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Essential Oils in Birth: Clary Sage

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

Kaelie Harris • Doula • Huntsville, AL

Clary Sage is one of the most well known oils in the birth world. The botanical name is Salvia sclarea. I think of this oil as an oil for women because it is so helpful in birth and in menstruation. It is an antispasmodic and anti inflammatory, so it is amazingly helpful for both period cramps and contractions. This oil has been very helpful to my sister, who suffers with PMDD.  It is also an analgesic, which helps to reduce pain.

In labor, clary sage can help to calm spasms in the body. It is a tonic, so it promotes feelings of well being. It can be a sedative, so it is good to help the mom relax and get some rest in early labor. The analgesic properties can help the mother cope with the pains of labor and contractions. This oil blends well with Roman Chamomile, for relaxation, stress relief, and to reduce anxiety. Clary sage is also considered an aphrodisiac, which can help to boost oxytocin levels for a smooth labor.

Clary sage can be applied topically as long as it is diluted in a carrier oil. It can also be inhaled by the mother in a personal inhaler. Many people believe that clary sage is used to induce labor, and I would not recommend use of this oil to try to start labor. I would recommend use of this oil in labor once it has already started to help to encourage good consistent contractions throughout your labor. I also recommend it to help the mom relax and sleep during early labor.

Clary sage can also be helpful for the birth partner, if they need to relax and rest during a long labor. I would also recommend this oil for use in postpartum and the first period after baby to help calm the uterus.

Always check with your care provider before using any medications- including essential oils- during pregnancy, postpartum, or for baby.


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