- What You Need to Know About Clove Essential Oil
- What is Clove?
- Clove Essential Oil Uses
- Clove Essential Oil Benefits
- Clove Essential Oil Research, Facts, and Studies
- 9 Clove Oil Benefits
- History of Clove Oil
- Clove Oil Uses
- Possible Side Effects and Caution
- 28 Surprising Benefits of Clove Oil
- What is Clove Oil?
- Health Benefits
- Treats Acne
- Skin Care
- Heals Candida Infections
- Dental Care
- Dry Socket Treatment
- Relieves Teething Pain
- Boosts Sex Drive
- Antiseptic Properties
- Boosts Immune System
- Increases Blood Circulation
- Aids Digestion
- Prevents Ulcers
- Anti-inflammatory Properties
- Reduces Nausea
- Heart Health
- Antibacterial properties
- Lowers Stress
- Other Uses of Clove Oil
- Side Effects
- 1. Toothache remedy
- 2. Soothes inflammation of the mouth and throat
- 3. Breath freshener
- 4. For nausea and vomiting
- 5. Protection from bloodsucking insects
- 6. Fungal infections
- 7. Controls acne
- 8. Combats fatigue
- 9. Increases sexual performance
- 10. Relieves headache
- 11. Relieves respiratory problems
- 12. Pain reliever for rheumatic joints and sports injuries
- 13. Relieves earaches
- 14. Excellent pesticide and herbicide
- Where To Buy Clove Oil
- 14 Amazing Benefits Of Clove Oil
- Here are 14 amazing benefits of clove:
- Topical applications and human studies
- Clove Bud Essential Oil
- Botanical Name
- Common Method of Extraction
- Plant Part Typically Used
- Perfumery Note
- Strength of Initial Aroma
- Aromatic Description
- Major Constituents
- Clove Bud Essential Oil Safety Information
- General Safety Information
- Shelf Life
- Important Information About the Profiles
- Essential Oil Book Suggestions
- Clove Bud Essential Oil – A Holiday Favorite with Health Benefits
- The History of Clove Bud
- Chemical Properties
- Uses for Clove Bud Essential Oil
- How To Use Clove Bud Essential Oil
- Clove Fun Facts
What You Need to Know About Clove Essential Oil
Clove oil has traditionally been used for a variety of purposes, including:
- as an antimicrobial, to help kill bacteria
- as a pain reliever for conditions such as toothache and muscle pain
- for digestive upset
- to relieve respiratory conditions like cough and asthma
While many different chemicals have been identified in clove oil, a compound called eugenol is one of the primary components.
Like many essential oils, researchers have been working to evaluate the potential health benefits of clove oil and its components. Let’s take a deeper dive into what some of the research says so far.
In a study from 2012, researchers found that clove oil had the ability to kill staph bacteria cells in liquid culture and in biofilm. A biofilm is a community of bacteria that lives together, shielded by a protective, slimy film.
Most antibiotics aren’t effective at penetrating the biofilm and killing staph bacteria but, according to this study, clove oil seems to be able to.
A 2017 study looked at the antifungal activity of several essential oils. Of the oils tested, clove oil was the most effective at stopping the growth of a range of fungi with environmental origins.
In a 2005 study, researchers investigated the effect of eugenol, a major component of clove oil, on the yeast Candida albicans. This yeast can cause fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, oral thrush, and vaginal yeast infections.
According to the authors of the study, eugenol had the ability to kill the yeast, both in culture and in a rat model.
A 2018 study looked at the effect of essential oils on a variety of bacteria that cause respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and influenza.
Although the effects were lower than the antibiotics tested, clove oil did have antibacterial activity when added to liquid culture or introduced as a vapor.
Clove oil can be effective at stopping the growth of some types of bacteria and fungi.
In 2012, researchers investigated the effect of clove oil on the dental erosion of teeth by acidic beverages, like apple juice. Dental erosion of teeth can lead to cavities.
According to the study, clove oil and its molecules were effective at preventing dental erosion, leading the authors to believe that clove oil may work in a similar way to fluoride in preventing cavities.
A 2016 study tested 10 natural plant products to see how effective they were against organisms that cause oral cavities. Clove oil was found to be the most effective at inhibiting cavity-causing organisms.
A 2006 study compared the pain-relieving ability of clove gel and benzocaine.
Researchers found that participants who were tested with either clove oil or benzocaine had significantly lower pain scores than the placebo group. This led the authors of the study to believe that clove oil may be effective as a topical anesthetic.
Clove essential oil may help prevent cavities and relieve oral pain.
In 2017, researchers tested clove oil to see whether, when applied to the skin, it had any effect on chronic itching. The study found that, compared to petroleum oil, clove oil significantly relieved itching.
A study from 2007 compared the topical use of clove oil cream in the treatment of anal fissures with stool softeners and lignocaine cream.
After 3 months, researchers noted healing in 60 percent of people in the clove oil group, compared to only 12 percent in the stool softeners and lignocaine group.
When applied to the skin, clove oil may be effective at relieving itching and promoting healing.
A study from 2014 looked at the effect that clove oil had on a line of human breast cancer cells in vitro, which means the cells were tested in a dish or test tube. The researchers found that clove oil, in certain quantities, was toxic to the cancer cells.
In another in vitro study, researchers found that clove oil stopped the growth of several cancer cell lines, including but not limited to breast, cervical, and colon cancer. Clove extract also increased cell death and disrupted cell division in a colon cancer cell line.
In a test tube, clove oil seems to be effective at killing cancer cells or stopping them from growing. However, further research is needed to investigate clove oil’s anticancer properties.
What is Clove?
You may also find clove botanically written as Eugenia caryophyllata. Both are the same plant, but this can cause confusion, especially when you know how vital it is to attain the correct oil.
It is believed that the clove plant originated in Indonesia, specifically in the Moluccas, which are also known as the Spice Islands.
Today, we also get cloves from Madagascar and Sri Lanka. They have been in use for many centuries. Some say that ancient Chinese people had to freshen their breath with cloves before talking with the emperor.
The history of clove is similar to both nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) and mace, which is also botanically known as M. fragrans. It was the lure of these fragrant spices that attracted the Portuguese and Dutch to the island region.
The clove business was once so important and profitable that wars were fought to secure the trading rights to the spice. The Dutch maintained control for almost two centuries until the 1800s, when the tree began to grow in other areas of the world.
Nonetheless, the popularity of cloves in the 16th and 17th century is unfathomable now. They were worth more than their weight in gold, literally.
Cloves resemble nails, and the name comes from the Latin “clavus”, which translates to nail.
The evergreen tree grows to around 40 feet high. Every part of it, including the flowers, leaves, and wood, is fragrant.
The clove buds are harvested, then allowed to sun dry. Sun drying gives the cloves their characteristic brownish-red hue.
After the cloves are dried, they are steam distilled to produce the oil. Clove oil can be a range of colors from pale yellow to light brown.
While there are also essential oils distilled from the leaves and the stems, these should not be used in aromatherapy. They are too much of a skin irritant to be of use. Be sure to seek out only clove oil procured from the buds.
Another point of confusion is clove bud oil vs clove oil. Any of the three oils, whether distilled from the stems, wood, or buds, can be called clove oil. However, in aromatherapy, only clove bud oil should be used.
Clove bud essential oil blends well with other spice oils like black pepper (Piper nigrum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale), floral oils like geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), as well as many others.
Clove Essential Oil Uses
Throughout history, cloves have been used in many ways. Their obvious application is in food, and they are widely used commercially and in home kitchens.
