clarry, orvale, toute-bonne,
large leaves grow off a central stalk that bends with the
weight of the flowers.
It grows to a height of 3
feet with a width of 1 foot.
The flowers are lilac or
pale blue, pink or white, in whorls on top of the stems,
with the upper lip curled up.
The leaves are broad oval
or heart-shaped, in pairs, 6-9 inches long, covered with
fine silver-white hairs, almost stalkless.
It blooms from June to
A biennial to zone 6.
Germination is in 12-15
Space 2-3 feet apart.
Soil temperature 70F.
Soil should be well
Moist is preferred but it
tolerates dry conditions with a pH of 5.3 to 7.2.
Full sun. Seedlings
started in spring will flower the following season.
The Romans called it
or “clear,” because they used it as an eyewash.
So useful is the plant for
the eyes that in
where it grows in abundance, it is known as “Oculus
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 12th-century
linalyl acetate, linalol, pinene, myrcene, saponine and
anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic,
antispasmodic, astringent, bactericidal
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
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
It is also regarded as a
tonic, calming herb that helps relieve premenstrual
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.
Essential oil by steam
distillation from the flowering tops and leaves.
A concrete and absolute
are also produced by solvent extraction in small quantities.
A colorless or pale yellowy-green
liquid with a sweet, nutty-herbaceous scent.
NOTE: top to middle
BLENDS WELL WITH:
juniper, lavender, coriander, cardomom, geranium,
sandalwood, cedarwood, pine, labdanum, jasmine,
frankincense, bergamot and other citrus oils
acne, boils, dandruff,
hair loss, inflamed conditions, oily skin and hair,
opthalmia, ulcers, wrinkles
Circulation, Muscles and Joints:
high blood pressure, muscular aches and pains.
Asthma, throat infections, whooping cough
cramp, dyspepsia, flatulence.
Soothes digestive problems
such as gas and gastric spasm.
amenorrhea, labor pain,
A good tonic for the womb
and helpful with uterine problems.
A hormone balancer.
depression, frigidity, impotence, migraine, nervous tension
and stress-related disorders.
rejuvenating, balancing, inspiring, revitalizing
The essential oil lends strength,
both psychological and physical.
While it helps reduce
deep-seated tension, it remains stimulating, regenerative,
This is the oil chosen for
treating nervousness, weakness, fear, paranoia, and
Clary feeds the soul and
helps us get through rough times.
It is recommended when
pressures and stress come from outside.
The oil is very relaxing.
Particularly recognized as
useful for people involved in creative work.
It lends us the courage to
do things we haven’t done in a long time.
Wonderful for people in
Clary helps bring us more
closely in touch with the Dreamworld.
It seems to encourage
vivid dreams or at least enhance dream recall.
drops clary sage, 3 drops lavender, 2 drops Melissa
Respiratory: 4 drops clary sage, 3 drops benzoin, 3 drops
Reproductive: 6 drops clary sage, 3 drops
geranium, 2 drops marjoram
Emotion: 5 drops clary sage, 4
drops ylang-ylang, 3 drops cedarwood
Anti-sorrow fragrance: 4 oz sweet almond oil, 10 drops
marjoram EO, 5 drops each clary sage and cypress or rosemary
EO, 1 drop hyssop EO (optional), 1 drop melissa EO.
Moon or mercury.
Clary is known for its
ability to enhance vision, protecting not only one’s
physical eyesight but promoting increased skill white in
meditation and visionary states.
The seeds are the most
useful part of the plant for this purpose and may be
extracted as a wash to make a magickal lotion which may be
used in the magickal healing of afflictions to a person’s
Love Potion to attract a man:
Equal parts of dried lavender,
bachelor’s buttons and clary sage, with a pinch of valerian
and a sassafras leaf.
Place in a small sachet
and wear inside the clothing.
It is used to reduce excess oil
or dandruff on the scalp and for excessively oily
The tops, placed in a warm
bath will relieve tired limbs and tone the body.
Clary Eye Lotion:
place a handful of leaves or tops in a saucepan, cover with
a cupful of milk or water and simmer over a low flame for 10
Strain and when lukewarm,
bathe the eyes with cotton or use an eye bath.
