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Permies likes medicinal herbs and the farmer likes Clary Sage vs. Turkey YumYum Sage permies
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Clary Sage vs. Turkey YumYum Sage

Angela McNamara

Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Southern Ontario, Zone 5
Does anyone know how the properties of Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) differ from the common Sage (Salvia Officinalis) and other wild varieties?

I would specifically like to know why Clary Sage is always used for the essential oil. Is it simply more aromatic?

Jonathan Byron

Joined: Apr 16, 2011
Posts: 225
There are somewhere between 700 and 900 different types of Salvia or sage, lots of differences between different plants in that genus. I did some digging on clary sage recently and bought a small bottle of the essential oil.

It's traditional uses in aromatherapy include promoting mental clarity, opposing anxiety and depression, an aphrodisiac, relaxing muscles and reducing spasms,  bringing on menstruation (among other things).

This article found that it acts on the dopamine receptors, which are associated with reward/pleasure - that could explain some of the effects on mood.

In my experience, it's aroma starts out a bit harsh, but it soon becomes sweet. It reminds me of frankincense.
Angela McNamara

Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Southern Ontario, Zone 5
I didn't know the connection to dopamine. Thanks!
Mason Conklin

Joined: Jun 24, 2014
Posts: 1
This may be a resurrection of an old post, but as I was doing some permaculture homework, I came across it.

I recently visited the Permaculture Institute's demonstration site in Santa Fe, and encountered clary sage there. Just based on the information that our tour guide gave us, and a cursory internet search, here are the differences as I see them.

First, clary sage is a biennial herb and not perennial. Rather than forming a small woody shrub (officianalis), it produces a low lying rosette its first year, and then shoots a flowering stalk the second year. Depending on the variety, the flowering stalk may produce white (Vatican variety) or blue-purplish (turkestanica variety) flowers. Both the leaves and flowers are useful in teas, and the oil from the flower is a popular essential oil for aromatherapy.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Clary Sage vs. Turkey YumYum Sage