This or That: Clary Sage vs Sage

In the essential oil world, we can see how things might get confusing. You may find yourself searching for a particular kind of oil and find two or more that share the same name. Take Clary Sage and Sage for example. How different could they be? Though they share the Latin name Salvia, it turns out they are quite different.

Sage, or Common Sage, is a potent essential oil composed primarily of ketones, while Clary Sage is mostly composed of esters. Let’s examine what this means and how this makes them so different.


Origin: Greece




Digestive aid


Supports hair growth

Reduces overactive sweat glands

Aroma: Sage is herbaceous, sweet, and slightly-camphorous and true to the herb used in cooking and burning. It blends well with Cardamom and other spices, as well as with light florals like Lavender.

Uses/Considerations: Sage makes an excellent addition to shampoo or mixes with carrier oils for sore muscles, aching stomach, and cellulite. It’s also a highly effective addition to DIY home cleaners and sprays. Diffuse Sage for a fall aroma.

Due to the presence of thujone, it is not recommended to exceed a 0.4% dilution of Sage on the skin. Due to its potency, it is better to keep the dilution of Sage low and combine it with other oils for skin applications to boost its therapeutic properties. It is not recommended for use on or around children, and should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Origin: Russia



Digestive aid

PMS and menopausal symptoms

Emotional balance and sleep support


Restore skin

Aroma: Clary Sage is sweet, herbaceous, clean, and likened to earl grey tea. With its softly floral, grape-like aroma, it is ideal for elegant perfumes.

Uses/Considerations: Clary Sage works well when applied topically for skin care, stomach aches, and cramps. Diffuse or inhale to ease respiratory ailments, mood swings, or insomnia. Women are treated especially well by Clary Sage, so turn to this oil for any side effects associated with your period, PMS, or menopause.

Caution is recommended for pregnancy as the constituents therein may encourage contractions. If turning to Clary Sage during pregnancy or labor, make sure to consult with your physician to determine safety.


Sage and Clary Sage each have varying constituents, therapeutic properties and aromas. These large differences mean they cannot be substituted for one another in recipes and usage. Each oil has its therapeutic strengths, and should thus be used accordingly with safety in mind.


These comments were contributed by customers without influence from Edens Garden. The opinions expressed in these comments are 100% the authors' own and do not reflect the views or opinions of Edens Garden.

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Lynn! You might try this eyebrow growth serum, except use it on your hair:

  • Lynn says...

    Trying to desperately find something for hair growth, I am loosing hair at a VERY fast pace. I was told to check your oils for help. While reading on your site , Rosemary Spanish helps, also ‘plain’ rosemary. Then read Clary Sage , but further down it says just sage. Also basil, cedar wood Atlas??? Very very confused. I have been told to mix coconut oil and rosemary and let sit on the scalp 15-30 minutes. PLEASE HELP!!!!!

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