how to use clary sage oil for hormone balance

So, you’ve heard that clary sage may help with hormonal imbalance and you’d like to learn more about it. Well, you’re in the right place because this article is going to cover the ins and outs of how to use clary sage oil for hormone balance.

Research indicates that clary sage is a versatile oil that may regulate hormones like cortisol and estrogen, as well as lower inflammation. As a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, clary sage may also be helpful for menstrual cramps and other symptoms of hormonal imbalance.

In this article, we’re going to dive deeper into all those benefits, and you will also get tips on:

  • how to dilute and apply clary sage oil.
  • clary sage blends that you can use.
  • where to purchase clary sage oil

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.


what does clary sage oil help with

1. Relieves Menstrual Cramps

There are two main reasons why some people use clary sage as a natural remedy for period pain.

First, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation lies at the heart of cramps because it’s linked to excessively high levels of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Now, if you’re not familiar with prostaglandins, they are hormones that cause uterine contractions.

In high amounts, prostaglandins have a pro-inflammatory effect that causes repeated and painful contractions.

The second reason why clary sage seems to improve cramps is that it improves circulation.

So, what this means is that this oil is able to open and relax your blood vessels.

As a result you get more blood flow to the uterus which eases pain.

In addition to all this, research confirms that clary sage (combined with lavender and marjoram oil) is effective at reducing the duration of cramps (source).

2. Regulates Estrogen

Clary sage is well known for harmonizing estrogen levels and as a result, supporting overall female health.

This can be beneficial whether you’re struggling with PMS, irregular cycles or menopause-related symptoms.

At every stage of our lives, estrogen is always fluctuating.

And in addition, our environment exposes us to various synthetic forms of estrogen that disrupt normal function.

So, an estrogen-regulating oil like clary sage can make it easier for your body to self-adjust and find its natural balance once again.

3. Lowers Stress and Cortisol Levels

High stress and cortisol levels can throw off insulin levels, cause irregular periods, disrupt fertility, speed up weight gain, contribute to adrenal fatigue and so much more.

Thankfully, clary sage is one oil that you can rely on to help you get a handle on stress and cortisol.

So just how effective is clary sage for lowering cortisol and stress?

Well, one study shows that simply inhaling clary sage all by itself results in a 36% reduction of cortisol levels (source).

Other reports indicate that clary sage helps to boost confidence, create a sense of ease and ultimately, can help alleviate anxiety and depression.

In fact, studies done with rats even confirm that clary sage affects dopamine  (the feel-good hormone) pathways (source).

4. Supports Healthy Thyroid Function

Because of its ability to lower stress and cortisol, clary sage also supports the thyroid.

Here’s why…

The adrenal glands (which produce cortisol) and the thyroid balance each other out all the time. This means:

  • When adrenal function goes up (lots of cortisol is being produced), thyroid function goes down.
  • When thyroid function goes up, adrenal function goes down.

So, by using clary sage you lower the production of excess cortisol, which means your adrenals aren’t working quite as hard.

And healthier adrenals automatically help to boost thyroid function.

5. Relieves Insomnia

Insomnia and poor quality sleep is one of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance.

Clary sage happens to have a naturally calming and sedative effect that makes it ideal for improving insomnia.

In addition, as we’ve already seen, clary sage is known to reduce cortisol.

High cortisol is one of the main causes of insomnia in the first place.

So, by lowering cortisol, and inducing a sense of relaxation, clary sage helps improve sleep quality.

6. Supports Healthy Digestion

A healthy digestive system means you are able to absorb more hormone-balancing nutrients from food.

It also means that your body is able to eliminate toxic hormone disruptors quickly, before they have a chance to accumulate in your system.

It turns out that clary sage can increase the release of bile and gastric juices.

This results in less bloating and cramping.

Bile is also essential for breaking down fats.

This matters a lot for hormone balance because various hormones (including sex hormones and all the adrenal hormones) are made from the fat we eat.

So, having sufficient levels of bile means you can break down the fat into its various components and use it at the cellular level.

7. Supports Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails

Dry and thinning hair, skin or nails tend to occur with hormonal imbalances.

Clary sage can help with all three of these because it:

  • Regulates production of your natural scalp oil (sebum) and supports a healthy scalp.
  • Balances the production of sebum on your skin depending on your particular needs. This means you can use clary sage on both dry and oily skin. The oil works with your skin type.
  • Nourishes the cuticles and nails.

In addition, clary sage contains an ingredient called linalyl acetate, which is an anti-inflammatory that helps with acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.


where do you apply clary sage oil - image showing woman's belly

When applying clary sage oil, the most important thing to do is to dilute it in a carrier oil. Dilution is essential for two reasons:

  • prevents the essential oil for irritating or burning your skin.
  • slows down the rate at which the essential oil evaporates (i.e. gives your skin time to absorb the oil).

When choosing your carrier oil, go for light oils that are easy to absorb, such as almond and apricot oils. If you’re going to use a semi solid oil, then coconut is ideal. Whatever you do though, make sure to stay away from heavy butters like shea butter or cocoa butter. They’re very thick and can interfere with the skin’s ability to properly absorb essential oils.

Last but not least, it’s best to start with a low dilution of about 1 or 2%. If no skin irritation occurs, you can gradually work your way up to higher concentrations (such as 5%).

Now, as for where to apply clary sage, you can massage it on:

  • the lower abdominal area for period pain.
  • around the neck and face for hot flashes.
  • over the kidney area for adrenal support.

