close to your bed if the smell is too strong. The reason this works is because of clary sage oil’s calming properties. Breathing it in helps relax the mind, body, and muscles, which is what is needed for women to go into labor in the first place — eliminating catecholamines (adrenaline) and stimulating endorphins and oxytocin. In fact, clary sage oil is so effective at this that many people report feeling high after using clary oil, with a euphoric feeling not unlike that of cannabis. Being in this relaxed state lets the body know that it is safe to go into labor, and the relaxed muscles allow for more effective and less painful contractions.
The second method, which can be used on top of the first, is to dilute some clary sage oil in a carrier oil and rub it directly onto the abdomen during the labor. This can help induce stronger and more effective contractions, shortening the labor process and making it easier overall. Talk to your doctor or midwife about the proper amount of oil to put on your abdomen, since too much can be dangerous.
A last word of caution. Do not confuse clary sage oil with regular sage oil for labor. Sage oil can actually be toxic to the fetus, so pay close attention to your labels and genus species. And although clary sage oil is safe for labor, it is not safe for any sort of use during the entire pregnancy before that, as it can induce sudden contractions and menstruation resulting in a miscarriage. So if you get a bottle of clary sage oil, don’t even open it to smell it until you are full term and your doctor says that it’s safe. Other than that, congratulations and happy birthing!
Using Clary Sage Oil For Hot Flashes And Menopause
Menopause is a natural biological process that all women go through, and while the transition can be a difficult one, many women welcome this new stage in their life, giving them freedom from tampons, embarrassing stains, and birth control. Most only wish that there was some natural way to cure all the challenges that come with it, such as cramps, mood swings, insomnia, and hot flashes. Fortunately, once again, clary sage oil is an excellent and time tested remedy.
The most common problems that menopausal women deal with are hot flashes and anxiety. What exactly causes hot flashes is a matter of debate, but the general consensus is that it is strongly linked to the change and imbalance in estrogen levels. This change affects the hypothalamus, which is responsible for regulating the temperature in the body. The hormonal changes mislead the brain into thinking you’re too hot, and in response, your body tries to cool you down by dilating your blood vessels, raising your heart rate, increasing your circulation, and making you perspire, responding as if instead of just sitting quietly you ran a full marathon. These changes in hormone levels are also what cause anxiety and depression.
Clary sage oil contains many phytoestrogens, which are estrogens that your body does not produce and can only be obtained from certain plants. These external estrogen sources help your body re-balance it’s hormone levels, and deal with situations in rational, chemically balanced ways. It is important to remember that menopause is a perfectly normal biological process, and isn’t an illness that needs to be cured or reversed. It is just important to relieve the symptoms, which is what clary sage oil has the ability to do.
While many doctors treat menopause like an illness and prescribe medication to replace the lost estrogen and hormones, clary sage oil must more gently simply re-balances the hormone levels. It is not the drop in estrogen levels that is the problem so much as it is the imbalance that it causes. You can never really replace the lost estrogen, but you can certainly regain a healthy balance in the estrogen that is left. The best way is to massage 3 drops of diluted clary sage oil into the back of your neck, or the bottoms of your feet, 2 or 3 times a day.
To treat the anxiety and depression, diffuse some clary sage oil in your room, especially before going to sleep. If you’re feeling anxious in the middle of the day, pour a few drops of clary sage oil onto a cloth or a cotton ball and smell it, inhaling deeply several times. This will have a sedative effect on your nerves and reduce the cortisol (stress) levels in the brain. The euphoric effect that clary sage oil is reported to have can also help pull you out of a bout of depression. Just make to sure to check with your doctor first if you happen to be taking any other menopause medications. So if you’re going through menopause, recently retired, and feeling a little blue, fill up a hot bath, put a few drops of clary sage oil in there, grab a good book, and enjoy this new phase in your life!
When used smartly and safely, both sage oil clary sage oil are very powerful herbal remedies with some unique abilities. If you’re scared about all the risks and side effects I mentioned, keep in mind that they are 10 times better than the side effects listed on any pharmaceutical drug, and with proper research and use you should have no problem at all. Personally I love learning about the amazing herbs that the ancient civilizations discovered out of necessity as well as incredible resourcefulness.
While today we can just combine a bunch of chemicals in a test tube to mass produce a medicine, our ancestors had to find ways to take care of themselves while relying on the only medical laboratory available to them; nature. So if you’re interested in building up a little herbal remedy arsenal of your own, a bottle of sage oil and clary sage oil are two of the best things you could have in there.