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Sage: A Scent for the Season

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Christmas is just a short month away and that means we’re officially in the season. As my American friends sit down with their families at their Thanksgiving tables today, I’m thinking about how much I like the taste of a little sage in my turkey stuffing. Sage makes me feel all comfy and cozy and that’s why I’ve chosen it as today’s blog topic.

Sage and cranberries on a plate.

The Latin name for sage, Salvia, comes from salvere, which means “to save or heal” and true to its name, sage has a long list of healing properties. There are lots of varieties of sages out there in the world, like purple sage and pineapple sage, and they each have their own share of medicinal, culinary, aromatic and cosmetic uses.

For home spa recipes, I recommend using either the fresh or dried culinary herb version of sage or using clary sage essential oil, depending on the type of treatment you’re making.

Sage Herb in the Home Spa

Common Sage can be mixed with other herbs like lavender, rosemary and catnip in a sleep pillow. It’s also good for hair as it adds shine to normal or damaged hair and covers gray strands. Here are some more suggestions:

  1. Blend sage in relaxing tea for sleeplessness, night sweats, nightmares, depression, nervous exhaustion, anxiety, whiter teeth, sore throats, colds-flu, detoxification, female issues, flavour.
  2. Infuse astringent and antiseptic sage into facials to clean pores, visually shrink pore size, add scent.
  3. Infuse sage into your hair rinse to treat normal, dry or damaged hair, add shine, curb dandruff, encourage hair growth, add fragrance, and cover grey.
  4. Mix dried sage in baths, sleep pillows, pot pourri, or sachets for fragrance.

Clary Sage Essential Oil in the Home Spa

Affectionately known as “clear eye,” clary sage was used in medieval times to flush out debris from eyes. It was also added to wine and beer to bump up the flavour and the fun factor. And speaking of fun, in her book Aromatherapy, author Glenda Taylor writes, “PARTY — Clary sage is supposed to make you feel irresistible. If you’re getting ready to go out, [like to a holiday party perhaps?], use a few drops in your bathwater or add it to a hair rinse.” You can also use clary sage essential oil in the following ways:

  1. Clary Sage is considered a middle note fixative in perfumery and aromatherapy. It’s nutty, smoky fragrance with sweet herbaceous undertones blends well with: basil, bergamot, cardamon, cedarwood, chamomile, coriander, cypress, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lime, mandarin, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, tea tree, vetiver, and ylang ylang.
  2. Add clary sage essential oil to a massage oil blend to relax, get a good night’s sleep, enhance dreams, lift depression, inspire romance, soothe muscle pain and address female issues.
  3. Use clary sage essential oil in your skincare routine if you have an oily skin type.
  4. Pour drops of clary sage essential oil into an atomizer to scent linen.
  5. Heat clary sage essential oil in a burner to brighten a room, treat coughs and aid concentration.
  6. CAUTION: Avoid during pregnancy and while drinking alcohol.

Clary Sage Massage Oil Recipe

To relax and soothe sore muscles and to get a good night’s sleep, you can use this recipe as a massage oil or as an additive to bathsalts or bathwater. Has anyone else noticed that the word “sage” is built into the word, “massage?”

  • 1 cup Jojoba Oil — is an excellent choice to use as a carrier oil because it’s closest to our skin’s natural oil and therefore our skin readily absorbs it.
  • 20 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil — is a powerful relaxant. This middle note relieves anxiety, nervous exhaustion, irritability and insomnia. It’s also used in skin care for its anti-inflammatory, soothing and astringent properties.
  • 20 drops Rosemary Essential Oil — This fresh middle note lifts depression and erases feelings of lethargy and fatigue. It eases stiff muscles in massage and is also an effective hair and scalp tonic.
  • 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil — This soporific top note is used to treat anxiety, depression and headaches. In massage, it relieves muscular aches and stiffness and is also a popular ingredient in skincare.
  • 20 drops Spearmint Essential Oil — As a top note scent, it delivers cheerfulness and optimism during periods of sluggishness and lethargy.

Method: Starting with the middle note essential oils and working toward the top notes, carefully pour drops of the clary sage essential oil into a sterilized glass bottle. Then count in 20 drops of the rosemary essential oil. Roll the bottle in your hands to blend the essential oils or use an orangewood stick to stir. Then add 20 drops of the lavender and blend the oils again. Then add 20 drops of the spearmint essential oil. Blend the aromas and smell the result. You now have an equal blend of all four essential oils. If you are satisfied, then keep the blend as is. If not, go ahead and add 5 drops at a time of any of the essential oils that you feel need more strength. Keep some coffee beans handy to clear your nasal palette. Once satisfied, add jojoba oil to the shoulder of the bottle. Make a label and let the recipe cure for 2 weeks.

Manner: Pour a tablespoon of oil onto your hands and then apply to skin using effleurage movements. Then proceed with your massage. Alternatively, pour a tablespoon of oil into your bathwater. You can also use the essential oil blend as a base for bathsalts.

Storage / Shelf Life: Mixture will mature in 4 to 8 weeks. Store out of sunlight in a cool dark place. Keep lid fastened. Will last for 3 to 12 months.

If you like this recipe, let me know. And consider making a big batch and give this massage oil as a gift for your friends. Happy Holidays!

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