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.
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.
Russia is the world's largest producer of clarysage oil after the Chinese removed most of their plantations in 2010. At one time over the past decade this product was a low value item, seen to many as inferior to the French type. However a reduction in global supply has turned the market dynamics for this oil on its head and now the Russian origin product is the most consistent, sought after and most expensive in the market.
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%
July 2017 marked the end of the clary sage oil harvest. It showed positive results with more oil produced, when compared with previous years. Currently the market is active, as global demand has gone up considerably; and plans are in the offing to increase the plantation acreage. With buyers preferring Russian quality to its French and Chinese counterparts, the 2017 season ended with no material left at origin. Assuming another good crop in the summer of 2018, there should be ample availability with good demand and stable prices.
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