clary sage essential oil and plant

You could call clary sage the queen of essential oils for women’s health. It has traditionally been used to support female hormones throughout all stages of life. And in this article we’re going to look closer at how to use clary sage for menstrual cramps and PMS.

Now, before we dive in, it’s important to note that most of the evidence that supports the use of clary sage for menstrual issues is mainly anecdotal. 

That said, there are a few studies showing that clary sage oil has properties that can be very helpful for women’s hormonal and menstrual health.

So, in this article we’re going to look at:

  • How clary sage can ease painful periods.
  • How to use clary sage for menstrual pain.
  • Some DIY blends that have been scientifically shown to ease cramps, plus alternate products you can use.

Note: this post contains affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you)  if you use them to make a purchase.


clary sage plant for menstrual cramps

Clary sage may be helpful for menstrual cramps because it is:

  • Anti-inflammatory: clary sage is rich in compounds like linalyl acetate and linalool, which have been studied for their potential anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation plays a role in menstrual cramps, clary sage’s anti-inflammatory properties could help you get relief.
  • May improve circulation: a small study done with women who have high blood pressure showed that inhaling clary sage lowers blood pressure. Since high blood pressure contributes to poor circulation, the use of clary sage may improve overall circulation, including in the uterus.
  • Regulates estrogen levels: clary sage is said to help regulate estrogen levels and as such, is one of the most popular essential oils for hormonal imbalance. Since the estrogen-progesterone balance affects menstrual cramps, this may potentially ease cramps.
  • Induces a sense of relaxation: research suggests that inhaling clary sage can lower cortisol levels by up to 36% (source). In addition, clary sage is often used to induce an overall sense of relaxation. Since cortisol and stress can negatively affect hormonal balance, using clary sage may help to address these underlying issues.


When using clary sage essential oil for menstrual cramps you can massage it onto the lower abdomen or the lower back area.

If you’re new to using clary sage (or any essential oil) for cramps, then you should experiment to see which area of application gives you the most relief.


In order to use clary sage oil for painful periods, you must dilute it in a carrier oil. Never apply the oil undiluted.

Since you will be applying the oil to your skin, it’s important to know that clary sage has a dermal limit of 5%.

This dermal limit is the maximum dilution that can be used on the skin without risk of irritation or burning.

Please note that dermal limits are a general guideline. It is possible to go above the dermal limit and not experience irritation.

And on the flip side, some people might still experience irritation even at concentrations that are below the dermal limit. This is because everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to essential oils. 

Now here are the two ways to use clary sage for menstrual pain.

1. Dilute in a carrier oil

  • Choose a carrier oil in which to dilute the clary sage oil. Any oil that is fluid and easy to absorb is ideal for this, such as grapeseed, jojoba and almond oil.
  • Use the table below to decide which dilution ratio you’re going to use. The higher the dilution ratio, the stronger the mix will be.
  • Massage the diluted clary sage oil onto your lower abdomen or lower back to soothe cramps.

2. Combine with other essential oils

While doing research for this article, I came across two studies that use clary sage and other oils for menstrual cramp relief.

The first study combined lavender, clary sage and marjoram oils in a 2:1:1 ratio at a 3% dilution. 

As for the second study, it used clary sage with lavender, ginger and geranium in a 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 1.5 : 1.5 ratio at a 5% dilution.

Below I’ve included a recipe that you can use to replicate the first blend at home.


  • 10ml roller bottle
  • Carrier oil (grape seed, jojoba or almond)
  • 6 drops lavender
  • 1 drop clary sage
  • 1 drop marjoram

How to make

  • Pour carrier oil into the roller bottle, making sure to allow some space at the top. 
  • Add the essential oils.
  • Top off with more carrier oil if the bottle isn’t all the way full.
  • Close and roll between your palms to mix everything together.
  • Apply throughout the day as needed to get relief from pain.

If you’d rather skip the blending, you can also buy a ready-to-use blend that already uses clary sage. 

In this case, I suggest this Gal Pal, pre-diluted, 10% roll-on from Eden’s Garden.

Aside from having clary sage as the first ingredient, it contains lavender and chamomile, both of which are known for easing menstrual pain. In addition, there’s vitex oil and ylang ylang oil, which are both used to support hormone balance.


When in your cycle should you use clary sage?

In general, clary sage can be used at any time during the menstrual cycle. You can either diffuse it or apply it topically when using it as a pain remedy. 

To get a customized plan for when you should use clary sage, it’s a good idea to consult with an aromatherapist or a doctor who is familiar with the oil.

How do you use clary sage oil for PMS?

Diffusing clary sage can be helpful for stress, tension and mood-related symptoms of PMS. In addition, you can apply diluted clary sage oil to get relief from PMS cramps.

Can clary sage regulate periods?

Clary sage has the ability to regulate cortisol and estrogen. Cortisol imbalance can negatively affect other hormones like insulin and estrogen. In addition, changes in estrogen levels also affect progesterone and testosterone Given that our hormones operate as part of a whole, it’s possible that clary sage’s effect on some hormones can affect the menstrual cycle.


Whether you choose to diffuse it or apply it topically, clary sage shows promise as a natural remedy for period pain and PMS.

I hope that the tips and information in this article help you to get the relief you need.

Related Articles:

5 Essential Oils for Heavy Periods That Provide Real Relief

How to Use Clary Sage Oil for Hormone Balance: A Complete Guide

Top 10 Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps

Top 5 Essential Oils for Hormone Support That Every Woman Should Know About