Obtained from the flowering stems of Salvia sclarea L. Clary Sage is a biennial or perennial herb that grows up to six feet in height.
The oil has large amounts of natural linalyl acetate (typically 65%+) and approximately 20% linalool.
Clary sage is thought to have a number of therapeutic benefits, in particular for women’s health. However, it also has known benefits to reduce the symptoms of upset stomach and other digestive disorders, as well as kidney diseases.
Clary sage is used as a flavouring agent in many food and beverage products as well as used in fragrances in particular for cosmetic applications.
Recent production in France is estimated to be of around 20MT per annum after significant growth in 2016. The season starts around late June and finishing within a couple of weeks.
Often the flowers are used for the production of sclareol, a concrete which in turn is used for the manufacture of a number of valuable aromatic compounds like ambroxan. Typical sclareol yields range from 0.5-2.5%
It is understood that France consumes almost all of its annual production internally in the perfumery and aromatherapy markets.
The climate in southern France is perfect for clary sage to thrive, especially since it is averse to late frosts. This year French yields and production are likely to be high, as producers have been investing heavily to expand the growing areas. Near Provence approximately 2,000 hectares of clary sage plantation was sown last year. However, at present, the price of clary sage oil has taken a sharp tumble. The customary buyers for sclareole extraction have abstained, and this has made a significant dent for oilproducers. Those into oil production are expected to stand out through the quality of their oil. These producers are resorting to optimal techniques of harvest – technique de préfanage – before distillation to ascertain the grade.
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