Salvia sclarea, “Clary sage” in English and “Sauge sclarée” in French, belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family. Native to Northern Mediterranean Europe and Central Asia, it is a herb up to 100 cm growing in sunny grassland, south-facing hedge-banks and woodland margins.
Because of its aromatic foliage, it was used to disguise unpleasant smells before sewerage systems, notably in London. Today, its essential oil is used in alcoholic, tobacco and perfumery industries.
Cited by Ancient Greek scholar in the 4th Century B.C., Salvia s. has a long history as a medicinal herb. It is used to treat digestive problems, cough and cold symptoms, pre-menstrual and menopause complaints, stress, depression and insomnia. Clinical studies showed its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity and suggest it might help to alleviate symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease.
The main components of its essential oil are linalool and linalyl acetate, α-terpineol, geranyl acetate, sclareol and germacrene D.