Birthzang’s Guide to using Clary Sage Oil in Labour
Clary Sage Oil
Clary sage oil is often touted as an effective method to induce labour naturally and enhance contractions once labour has started.
The reality is that babies come precisely when they are ready. Studies have shown that labour is triggered once the baby’s lungs are fully developed.
They then release a protein that triggers labour. However, many women will try all manner of things – some more effective than others – to try and induce labour naturally and avoid a medical induction.
Clary sage oil is an easily-available and easy-to-use method.
What is Clary Sage?
Clary sage is a variety of the sage herb plant, and has various aromatic and medicinal properties.
The leaves are edible and the leaves and flowers can be distilled into an essential oil for therapeutic use. Please note that ‘sage oil’ is quite a different thing and musn’t be confused with clary sage.
Clary sage has oestrogen-regulating and stimulating properties, because of its similar chemical structure to oestrogen. It has had a long association for use with menstrual problems. It is also thought to have a stimulating effect on pregnant women so it is advised not to be used before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
It also has a host of other beneficial properties as varying as an antidepressant, aphrodisiac, deodorant and euphoric for people outside of pregnancy.
For the purposes of this article, I just want to focus on its use after 37 weeks of pregnancy and in labour.
Cautions about Clary Sage Oil
All essential oils prepared by a reputable source are safe to use providing you stick to these guidelines.
Use of clary sage oil to induce
Like so many natural methods to induce
There are many cases of women who attribute going into
And for as many people the clary sage oil does little or nothing towards inducing
Labour is controlled by oxytocin and getting in a warm bath in a private dark space will boost your oxytocin well before you add clary sage oil into the mix.
It certainly doesn’t seem to do any harm though! And baths and massage are a lovely way to bide your time before
Ultimately if it was THAT efficacious to bring on
Use of clary sage oil in
There has been a study that looked at different essential oils used by midwives during
Although the study didn’t have a control group (so it is difficult to draw hard conclusions), it did indicate that clary sage (and chamomile) oil were effective in helping to reduce pain and ease anxiety. Clary sage is thought to stimulate contractions and oxytocin which are two essential ingredients for
Clary sage oil could be used to help speed things up if
- Do NOT use clary sage oil before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It has a stimulating effect on the uterus and so it should be avoided until you are at term or later. For most women, it is probably not appropriate to use clary sage before your due date.
- Do NOT use clary sage oil directly onto the skin as it is very intensive – in some cases up to 100 times stronger than it’s original source – and can cause burning and skin damage.
- Do NOT ingest clary sage oil, it is poisonous, so keep it out of reach of children.
- Do NOT get it on your mucous membranes (such as eyes, lips or vagina) as it can cause irritation or burning, even in a diluted form.
- Do NOT mix clary sage with any other essential oils or products unless you have consulted a qualified aromatherapist. It can react with other oils and have unintended results.
My preferred Clary Sage Oil Brand
I personally use Neal’s Yard essential oils as they are a really well-known and reputable brand, we use the oil in a variety of ways.
The company works to a high ethical standard which I love!
They support organic farming, sustainable wild-harvesting
Buy Clary Sage Oil
How to safely use Clary Sage Oil to naturally induce labour
To scent a room
You can put a few drops of clary sage oil into an Essential Oil Aroma Diffuser, an essential oil reed dispenser or an essential oil burner.
Make sure any previous oils are thoroughly cleaned off as some are not appropriate for use in pregnancy.
You can use clary sage oil in this way from 37 weeks in any room, and can also be used in labour to enhance contractions. However, if you get fed up with the smell, then it can be difficult to get rid of it quickly so it is therefore probably not advised during labour itself.
Note, you cannot burn candles in a hospital setting so we recommend a Nebulizing room diffuser mainly because its the most powerful type but also they do not use heat or water, therefore, is safer and easy to use for your birth at home or in the hospital.
Some of these new diffusers run off a USB socket which would give you some flexibility in the placement of the diffuser and maybe even allow you to run it off a battery power pack and run it in the middle of the room for example.
Some diffusers I like on Amazon…
Massage with clary sage oil
Ensure you have at least equal parts clary sage to the base oil, but ideally, have a few drops of clary sage oil with about 10-15 ml of your carrier oil to ensure it is properly diluted.
The oil can be massaged over the entire body but is particularly nice to Massage into your bump. This helps to bond with your unborn child please read my in-depth blog here make a connection with your baby and coupled with relaxation music and birth
Just remember that in late pregnancy you should avoid lying on your back so make sure you are either supported in a semi-reclined position or lying down on your side.
Sexually active with your partner
Obviously staying sexually active with your partner is a very personal choice in late pregnancy as I have written in a past article about how sex could induce labor.
This lovely pregnancy massage book was recommended to me during my second pregnancy and Mrzang thoroughly enjoyed trying all the techniques on me!
Massage can be a wonderful way to get intimate with your partner and help them feel involved. Make sure you don’t actually put any clary sage oil in or near your vagina.
Some books I recommend…
- Nurturing Massage for Pregnancy: A Practical Guide to Bodywork for the Perinatal Cycle
This book focuses not only on the practical side of birth but also the spiritual and the clinical side.
- Massage During Pregnancy
A good reference on the anatomy side of pregnancy, safety precautions for massage during pregnancy, and some tips for headaches & nausea.
- Aromatherapy And Massage For Mother And Baby: How Essential Oils Can Help You in Pregnancy
all roundguide to massage but also with an added info on essentials oils to use in pregnancy and with baby.
Massage Advice: Relaxes your body and mind while helping to soothe aching muscles.
For adults, use up to 15 drops in at least 30ml of base oil. Please note not suitable for children under two years old.
You can add a few (5-10) drops into a bath to get a fully immersive clary sage oil experience.
You get the benefit of the oil on your skin, but also through the steam of the bath get the inhalation as well – double whammy! In order to prevent the oil collecting on the surface of the water, add the drops to an eggcup of milk before pouring into the bath.
The milk acts to help disperse the oil in the water so it doesn’t just sit on the surface.
CAUTION: It is inadvisable to use clary sage oil with any other bath products just in case it interacts with them so best avoid bubble bath and shower gel and just add it to a plain water bath.
It can also cause the surface of the bath to be slightly slippery so take extra care when getting in and out of the bath, and wipe it down with detergent afterward (just get your partner to do it, you are pregnant after all!).
These bath products contain clary sage and might be fun to try out, although to be
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Clary Sage Printable Guide
Download this handy guide to using clary sage oil as a quick reference for labour and birth. A4 PDF delivered immediately to your inbox and ready to print.
Have you used Clary Sage Oil?
Do you think using clary sage oil helped you go into
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- http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salvia+sclarea https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-clary-sage-essential-oil.html
- http://www.livestrong.com/article/371438-use-of-clary-sage-oil-in-pregnancy/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11033651/
Birth coach, antenatal educator,
yoga teacher & all-round good egg
I founded Birthzang after having an incredible birth experience that enlightened me that with the right tools and skills at her fingertips, any woman can have a positive birth experience.
I discovered my passion for providing parents with practical and non-fluffy information about how to cope with pregnancy, labour, birth, and parenthood.