Your forties can be some of the most important years for your health, particularly if you are a woman. Your body begins to change; you experience hot flashes, reduced memory, increased stress, and possibly a mid-life crisis somewhere along the way.
Clary Sage Oil, The Essential Oil For Women Over 40
Clary sage oil (Salvia sclarea) has been used since the 4th century BCE for its many health properties that alleviate the many unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Whether you’re concerned about your stress, mood, digestion, skin or your menstrual discomfort, take a look at these eight remarkable benefits of clary sage for women over 40, and how you can use the essential oil for yourself.
#1 Balances Hormones
Clary sage contains natural phytoestrogens, also known as “dietary estrogens”, which are derived from plants. The phytoestrogens regulate estrogen levels in the body and the long-term health of the uterus. As we age, our risk for certain cancers increases. A healthy uterus can reduce the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer.
Excess estrogen can cause a wide range of health issues such as infertility, polycystic ovaries, and estrogen-based cancers. A lot of this is due to eating a high-estrogen diet, and clary sage can help keep your estrogen levels in check.
The results from a 2014 study conducted on post-menopausal women found that clary sage oil could be a natural remedy for depression; reducing cortisol levels by 36 percent and significantly improving thyroid.
TIP: When inhaling clary sage, open the bottle of oil and take a gentle whiff in order to balance your mood and hormones.
#2 Alleviates Menstrual Pain
When hormone levels are balanced, clary sage can reduce the symptoms of PMS; bloating, mood swings, cramps, and food cravings. As an antispasmodic, it can minimize the spasms and contractions that occur when the uterine lining begins to shed. By relaxing nerve impulses, clary sage will also alleviate cramping, stomach pains, and headache.
An 8-year study by Oxford Brooks University revealed that clary sage oil in aromatherapy reduced anxiety, fear and physical pain in women during childbirth. Along with chamomile oil, clary sage oil proved the most effective in reducing discomfort.
TIP: For the relief of menstrual cramps, use clary sage oil as a massage lubricant by diluting 5 drops in coconut or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture to affected areas.
#3 Prevents Infection
A 2015 study revealed that clary sage could be used as a topical treatment for wounds and skin infections, due to its antiseptic properties. As an antimicrobial, the study showed that it had strong antistaphylococcal activity against bacterial strains that usually affect wounds.
TIP AND WARNING: Do not apply excessive amounts of any essential oil to an open wound, use around 5 drops to see effective results.
#4 Relieves Stress
If you’re in your forties, you likely consider yourself somewhat of a workaholic. Whether you have kids or work a demanding job, the stress of your forties can have very damaging effects on your long-term health.
Clary sage oil boosts confidence and mental fortitude while reducing fear and anxiety. It is also known to have euphoric properties. A 2010 study on rats revealed that clary sage oil could be used as a therapeutic agent for depression.
TIP: When using clary sage oil in aromatherapy, mix 6 drops with 2 drops of frankincense or orange oils, and add to a diffuser or oil burner.
#5 Improves Skin
Linalyl acetate is an important compound in clary sage. It is a natural phytochemical found in spice plants and flowers that reduces skin inflammation, rashes, and regulates oil production, preventing dry skin and acne. Using clary sage as a skin moisturizer can reduce the signs of aging by keeping the skin firm, hydrated and clear.
TIP: Blend clary sage oil with coconut or jojoba oil (1:1 ratio) and apply the mixture directly to face or body
#6 Aids Digestion & Cholesterol Levels
Clary sage increases bile and gastric juice secretion, which speed up the metabolism. It can also relieve indigestion, bloating, cramps and abdominal discomfort for those with delicate digestive systems.
Clary sage allows vitamins and minerals to be absorbed more easily, regulate bowel movements, treats ulcers, and can eliminate constipation.
As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, clary sage oil is cardioprotective and lowers cholesterol naturally. High cholesterol can reduce the flow of blood to vital organs and muscle tissue, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
TIP: massage your abdomen with clary sage and coconut oil, or use a hot compress with 5 drops of clary sage oil soaked into it
#7 Improves Circulation
Clary sage opens blood vessels, lowers blood pressure by relaxing the brain and arteries, and boosts metabolism by transporting more oxygen to muscles and vital organs.
TIP: To create your own clary sage mist, add 6 drops of clary sage to 12 drops of mandarin, 6 drops of rose geranium, and 3 drops of cinnamon. Add to a spray bottle, filling the rest with water, and spray over body and face when needed.
#8 Aids sleep
As a natural sedative, clary sage promotes deeper and easier sleep, improving the overall quality of life. As mentioned, the hormone balancing properties in clary sage will reduce stress, making it a natural and effective cure for insomnia.
TIP: To make a clary sage balm, in a double boiler, add 10 drops of clary sage oil to 10 drops of lavender oil, with ½ cup of coconut oil, ½ cups of olive oil and ¼ cup of beeswax. Stir well for about 10 minutes, then add them to containers and allow them to cool. Apply to affected areas topically when needed.
Conclusion & Precautions
Clary sage has been used for thousands of years for its many benefits to women. If you are over the age of forty and are beginning to see the signs of menopause, use clary sage oil for a natural, healthy treatment of common menopausal systems.
However, it is important to take into account some of the side effects clary sage oil may have, especially if pregnant. During the first trimester of pregnancy, sage oil could actually affect the abdomen, causing uterine contractions. It is also advised to avoid using clary sage oil before or after alcohol consumption as it may lead to troubled sleep and nightmares.
Chloral hydrate and hexobarbitone have been said to interact with clary sage oil; they cause sleepiness and drowsiness, and clary sage seems to increase the effects of these medications.
Always consult a doctor before using new forms of medicine, even if it is a natural substance like sage oil as different reactions occur in different people.