In Indonesia, a popular cigarette called kreteks are produced from cloves and tobacco. The name is an onomatopoeia, since it crackles when burned.
Various parts of the clove tree have been used for a myriad of medicinal reasons as well. Here you will learn how to use clove oil in a number of ways.
Clove contains eugenol, which makes it effective in helping with toothaches. Eugenol has long been used by dentists as a local anesthetic.
Colgate, the famous toothpaste brand, even recommends clove bud oil as a remedy for acute tooth pain until you can get to your dentist.
When the pain hits, add a few drops of quality clove bud oil to a cotton ball, swab, or a tissue, and place where it hurts.
If you do not have any clove bud oil at hand, you can also use whole cloves.
Clove bud oil can be too strong for some people. If this is the case for you, you can dilute the clove bud oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut (Cocos nucifera).
Eugenol has caused adverse reactions in some people.
For Skin Issues
It is important to note that clove oil can be a skin irritant, even if it is from the bud. That being said, you can still use it in skin preparations, just in small amounts.
Clove bud oil is an antiviral, so it’s a good choice for viral infections of the skin, such as herpes. For herpes simplex virus, which usually affects the mouth area (HSV1), try the following recipe:
- 9 drops Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
- 6 drops Thyme linalol (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool)
- 5 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
- 4 drops Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)
Mix these oils together in a dark glass bottle. When you feel the first tingle of a cold sore, use three drops of the oil in half a teaspoon of a healing carrier oil such as St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum).
This is a highly concentrated dilution, and should only be used in this situation.
This is also an antifungal blend, so would be effective in fungal infections like ringworm. That being said, you would not want to use it at such a high concentration. Instead, use three drops of the blend in a teaspoon of a carrier oil and dab onto the infection.
You can also use it in a bath by adding a couple drops to a teaspoon of carrier and swirling it in the water before getting in.
The blend above is also a good choice for your diffuser to keep the nasty bugs of cold and flu season away.
In the Kitchen
Clove is the popular spice that reminds many of the holidays, as it is a favorite ingredient used in mulled wines, honey hams, mincemeat and pumpkin pies, and many other savory and sweet dishes.
For cooking, the whole or ground clove is often used. Nevertheless, it is possible to use clove oil in dishes as well.
Keep in mind, however, that any essential oil is highly concentrated. Therefore, it is not necessary to use as much of the oil as you would either the whole or ground clove.
If you added a teaspoon of clove bud oil to anything, you would quickly realize that it is no longer edible!
Try a single drop in a bowl of punch, a pudding, or your favorite pie recipe.
Cloves have long been recognized as an aphrodisiac. In The Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper, one of the benefits of cloves that he mentions is its ability to “provoke lust.”
To create a warming massage, try the following:
- 5 drops Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
- 5 drops Orange, sweet (Citrus sinensis)
- 4 drops Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
- 4 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- 2 drops Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
This is one of those blends that should be skin tested prior to use, because you don’t want to have a romantic evening end with skin irritation.
To do so, combine three drops in a teaspoon of the carrier oil you will be using for the massage. Mix it well, then rub some into the inner area of the elbow. If there is no adverse reaction after a few hours, you should be good to go.
For the actual massage, use three drops per two teaspoons of a carrier oil like jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis).
Besides having the ability to ease toothache pain, clove bud oil makes an effective mouthwash, due to the oil being both antibacterial and antiseptic.
You can simply add a couple drops to a cup of water, shake it well, then swish a tablespoon or so in your mouth for a minute and spit out.
If you would like to make a more complete blend, try the following:
- 2 cups Distilled water
- ¼ cup Vodka (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Baking soda
- 8 drops Clove bud oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
Place all ingredients in a glass container. Shake well before each use and use as above.
Clove Essential Oil Benefits
There are many health benefits of this oil. Clove bud oil properties lend it to being a perfect addition to your home apothecary, and you will find yourself reaching for it time and again.
Clove extract offers many advantages as well. You can purchase clove extract in capsule form. Be sure to research the proper dosage.
Likewise, you can make a tincture, or drink clove tea. Any of these would be preferred over the internal use of the essential oil.
No essential oil should be taken internally unless under the advice of your physician and an aromatherapist trained explicitly in this matter.
While neem (Azadirachta indica) is an excellent repellent for pretty much all insects and rodents, the odor is often too much for people.
Therefore, using other oils to deter critters is often preferred. Clove is one of the oils that are good for this reason.
For a general insect prevention blend, use the following as a spray, or soak strips of cloth in it and place where you see the bugs or rodents coming in:
- 10 drops Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus / C. flexuosus)
- 10 drops Eucalyptus lemon (E. citriodora)
- 10 drops Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- 7 drops Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)
- 5 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 5 drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Just as eugenol eases the pain of a toothache, it can be used as an analgesic in other areas as well. It is a wonderful addition to blends for muscle aches, strains, and sprains.
Clove does not just have pain-relieving properties when used topically. Place some in your aromatherapy diffuser or take a whiff of a drop on a cotton ball to reduce headache discomfort as well.
As a warming oil, clove bud can help promote circulation. Mix the oil with a carrier at a three percent dilution.
Always be careful when using oils for circulation, especially if varicose veins are present. You will want to avoid rubbing over them.
Also, you want to massage towards the heart. So, always massage from the limbs to the trunk. For example, when you have poor circulation in the legs, make your blend, rub up from the ankle to the back of the thigh, then repeat for the fronts and the other leg.
Prevents Mold and Mildew
Another excellent benefit of clove oil is its ability to prevent mold and mildew. Mildew is usually grey or white while mold is often green or black and is the result of an overgrowth of fungi.
Many essential oils, including clove, are antifungal and can help stave off fungi. This is especially useful for gardeners, and sprays made with antifungal oils like clove, patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), oregano (Origanum vulgare), and more can protect plants.
You can also use antifungal oils to make natural sprays to use in cleaning solutions where mold and mildew like to grow and multiply, such as in damp kitchens and bathrooms.
Helps Clear Respiratory Congestion
Members of the Myrtaceae family are known for their antiseptic qualities. Diffusing clove bud oil can help clear congestion as well as keep bugs away, so you don’t get sick in the first place. Inhaling the oil is also good for coughs.
This is not just conjecture, either; a study from 2016 examining the effects of essential oils found that clove oil had the most substantial impact against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
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Clove Essential Oil Research, Facts, and Studies
There are numerous studies about the benefits of clove bud oil. The following are some of the more pertinent research.
Anti-inflammatory Activity in Human Dermal Fibroblasts
A study published in a 2017 edition of Pharmaceutical Biology from the Taylor and Francis Group examined the efficacy of clove essential oil (CEO) as an anti-inflammatory.
The researchers contend that CEO has been shown to have the following properties, but that topical research is lacking:
Therefore, they set out to study the oil on internal protein biomarkers that are critical to inflammation response and tissue remodeling. Seventeen such biomarkers were studied in a human dermal fibroblast system that mimicked fibrosis and inflammation.
What the scientists discovered was that the oil significantly inhibited the inflammatory response. Furthermore, CEO suppressed tissue remodeling and cancer signaling processes.
They believe the oil shows promise as an anti-inflammatory agent and exhibits anticancer effects, mainly due to its eugenol content.
Body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis) are blood-sucking parasites that you do not want. They can spread disease and cause relapsing, trench, or typhus fever, so finding remedies for them that work is of the utmost importance.
