10 oils: aromatherapy for the childbearing year

very excited that we released nicola’s first book 10 oils: aromatherapy for the childbearing year

“Love this handy and easy to read book! I will use and recommend to all my doula and pregnancy yoga clients”

a short concise guide to to give you 10 oils to work with proactively during the birthing year.

read your free chapter here below


Clary Sage

salvea sclarea

“Clary sage sucks the negativity out of you as it fills you with a sense of euphoria and positivity.” Tim Blakey

Clary sage is perhaps one of the most frequently mentioned oils in relation to the birthing room. It is often misunderstood as a hugely powerful contraction enhancer. It becomes (wrongly) almost comparable to Syntocinon with regards to VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) mothers and other special circumstances. It is hugely unlikely that clary sage or indeed any other commonly available oil will result in over stimulation of a womb. Remember plant medicine is very clever and finds the issue, feeds it what it needs to create balance and removes the surplus from the body. We must not apply our modern medicine approach to plant medicine – it is a big mistake.

This oil helps respiratory problems as it relaxes spasms – if a woman feels like she just cannot get a deep breath I would reach for the clary sage. It also helps breathing by calming the lower part of the spinal cord relieving stress and tension. This is also the section of the spinal cord that feeds the nerves of the womb. All of these oils work on so many different levels. Plant medicine is so fantastic this way.

It becomes useful for the muscular system as it is a muscle relaxant and a mild analgesic. We are often working these big muscle groups hard, squatting and holding ourselves in unusual positions which are perfect for aligning the baby with the spiral down journey through the pelvis but not always ideal in terms of our muscles capability. Mothers will endure and continue in the awkward position because this is what feels good relative to navigating her baby through her cervix and pelvis. Think of massaging the lower back, backside and thighs with some dispersed in a carrier oil and hot compresses on the lower belly to aid the relaxation needed at the cervix. It also helps in this regard as a mild analgesic – women speak of it dulling the sensations.

Did you know the womb is the most powerful muscle in the human body? During birth it is working very hard – clary sage supports the uterine systems as a uterine tonic which is why it is associated so heavily with birth. It can regulate the tightenings if they seem to be sporadic – we must always remember that during the dance of birth the mind, heart, baby and body are all working in a delicate choreography based on a huge amount of data and we should question why we might want to interfere with its wisdom. If, however, the mother is choosing to accept the idea of not waiting or additional chemical induction reaching for the clary sage is an easier path. A relax the chest and inspires (one for all the birth attendants too!).

“In birth clary sage burning was intense, musky and amazing”

Katy Beale

According to the system of traditional Chinese medicine it strengthens the chi (the vital life energy) and releases “stuck” chi. Perhaps this is why it is so good for transition and releasing a woman into birth at the end of pregnancy. Giving you that last push you need and maybe helping you through an emotional dystocia identified or otherwise. It smoothes chi in the intestines too so great for anything going on there – we can frequently become constipated in late pregnancy and in the early postpartum days.

While you are adjusting and meeting your baby, resting and marvelling, baby-mooning and finding where everyone fits now there is a new family member clary sage is a wonderful oil. Particularly if feeling tired or unwell – it is a powerful tonic in debilitating situations and uplifting if down.

Not to be confused with regular sage which decreases milk and dries it up (a gentle remedy in times of loss) clary sage actually increases breast milk.

Although unlikely to bring birth along before all is ready you may find you exercise extra caution and only use around your due time.


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