It is an erect herbaceous biennial, reaching up to 1 to 1.5 meters in height during flowering. The biennial is sometimes cultivated as a short-lived perennial (up to six years) and is planned in fall.
It is native to the northern Mediterranean, along with some areas in north Africa and mountain regions of Central Asia.
The yield of essential oil varied from 0.1 to 0.34 percent of fresh material, depending from environmental conditions and plant genotype. The essential oil, known as clary oil or muscatel sage, contains l-linalyl acetate, linalool, and nerol . The concrete and absolute of clary sage include linalyl acetate, linalool, sclareol, and sesquiterpenes . The seed contains anti-Tn-specific agglutinins.
Traditional Use and Activity
Fresh and dried leaves have been used as flavoring agents in wine production, in substitution for hops, and in adulteration of digitalis. The flowers are used in herbal teas, sachets, potpourris, and beverages. The essential oil is used as a fragrance and fixative in the perfume industry. The concrete and absolute, often blended with lavender, jasmine, or other scents, are used in soaps, detergents, creams, powders, perfumes, and lotions . This plant is also grown as an ornamental. As a medicinal plant, Salvia sclarea is known for the mucilaginous seeds used to clear the sight and reduce inflammation of the eyes. The plant has reportedly been used for its antispasmodic, astringent, and carminative properties. Salvia sclarea has been used in treatment of cancer. The plant displays lecithinic properties, and the seed contains anti-Tn-specific agglutinins . Antispasmodic activity is probably attributable the presence of nerol.