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.
Cultivated in the main areas of Haute Provence, the crop for clary sage is almost ended and harvesting has begun. Considering initial estimates, the average yield across the entire production area shows a drastic plunge of 50% over the last few years. Fortunately, there have been some new plantations and it is expected that the yield from these will offset a portion of this 50% loss. Propelled by healthy demand and good returns the cultivated area for clary sage has been expanded. However, hit by rainfall deficiency and drought, the flowers have not bloomed as expected and production has taken a hit. At present, sales are nil but the market anticipates a price surge in September. Prices have fallen due to the reduced demand for distilled herbs for sclareol extraction.
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