(45-60 days. Salvia sclarea) History: The Romans called it sclarea, from claurus, or “clear,” because they used it as an eyewash. The practice by German merchants of adding clary and elder flowers to Rhine wine to make it imitate a good Muscatel was so common that Germans still call the herb Muskateller Salbei and the English know it as Muscatel Sage. Clary sometimes replaced hops in beer to produce an enhanced state of intoxication and exhilaration, although this reportedly was often followed by a severe headache. It was considered a 12th-century aphrodisiac. Medicinal Uses: Like its relative sage, clary tea, the leaf juice in ale or beer, was recommended for many types of women’s problems, including delayed or painful menstruation. It was once used to stop night sweating in tuberculosis patients. As an astringent it can be gargled, douched or poured over skin wounds. It is sometimes combined with other herbs for kidney problems. Clary seeds form a thick mucilage when soaked for a few minutes and, when placed in the eye, can help remove small irritating particles. A tea made from the leaves can also be used as an eyewash. Clary can be used to reduce muscle spasms. Today it is used mainly to treat digestive problems such as gas and indigestion. It is also regarded as a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve premenstrual stress. Because of its estrogen-stimulating action, Clary sage is most effective when levels of this hormone are low. The plant can therefore be a valuable remedy for complaints associated with menopause, particularly hot flashes.