It is known that lice are repelled by certain essential oils. In a study from 2016, researchers analyzed the repellent odorant ability of clove oil. While lice are repelled by CEO, they wanted to isolate the constituents that caused this revulsion.
They discovered that lice were repelled by the eugenol content of clove oil. In addition to this, they also found that when paired with β-caryophyllene, another major component of the oil, the effects are stronger.
Clove essential oil is one volatile that you should have in your home because it can be used for so many things. It provides a myriad of health benefits, can be used in cooking, keep bugs away, and so much more.
It is important to remember to source oil from the bud. Do not use clove leaf or stem oil as they are too strong and maybe irritating.
Even with all of the benefits of clove oil, it can cause irritation and sensitization. Be sure to to dilute clove oil properly.
Always use essential oils with care and keep in mind that with these volatiles, less is more.
DISCLAIMER: Momprepares.com is intended to be used for educational and informational purposes only. For safe use, please contact your medical practictioner or health care provider. Momprepares.com, its parent company, and subsidiaries does not assume liability for any actions taken after visiting these pages and does not assume liability if one misuses essential oils. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
About Mom Prepares
Mom Prepares is an essential oils and natural living blog. We bridge the gap between scientific research and the everyday essential oils user. If you’re new to essential oils, you can download our free eBook: The Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils.
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Clove oil uses are incredibly impressive, ranging from improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation to helping acne and boosting gum health. One of the best-known clove oil uses is to reduce the pain associated with dental problems. Even mainstream toothpaste makers agree that clove oil reduces the pain and swelling that comes with a toothache. (1)
In addition to being a proven anti-inflammatory and pain reducer, one of the common clove oil uses is as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial to keep countless diseases at bay, which is why it can be such a wise choice for boosting your immune system as well as a powerful addition to homemade cleaning products.
Are you ready to learn about all of the amazing clove oil uses?
What Is Clove Oil?
Indigenous to Indonesia and Madagascar, clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) can be found in nature as the unopened pink flower buds of the tropical evergreen tree. Picked by hand in late summer and again in winter, the buds are dried until they turn brown. The buds are then left whole, ground into a spice or are steam-distilled to produce clove essential oil.
The island of Zanzibar (part of Tanzania) is the world’s biggest producer of cloves. Other top producers include Indonesia and Madagascar. Unlike most other spices, clove can be grown throughout the entire year, which has given native tribes that use it a distinct advantage over other cultures because the health benefits can be enjoyed more readily.
Cloves can be anywhere from a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch in length. They generally are composed of 14 percent to 20 percent essential oil. The main chemical component of the oil is eugenol, which is also responsible for clove oil’s strong fragrance. In addition to its common medicinal uses (especially for oral health), eugenol is also commonly included in mouthwashes and perfumes, and it’s also employed in the creation of vanillin. (2)
9 Clove Oil Benefits
The health benefits of clove oil are vast and include supporting the health of your liver, skin and mouth. Here are some of most common medicinal clove oil uses today:
1. Skin Health and Acne
Scientific research demonstrates clove oil’s ability to effectively kill off both the planktonic cells and biofilms of a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus or S. aureus. (3) What does this have to do with skin health and, more specifically, acne? S. aureus is one of several strains of bacteria that have been scientifically linked with the pathogenesis of acne. (4)
As a natural remedy to eliminate acne, take 3 drops clove oil and mix with 2 teaspoons raw honey. Mix together and wash your face as usual.
2. Fights Candida
One of the most powerful clove oil uses is fighting candida — which is something that I have spoken of at length — and something that continues to plague Americans because of their high-sugar, acidic diets.
Published in the journal Oral Microbiology & Immunology, a study was conducted to see how clove fared against other antifungal treatments and observed that it was as effective as nystatin, a drug commonly prescribed to manage yeast infections of the mouth (thrush), which has a slew of ugly side effects. (5)
Also, in addition to eliminating candida, clove essential oil is effective at killing intestinal parasites. I personally recommend it as an effective treatment for a short-term parasite cleanse. (6)
To do a candida or parasite cleanse, you can take clove oil internally for two weeks, but I recommend being under the care of a physician or nutritionist when doing so. Also, consume large amounts of probiotic-rich foods and/or take a probiotic supplement and make sure to eliminate processed sugar and grains.
3. Toothache Relief
One of the most well-known clove oil uses, as a remedy for toothaches, was first documented in 1640 in the French “Practice of Physic,” although there is reason to believe that the Chinese were applying this homeopathic remedy for over 2,000 years. (7)
Today, clove is widely accepted as a reliable solution for dry socket and for relieving the pain and discomfort associated with various dental disorders. The Journal of Dentistry, for instance, published a study in 2006 proving that clove essential oil had the same numbing effect as benzocaine, a topical agent commonly used before needle insertion. (8)
Additionally, research has suggested that clove oil has even more far-reaching effects. The Indian Department of Public Health Dentistry recently conducted a study that evaluated clove’s ability to slow tooth decalcification, or dental erosion, compared to eugenol, eugenyl-acetate, fluoride and a control group. Not only did clove oil lead the pack by significantly decreasing decalcification, it was observed that it actually remineralized teeth. (9)
This study highlights yet again that the so-called benefits of fluoridating our water supply and mainstream dental products is not worth the risk. As I have covered at length in previous articles, why take the risk of using a fluoride product, when clove can accomplish the same goal? If you haven’t already, check out my article for an easy, healthy Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe, which includes clove oil and will help you steer clear of the dangers of fluoride products!
4. High Antioxidant Content
Second only to raw sumac bran, ground clove has the astounding ORAC value of 290,283 units! This means that per gram cloves contain 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries which have a value of 9,621. (10)
In a nutshell, antioxidants are molecules that reverse the damage caused by free radicals, including cell death and cancer. Research has shown that antioxidants slow aging, degeneration and protect the body against bad bacteria and viruses.
Because of its high antioxidant count and eugenol levels, clove is also known as the ultimate “protective” herb and has been used in essential oil blends such as “Thieves” oil.
5. Digestive Aid and Ulcer Helper
One of the traditional clove oil uses has been for the treatment of common complaints related to the digestive system, including indigestion, motion sickness, bloating and flatulence (accumulation of gas in the digestive tract).
Research also demonstrates that clove oil may be able to help when it comes to ulcer formation in the digestive system. A study using various animal models published in 2011 finds that clove oil has both gastro-protective and anti-ulcer properties. The oil of cloves significantly enhanced gastric mucus production, which protects the lining of the digestive tract and prevents erosion that contributes to gastritis and ulcer formation. (11)
6. Powerful Antibacterial
Clove oil has been shown to inhibit gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as yeast. This is huge, especially since gram-negative bacteria are often resistant to antibiotics and other antibacterial interventions. (12)
To evaluate its effectiveness as an antibacterial agent, researchers from the University of Buenos Aires set out to determine which bacteria are most sensitive to clove’s potency. According to their study, clove has the greatest antimicrobial ability over E. coli and also exerted considerable control over Staph aureus, which causes acne, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes pneumonia. (13)
7. Immune System Booster
There’s a good reason why clove oil is included in the Four Thieves Oil Blend. With its potent antibacterial and antiviral abilities, clove oil can help boost the immune system to fight off, or even prevent, the common cold and flu. With its potent ability to kill the offenders that make us sick, clove oil is commonly highlighted as a top natural remedy for guarding yourself from illness, especially during cold and flu season. (14, 15)
8. May Help Lower Blood Pressure and Boost Heart Health
If you’re struggling with high blood pressure, or hypertension, clove oil may be able to help. Animal research published in 2015 in the British Journal of Pharmacology reveals that the eugenol found in clove oil may be able to dilate major arteries in the body while also reducing systemic blood pressure. The study concludes, “Eugenol may be therapeutically useful as an antihypertensive agent.” (16)
A scientific study also isolated another impressive active compound of cloves called acetyl eugenol. The researchers found acetyl eugenol to be a “potent platelet inhibitor” in human blood cells, which means it prevents the clumping together of platelets in the blood. (17) Platelet aggregation (platelets clumping together) is one of the factors that lead to the formation of a thrombus or blood clot.
