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What are the Different Types of Sage Essential Oil?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated May 21, 2024
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Sage essential oil is one of several varieties of calming essential oils. Three different types of sage essential oil blends are available. They include Common sage, Spanish sage, and Clary sage. Each has its own aromatic uses and compositions.

Common sage essential oil is scientifically known as salvia officinalis. This translates from Latin to the phrase to heal or to save. A popular cooking oil, it has been used since Roman times for its medicinal properties. Its primary uses included aiding women with menstruation, menopause, and childbirth problems. As a folk remedy, the oil has been used across the globe in many countries.

With its many medicinal properties, common sage is often used to treat several conditions in conjunction with other aromatherapy supplies. Some conditions that common sage oil can be used to treat include anxiety, water retention, congestion, herpes, rheumatism, and angina. The herb itself is also considered a good source of antioxidants.

Spanish sage is known as a cure-all essential oil in Spain. Scientifically known as salvia officinalis, it was once believed to be a remedy against the plague and other infections. One of several calming essential oils, Spanish sage essential oil has been used to treat depression, hormonal imbalance, inflammation, gum or skin infections, stress, headaches, asthma, hair loss, and many other conditions. People thought that using Spanish sage could bring about longevity and fertility. It was also used to combat rheumatism, menstrual problems, and digestive disorders.

Clary sage was typically used as a nerve tonic during the Middle Ages. Also called salvia sclarea, its scientific name comes from the Latin word clarus, meaning to clear. Clary sage gets its name for its mucus-clearing properties. The herbal remedy has also been used to help treat menstrual problems, digestive complains, uterine issues, and kidney disease. Other maladies Clary sage is used to treat in aromatherapy include postpartum depression, fatigue, varicose veins, sleeplessness, and low libido.

Both Spanish and Clary sage oils contain ketones, which can cause uterine muscle stimulation during pregnancy. For this reason, the oils should be avoided by women who are or may become pregnant. These types of aromatherapy oils should not be used on children, either, and they can also worsen epileptic symptoms. Aromatic types of essential oils like the variants of sage are often used for their scents. All three varieties can be used as deodorants.

Chemically composed of esters, Clary sage essential oil is considered to be notoxic. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childhood. Using the oil after drinking alcohol is also not advisable, as it can increase the symptoms of drunkenness.

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Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt , Writer
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for BeautyAnswered, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.

Discussion Comments

By fancypants — On Jan 02, 2015

I read that one reason Clary Sage is different because it has no thujone content and so side effects associated with high amounts of thujone are not a factor if you use the Clary sage variety. I just bought some regular sage extract from my organic grocery place and plan on taking a bath with a few drops in it tonight. I've been having menstrual issues and am hoping it will help.

By discographer — On Dec 25, 2014

@burcinc-- All varieties of sage essential oil are beneficial. The most popular use for all of them is for aromatherapy. I also use it for this purpose, either in a diffuser or a little bit on my forehead when I'm stressed or when I have a migraine. I do like Spanish sage the most but it is difficult to find. It's easier to find official sage and Clary sage.

I think for general benefits though, any variety can be used as long as the product is high quality, fresh and 100% essential oil without additives.

By bear78 — On Dec 25, 2014

@burcinc-- I'm sure you can use it as a perfume but if you have sensitive skin, make sure to dilute the oil with a carrier oil and test some on your arm. I don't know if Clary sage is better because I haven't tried the other types. But I suspect that aside from their benefits varying a little bit, their scents do too. Some people just like the scent of Clary sage better.

I add a little bit of Clary sage essential oil to my massage oil which also has other oils like coconut. It works great and smells very nice.

By burcinc — On Dec 24, 2014

I want to use sage essential oil to make my own perfume. Which type is best for this use? I'm seeing that Clary sage essential oil gets sold more than common sage essential oil. So is Clary sage better and is it okay to use it for perfume?

Sara Schmidt

Sara Schmidt

Writer

With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for BeautyAnswered, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
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