Clary sage was once thought to make people immortal and many believed that it could clarify the brain, the eyes and even the “inner eye”, and that those who drank a tea of the leaves and flowers could see the future. Today, clary sage is used as a flavoring in everything from cigarettes and omelets to muscatel wine, but it does have many medicinal properties too. In fact, it has a medicinal pedigree going back to the ancient Greeks, but it's probably not the first herb you think of to treat complaints like hot flashes, indigestion and anxiety.
The young tops of Clary were used
in soups and as pot herbs. It gives a new lift to omelets, and was used
to flavor jellies. The leaves were chopped into salads. Culpeper recommended
a 17th century sage dish where the fresh leaves were first dipped in
a batter of flour, eggs and a little milk, fried in butter and served
as a side dish. The flowers have an aromatic flavor and make a lovely
contrast in salads. All sage flowers are edible after removing all greenery
The Romans called it sclarea, from claurus, or “clear,” because they used it as an eyewash. The practice of German merchants of adding clary and elder flowers to Rhine wine to make it imitate a good Muscatel was so common that Germans still call the herb Muskateller Salbei and the English know it as Muscatel Sage. Clary sometimes replaced hops in beer to produce an enhanced state of intoxication and exhilaration, although this reportedly was often followed by a severe headache. It was considered a 12 th-century aphrodisiac and still today, the essential oil is said to give you dramatic dreams or make you feel euphoric. Clary Sage has a beautifully herbaceous, sweet, flowery scent. Some people also characterize it as “nutty.” I lke to call it the Clary Sage buzz. It's dreamy, relaxing and intoxicating. Simply one of my favorite smells.
Susan Weed says, that like its relative sage, clary tea, the leaf
juice in ale or beer, was recommended for many types of women’s
problems, including delayed or painful menstruation. It was once used
to stop night sweating in tuberculosis patients. An astringent is gargled,
douched and poured over skin wounds. It is combined with other herbs
for kidney problems. The clary seeds form a thick mucilage when soaked
for a few minutes and placed in the eye, helps to removed, small irritating
particles. A tea of the leaves is also used as an eyewash. Clary is
also used to reduce muscle spasms. It is used today mainly to treat
digestive problems such as gas and indigestion. It is also regarded
as a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve premenstrual problems. Because
of its estrogen-stimulating action, clary sage is most effective when
levels of this hormone are low. The plant can therefore be a valuable
remedy for complaints associated with menopause, particularly hot flashes.
Clary sage is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, sedative and antidepressant, and may lower blood pressure, aid indigestion and relax both muscles and nerves.
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Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.
Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.
Jessica Morgan, M.H.