This is definitely a significant finding since antiplatelet, or blood thinning, medications are commonly used to treat coronary heart disease and to reduce the risk of heart attack. Clove is known to act as a natural blood thinner, so much so that it’s not recommended to combine clove oil with other conventional blood thinners.
9. Anti-inflammatory and Liver Protective
Although it has been suspected for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions, the Journal of Immunotoxicology just recently published the first-ever study proving that the eugenol in oil of cloves is indeed a powerful anti-inflammatory.
This study demonstrates that low doses of eugenol can protect the liver against disease. It was also observed that eugenol reverses inflammation and cellular oxidation (which speeds the aging process). In addition, researchers noted that taking large doses internally could harm the digestive lining and using it externally can irritate sensitive skin. So, as with all essential oils, it’s important not to overdo it! (18) Clove oil (and all essential oils) are extremely concentrated, so remember that a little truly goes a long way.
History of Clove Oil
History tells us that the Chinese have used clove for more than 2,000 years as a fragrance and spice. Cloves were brought to the Han dynasty of China from Indonesia as early as 200 BC. Back then, people would hold cloves in their mouths to improve breath odor during audiences with their emperor.
Clove cultivation used to occur pretty much exclusively in Indonesia until late in the 1700s when the French smuggled cloves from the East Indies to the Indian Ocean islands and the New World. (2)
Clove oil was also one of the main essential oils that protected people from getting the bubonic plague in Europe. A group of robbers was caught by the the king and he asked them why they weren’t ill or dead from the plague exposure they said it was because they covered themselves with this protective blend of oils (“thieves oil”), which included clove.
The ancient Persians supposedly used clove oil as a love potion.
Meanwhile, Ayurvedic healers have long-used clove oil to treat digestive issues, fever and respiratory problems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, clove is highly acclaimed for its antifungal and antibacterial abilities. (19) The list of clove oil uses throughout history really goes on and on, but I’ll stop there.
Today, clove oil continues to be used in numerous products for health, agricultural and cosmetic purposes.
Clove Oil Uses
As you can see so far, there are so many clove oil uses! Adding some cloves or clove oil to your health regimen is a great way to naturally boost your antioxidant levels.
If you want to harness the health benefits of clove essential oil, consider diffusing it in your home to clean the air. Diffusing it is an especially helpful method of using clove oil for improving immune health and blood pressure.
Have a a toothache? Put a few drops of clove oil on a cotton swab and apply the oil directly to the gums around the painful tooth. If you find the clove oil to be too strong, you can dilute it with coconut oil or olive oil. If you don’t have any clove oil on hand, a whole clove can work well, too, by putting it in your mouth near the problem area and letting it remain there until you feel some relief.
Clove oil makes a great addition to homemade personal care products like deodorant and and toothpaste. It’s also a potent antibacterial ingredient to add to homemade cleaners.
If you’re exposed to people with a cold or flu, you can mix it with coconut oil and rub it on your neck and chest for natural antioxidant protection. For high blood pressure, you can also dilute it with coconut oil and apply it to your wrists.
Due to its strength, clove oil should be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil or other gentle oils for most topical applications and only used for short periods of up to two weeks internally.
Possible Side Effects and Caution
Clove is known to slow down blood clotting due to its eugenol content. Clove is known to interact with blood thinning medications such as anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs and for this reason should not to combined with such drugs. (20)
Dilution of clove oil with a carrier oil like coconut is recommended for topical use. Using the oil undiluted on skin can cause irritation. When taking clove oil internally, do not use for longer than two weeks consecutively. When taking cloves essential oil internally, I always recommend taking a probiotic supplement twice daily to restore beneficial flora.
Clove essential oil is typically not recommended for use with children under the age of 2. (21) Talk to your doctor before using clove oil internally or externally if you are pregnant, nursing or being treated for any ongoing health concerns.
Always make sure you are using a 100 percent pure, organic and therapeutic grade clove essential oil.
Clove Oil Key Points
- Clove essential oil is high in antioxidants and has potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, making it effective for a large variety of common health concerns including toothaches and candida.
- Clove oil uses include the natural treatment of acne, the common cold, influenza, high blood pressure and digestive complaints.
- Clove oil can be used externally or internally depending on the health concern. For high blood pressure and cold/flu relief, try diffusing clove oil in your home or office.
- Make sure to dilute clove essential oil before using it topically and don’t take it internally for longer than two weeks at a time. Make sure to also supplement with a probiotic during that time to retain a healthy balance of bacteria since clove oil is such a potent natural remedy.
Read Next: Rose Essential Oil Benefits Skin, Depression and Hormones
28 Surprising Benefits of Clove Oil
The health benefits of clove oil include treating a variety of skin issues, toothache, indigestion, cough, asthma, headache, stress, and blood impurities. The benefits can be attributed to its anesthetic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, and stimulating properties. The most important and common use of clove oil is in dental care. Various kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes, and oral care medications contain this oil as an important ingredient.
What is Clove Oil?
Clove oil is extracted from the dried flower buds of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata). It has numerous medicinal properties and is used topically for pain relief. The oil is rich in plant-derived phenylpropanoids, with the main compound being eugenol. The other bioactive compounds include thymol, carvacrol, and cinnamaldehyde. The color of clove oil ranges from pale yellow to golden brown. It has a spicy fragrance, similar to that of cloves. The oil is also commonly used as a fragrance and flavoring agent.
Although clove oil is known primarily for dental care, the benefits are not limited to it. This powerful oil can do wonders for you in multiple ways listed below.
Clove oil is often recommended for acne patients as it has potent antimicrobial properties. Research shows that this oil can inhibit Staphylococcus bacteria. This bacteria can cause acne breakouts, pimples, boils, skin sores, rashes, blisters, impetigo, and Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.
To treat acne, you can mix a few drops of clove oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or jojoba oil, and apply it with the help of a cotton ball on the inflamed area. You can also mix 2-3 drops of oil with 1 teaspoon of raw honey and apply it. Rinse it off once dry.
Clove oil in a bottle and cloves around it Photo Credit:
Eugenol in clove oil has rejuvenating and stimulating properties, which can increase blood flow to the skin and make it look radiant. You will find it in many products for lessening the effects of aging, like wrinkles, sagging skin, and blemishes. At home, clove oil can be mixed with carrier oils and used as a face wash or a natural moisturizer. It can also be used to treat warts, shingles, prickly heat rash, and reduce scars.
Heals Candida Infections
Carvacrol and eugenol, in clove oil, have an anticandidal and antifungal effect. According to a study published in the Oral Microbiology and Immunology journal, it can be used to heal candidiasis caused due to a fungus, Candida albicans. These yeast infections typically occur in the mouth, ears, nose, fingernails, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina. The oil is also effective in killing intestinal parasites, which can cause diarrhea and other symptoms. For an intestinal cleanse with clove oil, consume it in small amounts. But it is best to do this under the supervision of a doctor.
