Type of plant: Biennial herb growing to 3 feet high with hairy stems, large, fragrant, velvety leaves, and lilac-pink flower spikes
Part used: Flowering tops
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
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Data: The plant material is distilled either dried, when it is known as traditional clary sage, or fresh, when it is known as green crushed clary sage. The whole plant has glandular hairs containing essential oil. Native to southern and central Europe and to western Asia, clary sage was known to many ancient cultures. Indian sages said it gave illumination, while the Romans attributed to it the ability to confer good health. In Germany, it was used along with elderflowers as an additive to cheap wine to make it taste like muscatel.
Principal places of production: France, Bulgaria, Russia, Hungary, England, Germany, Spain, China
When buying look for: A colorless to pale-yellow liquid with a nutty, warm, light, musky, herbaceous aroma
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, antisudorific, calmative, emmenagogue, nervine, restorative, soporific, spasmolytic, tonic
Therapeutic uses: Menstrual problems, menstrual cramp, endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal problems, hot flashes, muscular aches and pains, muscular fatigue, muscular spasm, excessive perspiration, headaches, loss of concentration, memory, insomnia, nervousness, depression, anxiety, stress, psychological stress
Blends well with: Amyris, bergamot, black pepper, cananga, cardamom, chamomile maroc, chamomile roman, coriander seed, cypress, damiana, geranium, grapefruit, ho wood, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, mandarin, patchouli, rose absolute, rose otto, sandalwood, tangerine, valerian
Precautionary advice: Avoid during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. GRAS status.