Clary Complexion Lotion:
A handful of fresh tops in a pint of boiling water will,
after straining and cooling, make a soothing complexion
If ½ oz of the seed is
steeped in cold water for 24 hours and one drop of the
mucilage is placed on a pimple of infected blackhead, it
will draw it and quickly heal the skin.
used as fragrance
components and fixatives in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and
The oil is used
extensively by the food and drink industry, especially in
the production of wines with a muscatel flavor.
Avoid during pregnancy. Do
not use clary sage oil while drinking alcohol, it can induce
a narcotic effect and exaggerate drunkenness.
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
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 and stems. Used as a
flavoring agent in the adulteration of wine and as a
substitution for hops
2 ½ cups cream
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
handful clary, chopped fine
1 Tbsp butter or oil
Beat the eggs then
beat in the other ingredients.
Fry in butter or oil over
Turn to brown slightly on
Clary Sage Fritters
For the batter: 4 oz flour
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
¼ pint warm water
1 egg white
12 clary sage flowering brackets
12 clary sage leaves
fresh oil for deep frying
1 Tbsp clary sage flowers removed
from the bracts
Make the batter
well before you need it: sift the flour into a bowl, add the
salt, stir in the oil and mix with enough warm water to give
the consistency of fairly thick cream.
Leave to stand, covered
with a damp cloth or saran wrap, for one to two hours.
Just before using, beat
the egg white in a clean bowl until it is stiff and fold it
into the batter.
Rinse the clary sage
flower bracts and leaves.
Gently shake them dry,
then dry them on some kitchen towel.
Roll a flower bract in
each leaf and dip into the batter one at a time. Shake off
any excess batter and drop into a large pan of oil, heated
Do not allow them to touch
each other in cooking. When done, drain on paper towel and
place on a warmed serving dish or hot plate.
When all the fritters are
cooked, dredge with sugar, sprinkle on the flowers and serve
(Good Enough to Eat)
Clary Sage Omelet
2 Tbsp clary leaves, chopped fine
4 Tbsp grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup flour
¼ cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
Mix the eggs
lightly in a bowl, adding sage, cheese, flour and milk.
Heat butter in a pan until
Add omelet mixture. Stir,
tipping until bottom is covered.
When omelet is ‘set’ and
light brown underneath, flip over for 1 minute and remove
immediately to plate.
10 gallons water
35 lb loaf sugar
2 pecks of clary blossoms
1 pint good new yeast
Mix sugar, water
and well-beaten egg whites. Let boil gently for ½ hour,
skimming until the mixture is quite clear.
Let stand until cold. Pour
into a cask, add 2 pecks of clary blossoms stripped from the
stalk and 1 pint of yeast.
Stir the wine three times
a day for five days.
Stop it up, and let stand
for twelve months.
It may be bottled at the
end of six months if perfectly clear.
Clary Sage Jelly
3 tsp clary leaves
½ cup boiling water
1 ½ cup apple juice (unsweetened)
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups honey
1 bottle liquid pectin
Make infusion of
clary and water. Strain and add enough water to make ½ cup.
Combine with apple and
lemon juice and honey in large saucepan.
Bring to full rolling boil
and add pectin, stirring constantly.
Boil hard for 30 seconds
and give sheet test for jellying point.
Remove from heat and skim.
Pour into hot, sterilized
glasses and seal.
Add yellow food coloring
if desired while jelly is boiling,
the Garden Path,
Bill and Sylvia Varney, Fredericksburg Herb Farm,
1995; ISBN: 0-9649691-0-6
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies,
Franzesca Watson, Thorsons, 1995; ISBN: 0-7225-3222-9
Cosmetics From the Earth,
Roy Genders, Alfred Van der Marck Editions, 1985; ISBN:
Good Enough to Eat,
Jekka McVicar, Kyle Cathie, Ltd.,, 1997; ISBN: 1-85626-227-8
}osmetics from the Earth,
Roy Genders, Alfred van der Marck, 1985; ISBN: 0-912383-20-8
Herbs for Health and Healing,
Kathi Keville, Rodale, 1997, ISBN: 0-87596-293-9
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of
Julia Lawless, Element Books, 1995
The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia,
Kathi Keville, Mallard Press, 1991; ISBN: 0-7924-5307-7
Complete Aromatherapy Handbook,
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Sterling, 1990
Patricia Davis, C.W. Daniel, 1991
The Directory of Essential Oils,
Wanda Sellar, C.W. Daniel, 1992