A research published in the Journal of Dentistry suggests that clove oil can replace benzocaine as a topical agent before needle insertion during dental procedures. The germicidal and anesthetic properties of clove oil make it very effective for relieving toothaches, sore gums, and mouth ulcers. For toothaches, you can apply a drop of the oil directly to the tooth.
Alternatively, you can make a compress with a cotton ball. Mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 2-3 drops of clove oil. Dip a cotton ball into this. Apply it to the inflamed tooth and bite down on it. Keep it for about 10 minutes, if you are comfortable, or less. Rinse the mouth with warm water. This mixture can also be used as a rinse to eliminate bad breath.
Dry Socket Treatment
Clove oil is recommended as a solution for dry socket, a painful dental condition that happens after a permanent extraction of an adult tooth. This is due to the oil’s strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Research published in the Journal of Dentistry shows that oil has the potential to replace benzocaine as a topical anesthetic in dental treatments.
Relieves Teething Pain
A study published in the British Dental Journal on teething trouble in infants recommends the use of clove oil as an ‘alternative holistic’ method. The medicinal properties of clove oil make it suitable for formulating soothing balm for teething infants. It can be applied to a baby’s gums in an extremely diluted form. The antiseptic and soothing qualities of the oil can ease the pain and reduce the discomfort.
Heals Candida Infections
Carvacrol and eugenol, in clove oil, have an anticandidal effect on C.albicans. In a study published in the Oral Microbiology and Immunology journal, carvacrol and eugenol were used as natural antifungal components for in vitro and in vivo studies. The results of the studies indicated that carvacrol and eugenol exerted an anticandidal effect. Hence, it can be used to heal candidiasis caused due to a fungus, Candida albicans.
These yeast infections typically occur in the mouth, ears, nose, fingernails, gastrointestinal tract and vagina. The oil is also effective in killing intestinal parasites, which can cause diarrhea and other symptoms. For an intestinal cleanse with clove oil, consume small amounts at regular intervals. But it is best to do this under the supervision of a doctor.
Boosts Sex Drive
Clove oil is made from cloves, which is considered a powerful aphrodisiac. Having 2-3 drops of the oil in warm water can help increase sex drive, boost blood circulation to sexual organs, and prevent premature ejaculation.
Due to its antiseptic properties, clove oil can be used for preventing infections. It can be useful for wounds, cuts, scabies, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, and other types of injuries. It can also be used for treating insect bites and stings. The oil is very strong in nature and should always be used in a diluted form. It should be carefully used by people with sensitive skin.
Boosts Immune System
Both clove and clove oil are useful for boosting the immune system. Their antiviral properties have the ability to purify the blood and increase resistance to a multitude of diseases because the antioxidants in clove essential oil scavenge the body of dangerous free radicals. This helps in building immunity and fighting a multitude of diseases.
High Antioxidant Content
Eugenol in clove oil is a powerful antioxidant with high free radical scavenging activity. It has a number of antioxidants and ranks high in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value, which means that consuming small amounts or applying it to the skin can reduce oxidative stress and prevent chronic diseases.
Increases Blood Circulation
Eugenol, found in clove oil, helps stimulate blood circulation. Increased circulation adds to the oxygenation of the blood and organ systems, which increases metabolism.
Clove oil is traditionally used for the treatment of stomach-related problems such as indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, and flatulence. A few drops of the oil, if rubbed on the stomach area, can help reduce gas and help eliminate toxins from the body.
Clove oil, according to a research study, helps stimulate the synthesis of mucus, an important gastro-protective factor. This is why the oil and eugenol, its main compound, help protect the digestive tract lining and prevent the formation of ulcers and gastritis.
The flavonoids in clove oil have potent anti-inflammatory properties. This powerful natural oil is used to treat all kinds of inflammation in the body from toothaches, inflamed gums, skin eruptions, or muscle and joint pain, to inflammation in the gut.
Clove oil is helpful in reducing nausea and vomiting. You can use it occasionally in aromatherapy. Alternatively, apply a drop to your pillow at night for long-term inhalation. To get relief from nausea due to seasickness or motion sickness, put a few drops of clove oil on a napkin and inhale. This helps calm the system and reduces the feeling of dizziness.
Clove oil can boost heart health in a number of ways. Research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that eugenol in clove oil helped dilate arteries while reducing systemic blood pressure. Another bioactive compound in the oil, acetyl eugenol, is a potent platelet inhibitor. It prevents the formation of a thrombus or a blood clot.
Note: Clove is a natural blood-thinner and should not be used along with other blood-thinning medications.
Clove oil has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties and can inhibit the growth of molds, yeasts, and bacteria. According to research, the phenolic compounds in the oil can kill a number of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.
Clove oil has a warming effect on the body and a spicy fragrance, which immediately refreshes the senses. Topical application or ingestion in a diluted form can help remove mental exhaustion and fatigue. Because of its anti-inflammatory nature, clove oil can be mixed with carrier oils and used as a massage oil, which helps lower stress and tension in the body.
Clove oil contains many flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory agents, and they help ease the tension in blood vessels that cause headaches. For instant relief from headaches, mix a few drops of clove oil with salt and apply it on the forehead.
Clove oil is commonly used as a pain reliever. A few drops of the oil, when applied to joints and overworked muscles, provide relief from soreness and swelling.
Treats Respiratory problems
Clove oil has a cooling and anti-inflammatory effect and is frequently used to clear the nasal passage. This expectorant is a useful treatment for various respiratory disorders including cold, cough, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and tuberculosis.
A mixture of warm clove oil and sesame oil is a good remedy for earaches as it has a numbing effect on the pain.
Clove oil has been studied for its potential to aid in diabetes management. An animal study published in the International Journal of Pharmacology studied the effects of clove as well as ginger oils on diabetic rats. It noted that these oils are antioxidant agents and could help manage diabetes and the symptoms that arise from the same.
According to a report published in the Oncology Research and Treatment Journal, the oleanolic acid, a bioactive component of clove oil helps lower the risk of tumor growth in preliminary studies. Both, clove extract as well as the oil, could help reduce the progression of cancer.
The warming effect of clove oil helps increase blood circulation in the scalp and stimulates hair follicles, thus boosting hair growth. Applying a few drops of clove oil, along with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or jojoba oil, can help prevent hair loss, promote healthy hair growth, and treat balding.
Protects the Liver
Research studies show that bioactive compounds in clove oil can help promote liver health. They can help prevent fatty liver disease and reverse signs of liver cirrhosis.
Clove oil has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, which helps inhibit herpes simplex. It is the virus that causes contagious sores in the mouth (cold sores) or in the genital area.
Clove oil diluted in water is used as a traditional remedy to prevent and treat cholera.
Clove oil helps to treat toothache. Photo Credit:
Other Uses of Clove Oil
- Insect Repellent: It is used as a component in bug repellent and insect-repelling candles because the vapor is very potent against insects. Traditionally, a few drops of the oil are put on the bedsheets at night to keep bugs away.
- Cosmetics: It is a common ingredient in cosmetic creams and lotions. It is primarily used as a massage oil.
- Clove cigarettes: Traditionally, clove was added to cigarettes in Indonesia. However, it is just as harmful as regular cigarettes.
- Soap & perfumes: Due to its powerful aroma, soothing effect and antiseptic properties, clove oil is often added as an active ingredient in soaps and perfumes.
- Aromatherapy: Clove oil blends well with many essential oils including basil, rosemary, rose, cinnamon, grapefruit, lemon, nutmeg, peppermint, orange, lavender, and geranium. This makes clove oil a popular element in aromatherapy and other herbal combinations.