Before we wrap up this section, keep in mind that clary sage blends well with oils like:

  • Frankincense
  • Citrus oils (lemon, grapefruit, bergamot, lime, sweet orange, mandarin, tangerine)
  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Sandalwood
  • Cypress

Many of these oils have therapeutic benefits that can be an excellent complement to clary sage. For example, lavender is also helpful for hormones and is a gentle anti-inflammatory. It can be combined with clary sage to ease menstrual discomfort.


In this section we’re going to look at five clary sage recipes that you can use for various hormonal imbalance symptoms including menstrual pain, acne and hot flashes.

Please note that each of these recipes uses clary sage essential oil (not clary sage absolute, which is something different).

Lastly, after trying many different brands in the past, these days I mainly use Plant Therapy. You can get their clary sage here.

The main reason I like Plant Therapy is that they have a nice selection of organic and non-organic oils.

Depending on how I plan on using the oil, there are times when I only want organic.

In addition, they share their quality test records (aka GCMS reports) for each oil on their website (these reports are not available when you buy it via Amazon).

This allows me to check the levels of specific components of the oil before I purchase. It’s very helpful for times when I’m trying to address a specific health issue.

1. Clary Sage Menstrual Cramp Blend

This recipe is made to a 3% dilution. However, feel free to adjust the dilution level to suit your specific needs. By the way, this recipe is also also featured in this article on home remedies for menstrual cramps.


18 drops lavender oil

4 drops clary sage oil

4 drops marjoram oil

1 oz glass bottle

Almond oil (or another carrier oil of your choice)

How to make

  1. Add the essential oils to the glass bottle
  2. Fill the bottle with almond oil.
  3. Seal and shake.
  4. Massage onto your lower abdomen and/or lower back when you experience cramps.

2. Clary Sage Hot Flash Relief

If you’re wondering “how do you use clary sage for menopause?” here are some ideas for you:

  • Place 2 to 3 drops on a cotton ball and inhale it when hot flashes hit.
  • Mix 26 drops with 1 ounce of almond oil and massage onto the neck.

A third option is to make the blend below, which is also featured (along with other recipes) in this post on how to make a diy essential oil spray for hot flashes.


3 drops clary sage oil

2 drops sandalwood oil

2 drops lavender oil

1 Tbsp witch hazel


1 oz glass spray bottle

How to make

  1. Add ingredients to a spray bottle.
  2. Seal and shake.
  3. Spray onto face, neck and other areas as needed to cool down.

3. Clary Sage Stress Relief Diffuser Recipe

Your first option is to simply diffuse 3 drops of clary sage oil by itself.

Otherwise you can also diffuse this blend:

  • 5 drops clary sage
  • 2 drops frankincense

By the way, to learn more about oils and blends that you can use for stress, be sure to read this post on essential oils for stress relief and relaxation.

4. Clary Sage Relaxing Calming Sleep Blend

You can find this recipe (and 19 more!) in this article on essential oil diffuser blends for sleep.

3 drops mandarin oil

3 drops bergamot oil

2 drops clary sage oil

5. Clary Sage Acne Blend

For a soothing and non-abrasive acne treatment, try this mix:


5 drops clary sage oil

4 drops lavender oil

Almond or jojoba oi

1 ounce glass bottle

How to make

  1. Combine the essential oils and almond (or jojoba) oil in glass bottle.
  2. Close the bottle and shake well to combine ingredients.
  3. Use as an all-natural moisturizer to reduce inflammation and support healthy skin.


Does clary sage increase estrogen levels?

Clary sage contains a compound called sclareol, which some say is estrogen-like. However, sclareol is classified as a labdane diterpene, a class of compounds that usually doesn’t exhibit estrogenic activity. So far, there’s no conclusive evidence indicating that having this particular diterpene in clary sage leads to estrogenic activity (source).

What essential oil is good for hormone balance?

Aside from clary sage, other essential oils that are good for hormone balance include sandalwood, thyme, ylang ylang and geranium essential oils.

To learn more about these oils be sure to read this guide on the 5 best essential oils for hormone balance.


No matter your age or symptoms, clary sage is one essential oil that you can use to address various hormone-related issues.

Just remember that with essential oils, you should always dilute them before applying them on your skin. Also, less is more when it comes to these potent oils. So start with a lower dilution. And if necessary, gradually increase it.

I hope this post was helpful and gave you some ideas on the many ways in which you can incorporate clary sage into your hormone balance plan.

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  • Moon Balance: this powder combines some of the best herbs for menstrual support, such as hibiscus, maca and shatavari. If your cycle is off balance and you struggle with things like PMS, period pain and other menstrual imbalances, this is one to check out.
  • Maca Root Powder: in the single herb category, maca is worth paying attention to. It has traditionally been used in Peru for hormone support (in men and women). Research and anecdotal reports indicate that this root vegetable helps with libido, anxiety, hot flashes, menstrual health and more.
how to use clary sage oil for hormone balance - pin image with essential oil bottles and droppers

Related Posts:

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Clary Sage for Menstrual Cramps: Benefits and How To Use

Essential Oils For Your Period – 10 Oils For Cramps, PMS and More!

Essential Oils for Estrogen Dominance and How to Use Them

Essential Oils for Menopause: 11 Best Oils For Relief

How to Use Peppermint Oil For Menstrual Cramps