Salvia sclarea, Clary Sage, Muscatel Sage

Salvia sclarea, Clary Sage seeds if soaked in water, become mucilaginous; used to treat inflamed eyes or remove objects from the eye. "Sclarea" means to clarify. A tea of fresh or dried leaves is a pleasant beverage used in European phytomedicine as a digestive tonic for relieving dyspepsia and intestinal gas. The essential oil, used in perfumery, is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and antifungal. As “muscatel sage” it is used to flavor alcoholic beverages, adding a balsamic muscatel note to wines, vermouth, and liqueurs. Historically, German wine merchants infused clary sage with elder flowers, then added the mixture to cheap wine to give it the flavor of muscatel wine. In his 1576 Plantarum Seu Stirpium Historia, Matthias de Lobel, (1538-1616) as tranlated in to English suggests, “Some brewers of Ale and Beere doe put it into their drinke to make it more heady, fit to please drunkards, who thereby, according to their several dispositions, become either dead drunke, or foolish drunke, or madde drunke.”

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