Clove oil can have a strong burning sensation if used in large quantities. It is always advisable to use small amounts of any essential oil and to be careful when using it on children if you have never used it before. The side effects of clove oil include:
- Allergy & toxic effects: An excess dose may cause allergic reactions or toxic effects due to its eugenol content.
- Intestinal problems: It can cause intestinal discomfort, primarily in children.
- Low blood sugar levels: This oil can cause blood sugar to drop. So people with diabetes should be cautious.
- Bleeding disorders: People with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or those taking blood-thinning medications should avoid this oil.
Pregnant women and those who are nursing should not use clove oil, as it is not clear whether this strong compound passes to the infant in the breast milk. Also, patients should stop taking the oil before a surgery or a dental procedure as it can increase the risk of bleeding.
As with any change of diet or nutritional supplement, it is best to consult a doctor before administering or adding it to your daily or weekly regimen.
What is Eugenic Oil?
Eugenic oil is basically an essential oil of the clove. It is a pale, yellow or colorless liquid that can be chemically separated from clove oil. It is also found in the essential oil of bay leaf and cinnamon. Also known as eugenol, it is often used as an antiseptic and an anesthetic substance. However, due to its high concentration, it can be harmful to the liver is not diluted with a carrier oil or when consumed in large quantities.
Clove oil is extracted from the flower buds of the Eugenia caryophyllata tree native to the Spice Islands but now grown in many tropical areas around the world. The buds are usually hand picked before they open. The oil extracted from the dried buds is rich in many volatile compounds that give the spice its strong aroma and flavor. Eugenol is the main component, forming 70-90% of the oil.
Clove is at the top of antioxidant food list with an ORAC value of 290,283 units; but then, clove is not exactly a food. It is a spice, to be used in small amounts to flavor food. But it does more than just make food palatable; it relieves gastrointestinal problems and aids digestion. Its anaesthetic action makes it a favorite herbal remedy for all types of aches and pains.
Here are fourteen benefits of this potent therapeutic oil.
1. Toothache remedy
This is how most people know cloves, and with good reason. Intense pain from dental caries usually starts when the microbes and the acids they produce have eaten into the deeper layers of teeth and reach the pulp that contains nerves. In older days, crushed cloves were often stuffed into the cavity where its anesthetic effect can quickly numb the pain. But the volatile oils in cloves are so powerful that they can damage the healthy tissues too. Using the oil gives you more control over the matter.
Although a drop of clove oil put into a dental cavity can give quick relief, it is safer to use cotton balls dipped in a mixture of clove oil and coconut oil. Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 1 teaspoon of clove oil and shake well. Use it as a handy toothache remedy whenever the need arises. It can be used to relieve tooth or gum ache from emerging wisdom teeth and impact injuries as well.
Clove oil should be treated as a temporary measure since it mainly brings relief by anesthetizing the nerves. Don’t let prolonged tooth or gum pain go unchecked for long.
2. Soothes inflammation of the mouth and throat
Mouth ulcers that develop on the lips and cheeks are extremely painful. So is the inflammation of the gums, or gingivitis, resulting from bacterial infections. It can cause bleeding and soreness and progress to more serious conditions like pyorrhea. The anesthetic effect of clove oil can provide pain relief, but an additional benefit may come from the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action of eugenol and other phenolic compounds in the essential oil.
Gargling with clove oil in warm water can help improve dental hygiene besides reducing pain and inflammation. It is effective for throat pain from acid reflux, bacterial and viral infections like strep throat, tonsillitis, laryngitis etc.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and add 3 drops of clove oil to it. Gargle with this solution two to three times a day.
3. Breath freshener
Clove oil’s spicy aroma may act as an instant breath freshener, but it is the antimicrobial property that gives lasting effect. You need only a very dilute suspension for this.
Mix 2 drops each of clove and peppermint essential oils in a cup of water. Add stevia extract to taste (optional). Fill pocket-sized spritzing bottles with this all-natural mouth freshener and use as needed.
4. For nausea and vomiting
Pregnant women suffering from morning sickness might keep a sachet of dried clove buds with them to relieve their nausea and vomiting. Rubbing a drop of clove oil on pillows or using it in a diffuser with a few drops of peppermint oil can be just as effective.
5. Protection from bloodsucking insects
The pungent smell of clove oil is repulsive to insect pests, including mosquitoes. It is a common practice in the tropics to rub the leaves of many aromatic plants on the exposed parts of the body to ward off these pesky bloodsuckers. Clove oil is an excellent alternative to this.
Mix 5-10 drops of clove oil into 8 oz. of coconut oil. Apply it on the face, hands and legs before stepping out of the house.
For a trouble-free evening in the garden or the patio, you can use a few drops each of citronella and clove oils in a diffuser. Flying insects will stay away from the area. Adding a few drops of clove oil to readily available citronella candles is another way to ward off these unwelcome guests.
6. Fungal infections
Clove oil can combat fungal infections caused by yeast, including oral and vaginal candidiasis. Antibiotic therapy indiscriminately destroys both pathogenic and beneficial gut bacteria, often resulting in an overgrowth of fungi in the gastrointestinal tract. Oral thrush following medication with antacids or antibiotics is a typical example. Oral candidiasis is a common problem with people wearing dental fixtures.
Fungal infections can be successfully treated with clove oil, be it on the skin or in the mouth. Being an edible oil, it is even safer than the fungicidal mouth paints that you can get from drugstores.
Warm 2 Tbsp coconut oil until it melts. Mix in 10 drops of clove oil and allow to cool. Apply this as antifungal mouth paint. It can be used topically for fungal infections anywhere in the skin, although it may sting a bit.
7. Controls acne
Acne is generally considered a problem caused by excess oil production by the skin glands, usually brought about by hormonal changes. However, it can be complicated by bacterial infections, as in the case of cystic acne. Bacteria thrive in the pores clogged by trapped dust and oil and the infection gives rise to large, pus-filled boils. Cystic acne can be a chronic problem unless actively treated. The anti-inflammatory and bactericidal property of clove oil can be of help here. Eugenol has been proven to be effective against Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium implicated in most acne cases.
Let us not forget that clove oil is highly potent and can burn your skin if used at full strength. Always use a soothing carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil to dilute the clove essential oil before applying it to the skin. Mix just 1 drop of clove oil in 1 Tablespoon of slightly warmed coconut oil and apply it on the face, gently massaging it in with your fingertips. Clove oil will penetrate deep into the skin pores and clear out the infection, but it may take a few weeks before the skin heals completely.
Even after the acne breakouts stop, it helps to use clove oil as a face wash. You can add 2 drops of clove oil into a quart of warm water and use it to wash your face in the morning and before going to bed. Rinse with cold water.
8. Combats fatigue
Clove oil is an energy booster. It reduces platelet aggregation, making the blood thinner. This improves blood circulation. Clove oil acts as a cardiovascular tonic and brain stimulator. It helps combat both physical and mental fatigue. It is used for this purpose in aromatherapy.
Use clove oil in a diffuser, or apply a drop or two diluted with a teaspoon of carrier oil on reflex points. Add a few drops into the bathwater to relieve muscle fatigue after an exhausting day.
9. Increases sexual performance
Topical application of clove oil sufficiently diluted with carrier oil to the glans reportedly improves sexual performance and prevents premature ejaculation. While clove oil increases blood circulation to the genital area, its mild anesthetic effect could be prolonging the erection.
Since clove oil stings when applied on the skin, mix it with a suitable carrier oil.
