The holiday season is here, and for many of us, that means stress. And you know what makes it even worse? Menopause symptoms like irritability and hot flashes. Who really wants to sit at the table listening to your stubborn cousin argue about politics, all while sweating your pants off? Luckily, we've discovered clary sage essential oil, the perfect natural remedy that helps beat anxiety, while also going to work on frustrating symptoms of “the change.”
This oil is extracted from the buds and leaves of clary sage, an herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has an earthy, refreshing scent, and though it’s been used traditionally for eye health, more research is being done on its other benefits — especially for women.
One of the most notable benefits of clary sage essential oil that we’ll surely be taking advantage of during the holidays is stress reduction. Through the body’s olfactory system, smells induce emotional reactions in the brain. Specifically, inhaling the scent of clary sage oil has shown to reduce stress-related symptoms. One study found that women undergoing a stressful medical test experienced a sense of calm and relaxation after inhaling the scent of clary sage oil, as well as a reduction in blood pressure! Another small study on menopausal women found that inhaling the scent of clary sage lowered levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), having an antidepressant effect. An animal study also concluded that clary sage oil could be a beneficial treatment for depression, with potent anti-stress qualities.
While stress is certainly one of the symptoms of menopause, clary sage oil can help with others as well. Sclareol, one of the chemical compounds in clary sage oil, mimics estrogen in the body and therefore, can help to alleviate symptoms of low estrogen levels. One of the most frustrating of these is hot flashes. Research suggests that an oil mixture of clary sage and geranium rubbed on the bottoms of the feet helped to significantly alleviate nighttime hot flashes.
What’s more, clary sage oil can also help relieve cramping. Linalyl acetate, another compound found in clary sage oil, has powerful sedative and antispasmodic properties that help to soothe muscle spasms and pain. One study found that women using a cream containing clary sage oil on their lower abdomen experienced a significant reduction in cramps when compared to the control group. Impressive, right?
And with “the change” comes yet another pesky problem: bone loss. Thanks to the drop in estrogen that occurs during menopause, we become more likely to develop conditions like osteoporosis because our bones begin losing density. Thanks to clary-sage oil’s estrogen-mimicking effects, it’s believed that it could help rebuild sturdy bones. One study done on rats showed that ingesting clary sage oil resulted in stronger bones!
How to Use Clary Sage Essential Oil
The best way to use clary sage oil for stress is aromatherapy. To do this, purchase a high-quality essential oil like this one from SVA Organics ($12.94, Amazon) and diffuse it with a diffuser at home. You can also add a drop or two of clary sage oil to a tissue and inhale the scent for super quick relief!
To use clary sage oil for hot flashes, massage the bottoms of your feet down with a few drops of clary sage oil mixed in a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil. You can also rub a few drops of the oil onto the back of your neck for relief.
While essential oils are of course natural, they’re not all created equal. If you’re going to ingest clary sage oil, be sure you’re using a high-quality, organic product like the one mentioned above. To take clary sage oil internally, add a drop or two to a glass of water and drink, or add a drop or two to a spoon of honey. Keep in mind, the oil has a strong taste, so don’t go overboard! And while clary sage oil is pretty safe to use, always consult your doctor before trying any new treatment.
We’re wishing you a stress-and-pain-free holiday season to come!