10. Relieves headache
While the analgesic effect of eugenol gives quick relief, the increased blood circulation helps resolve the underlying cause of headaches, which can be anything from sinus congestion to stress.
Mix a few drops of clove oil in coconut oil to get a soothing balm. Sniffing a cotton ball containing 1-2 drops of the essential oil or using the oil in a diffuser may provide the same effect.
11. Relieves respiratory problems
Clove oil is popularly used in many conventional ointments and balms to relieve chest and sinus congestion due to bronchitis and severe cold.
Steam inhalation with 2-3 drops each of clove oil and eucalyptus oil added to the water will quickly open up the airways and help you breathe easy. To make a chest rub, mix 5 drops each of clove and eucalyptus oil and 10 drops of lemon oil with 8 oz. of coconut oil as the base with some melted beeswax to thicken the mix, if necessary.
12. Pain reliever for rheumatic joints and sports injuries
Pain in the joints and muscles due to chronic conditions like rheumatism as well as sprains and bruises resulting from sports activities can be treated with clove oil. Besides numbing the area temporarily, it increases blood circulation, promoting faster healing of the injured tissues.
Melt one cup of beeswax in a double boiler. Take it off the heat and add 1 cup of coconut oil. Allow to cool slightly. Add 10 drops clove oil and 5 drops each of peppermint oil and arnica oil. Pour into glass bottles or metal tubs and allow to set. Use it as a pain relieving balm.
13. Relieves earaches
The anesthetic and analgesic property of clove is useful in relieving earache, whatever its underlying cause. Clove oil is essential in any household with young children who might suddenly develop piercing pain in the ear associated with cold and nasal congestion.
To make a quick relief earache remedy, mix 2 drops of clove oil in 1 teaspoon sesame oil warmed to body temperature. Use a dropper to administer 1-2 drops of the mixture in each ear.
14. Excellent pesticide and herbicide
You can keep your home and garden safe with the of use clove oil as pesticide and weed killer instead of harmful chemical compounds.
Mix 1 Tablespoon clove oil with 5 Tablespoons neem oil in a gallon of water. Add one teaspoon of dish soap and shake well to mix. Spray it on indoor and outdoor plants to keep away insects and other pests.
Caution: Clove oil has blood thinning and blood glucose lowering properties; hence diabetics and people on anticoagulants should avoid using clove oil formulations internally. Although whole cloves as a spice can be part of a pregnant woman’s diet, but formulations with concentrated oil are better avoided during pregnancy.
Where To Buy Clove Oil
When purchasing clove oil, it is important to choose a 100% pure essential oil. For quality and affordability, we recommend Plant Therapy Clove Essential Oil which is available on the official website here, or from their Amazon store here.
14 Amazing Benefits Of Clove Oil
Clove or Laung is a store house of health benefits. It holds great importance traditionally, especially in East Asia. In Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine, it has been used extensively. By the 17th century clove gained recognition throughout the world. Apart from adding flavour and aroma to your curries and biryani, people use its oil, leaves, stems and dried buds for various medicinal and health purposes. For its high anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antiseptic and stimulating properties, clove oil is a popular home remedy for various ailments. Here are some benefits you can reap by using clove oil. According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam from Baidyanath, “Clove oil is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. In aromatherapy, it is used as an antiseptic and pain reliever especially for toothaches and stomach pain. It is often mixed with other oils to treat various disorders. For instance, those who have troubled sleep can apply some warm clove oil along with sesame oil on the forehead to feel calm and relaxed.”
Here are 14 amazing benefits of clove:
1. Good for your teeth
If you have ever paid attention to the label of your toothpaste, you would have found clove as one of its ingredients. Due it its strong germicidal properties and a compound called Eugenol, clove oil fights dental pain, toothaches, sore gums and mouth ulcers very effectively. Due to its strong aromatic properties, gargling with clove oil and warm water can help you fight bad breath. Just add four drops of clove oil in a glass of lukewarm water and gargle at least twice a day for effective results. (Also read: How to Get Rid of Cavities: 5 Amazing Home Remedies)
clove oil fights dental pain, toothaches, sore gums and mouth ulcers very effectively
2. Stronger immunity
Clove oil can work wonders in boosting your immunity. The antioxidant property present in the oil acts as a scavenger against the free radicals that can cause various diseases like cancer and heart ailments. The dried flower bud of clove contains compounds that help in improving the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count, thereby, improving delayed-type hypersensitivity.
3. Fights infections
Blessed with a multitude of antiseptic properties, clove oil can be used to treat cuts, wounds, fungal infections, insect bites and even stings. However, direct application of clove oil may prove harmful. If the wound is too sore, it is advisable to dilute clove oil by adding almond or coconut oil. These carrier oils will prevent your sensitive skin from burns that can be caused by direct application of clove oil
4. Fights sore throat, cough and cold
For its high anti-inflammatory properties, clove oil can come handy during times of sore throat, cough, cold and sinusitis. Consuming the excellent expectorant clove oil can not only clear the nasal passage and gives you respite from respiratory problems but it also has a cooling effect on nasal cavity and throat.
(Also read: Causes and Home Remedies for a Sore Throat)
Clove oil can come handy during times of sore throat, cough, cold and sinusitis
5. Eases headaches
Down with a chronic headache? Head to the kitchen, mix four drops of clove oil with salt and apply it on your forehead for instant relief. The flavonoids in clove oil have anti-inflammatory agents, these anti-inflammatory properties will help ease the inflammation and also have a cooling effect. Clove oil can be used to reduce as an excellent pain reliever for muscle pain and joints.
(Also read: How to Treat Knee Pain: Easy Tips and Home Remedies)
Clove oil can be used to reduce as an excellent pain reliever for head
6. Good for your skin
Clove oil is found in soaps, lotions and even in perfumes. And why not? The essential oil has such wonderful qualities. Clove oil contains a compound called eugenol which is known for its antibacterial properties. It can prove effective in curing acne, reduce swelling and kill infectious bacteria at the same time. Just mix 2 to 3 drops of pure clove oil with your skin cream and apply gently. Clove oil can help fight signs of anti-ageing too, just dab few drops on clove oil on to a piece of cotton and apply it on to your face at least twice a day. You would see a marked change as far as wrinkles, and sagging skin is concerned. Clove oil’s stimulating properties exfoliates dead skin, and increases blood flow which helps revive the youthfulness of your skin.
7. Treats indigestion
Clove oil is one of the oldest remedies to fight indigestion and stomach related problems. The eugenol in both clove and clove oil proves effective for treating gastric problems like indigestion and flatulence. It can also come in handy for treating hiccups and motion sickness.
Clove oil is one of the oldest remedies to fight indigestion and stomach related problems
8. For beautiful hair
This liquid wonder can also give you beautiful locks. Applying clove oil on your scalp boosts blood circulation which reduces hair fall and also promotes hair growth. It also lends the much needed shine to dry and dull hair. A small amount of clove oil mixed with olive oil can also work as a great conditioner. For best results, apply the mix on damp hair, and wrap a warm towel around it. Let it stay for twenty minutes and rinse with cold water.
(Also read: How to Make Your Hair Soft – 5 Natural Ways)
9. Can help treat nausea
Clove oil can come in very handy for pregnant women as it can reduce the effect of nausea and morning sickness to a great extent. Owing to its strong smell, clove oil can also be used as part of aroma therapy. Apply it on to your pillows at night and sleep peacefully.
10. Cures ear aches
Clove oil is an effective remedy for nasty ear-aches. Take a warm mixture of 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and 3-4 drops of pure clove oil and slowly apply this mixture inside your ears. Leave it for sometime. The mixture will ease the pain and you will feel relaxed.
(Also read: How to Make Clove Oil at Home)
11. Eases stress
Battling some sort of stress at work or home? Let a soothing clove oil massage ease you out. Due to its stimulating properties, clove oil helps to reduce fatigue, mental exhaustion, anxiety and stress. Other than this, it is recommended to have a regular practice of yoga, better still, daily meditation helps a lot.
(Also read: 6 Expert Tips to Overcome Mental Stress at Work)
Due to its stimulating properties, clove oil helps to reduce fatigue
12. Eliminates toxins from blood
Clove oil can act as a blood purifier and also boost blood circulation. It helps eliminate toxins from the blood. Aroma extracts can reduce toxin levels in your blood and rouse the antioxidant levels in the body which will further purify platelets and boost the workings of the immune system.
13. Useful for diabetics
Clove oil also helps in maintaining the insulin levels. Diabetes tends to weaken the immune system by destroying pancreatic cells that make insulin, leaving the body without enough insulin to function normally. The postprandial insulin and glucose response mechanisms tend to be more regulated when you consume clove oil.
14. Can be used as an insect repellent
CommentsClove oil works as an excellent bug or insect repellent. It is a common component in many insect repellents that you find in markets. Traditionally, a few drops of clove oil was scattered around the room and the sleeping area to keep the mosquitoes away.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.
Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum, also known as Eugenia caryophyllata) are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the Myrtaceae family native to Indonesia. The essential oil of clove is known to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anticancer, cytotoxic, insect repellent, and anesthetic activities.1,2 It is used topically in herbal medicine to alleviate pain and facilitate healing,3 and has been used in traditional medicine to confer analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiseptic activity.4 Cloves also are used in fragrances and for food flavoring.2
The two main constituents of clove oil are eugenol (78%) and beta-caryophyllene (13%). Although clove oil and its primary components are generally recognized as safe, a 2006 in vitro study by Prashar et al. found that clove oil and eugenol displayed cytotoxicity toward human fibroblasts and endothelial cells. Clove oil, in concentrations as low as 0.03%, was noted for being exceedingly cytotoxic, with up to 73% of this effect ascribed to eugenol, with beta-caryophyllene displaying no toxicity.3 In addition to beta-caryophyllene and the phenylpropanoid eugenol, other important constituents of clove essential oil are the phenylpropanoids carvacrol, thymol, and cinnamaldehyde.2
Topical applications and human studies
Clove oil has been used topically to treat several dermatologic conditions, with its nerve-blocking activity attributed to its primary active constituent, eugenol.5 It also has been used as a penetration enhancer in various forms of topical products, including creams, ointments, gels, and patches.6
In 2017, Ibrahim et al. treated 45 patients with palmar hyperhidrosis with clove oil 45% in liposome, with 20 patients in a control group treated with 0.9% saline solution. Subjects were assessed by gravimetry testing and hyperhidrosis disease severity scale to determine the impact of clove oil on decreasing the sweating rate in patients with idiopathic palmar hyperhidrosis. Gravimetry testing revealed that the sweating rate decreased significantly in the clove oil group but that there was no significant improvement in the placebo group. The investigators concluded that twice-daily topical application of 45% clove oil in liposome for 2 weeks showed promise in significantly reducing palmar sweating.5
That same year Ibrahim et al. evaluated the effects of topically applied clove oil in treating 50 patients with chronic pruritus due to hepatic, renal, or diabetic origin. The investigators divided the subjects into two groups of 25, with the first directed to hydrate their skin before applying topical clove oil twice daily for 2 weeks. The second group was instructed to apply topical petrolatum by hand on the same schedule. Using the 5-D itch scale, researchers noted a significant improvement in all parameters in the patients using clove oil and no such improvements in the petrolatum group. They concluded that topical clove oil is an effective, safe, inexpensive, and easy-to-use therapy for chronic pruritus, particularly for patients whose topical or systemic treatments are not well tolerated or are contraindicated.7
In 2007, Elwakeel et al. evaluated the use of a clove oil 1% cream for the treatment of chronic anal fissure as opposed to the traditional treatment of stool softeners and lignocaine cream 5% in a single-blind randomized comparative trial over 6 weeks. Healing was observed in 60% of the 30 patients in the clove oil group and in 12% of the 25 patients in the control group at the 3-month follow-up visit. The researchers concluded that topically applied clove oil cream yielded significant benefits in the treatment of chronic anal fissures.8
Clove Bud Essential Oil
Clove Bud Essential Oil is steam distilled from the flowering buds of the clove tree. Clove stem and clove leaf essential oils are also available, but essential oil distilled from the buds is generally favored due to its aroma.
Clove Bud Essential Oil generally contains up to 85% Eugenol, a phenol that dramatically contributes to the oil’s aroma, therapeutic properties, and safety precautions. Clove Bud Essential Oil is also comprised of a number of other constituents, particularly the sesquiterpene B-caryophyllene and the ester Eugenyl acetate.
Clove Essential Oil is very helpful for use in blends intended to help relieve pain. It is also a powerful antimicrobial essential oil. However, Clove Essential Oil can be very irritating to the skin. Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of just 0.5%. (Please refer to the Safety Information section below for more information.)
Clove Oil is also known for its benefits in dental applications. It’s often recommended for use with dental pain. Although numerous sources suggest applying a drop of Clove Essential Oil neat to a painful tooth, Clove Essential Oil is very potent and using it at full strength for any purpose is not recommended.
Aromatically, Clove Bud Essential Oil possesses a strong, warm, spicy aroma that blends well with other spicy essential oils like Cinnamon Bark. It also blends well with essential oils in the citrus, wood and floral families. It’s a strong oil, so when first learning to blend with it, try using it sparingly in blends.
Emotionally, I find Clove Bud Essential Oil to be an invigorating and mentally stimulating essential oil. American College of Healthcare Sciences principal Dorene Petersen has undertaken research regarding cognitive and brain health. She presents that Clove Bud Essential Oil shows promise for assisting in the management of neurodegenerative diseases.
Robbi Zeck offers a nice profile for Clove Bud Essential Oil and mentions that “Clove Bud heightens inner strengths when external and internal environments need to change.”
Syzygium aromaticum / Eugenia caryophyllata
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Strength of Initial Aroma
Clove Bud Essential Oil smells spicy, warming yet slightly bitter. It is also slightly woody in character and is reminiscent in aroma to that of true clove buds but is of course much stronger in aroma.
Cognitive support and brain health.
Source: Dorene Petersen, Presentation: Clinical Use of Aromatherapy for Brain Health: 7 Essential Oils. August 9, 2017, New Brunswick, NJ. Alliance of International Aromatherapists 2017 Conference. AIA 2017 Conference Proceedings page 221-222.
- Pain Relief
- Bacterial Infection
- Fungal Infection
- Viral Skin Infection
- Gum Disease
- Muscle Pain
- Tired Limbs
- Stomach Cramp
- Abdominal Spasm
Source: Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 581.
- Eugenyl Acetate
Clove Bud Essential Oil Safety Information
Tisserand and Young indicate that when using Clove Bud Oil, there is moderate risk for mucous membrane irritation, may inhibit blood clotting and pose a drug interaction hazard. It may cause embryotoxicity. There is a moderate risk of skin sensitization, and Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 0.5%. They advise not to use topically on children age 2 or younger. Reading Tisserand and Young’s full profile is recommended.
This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb’s Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb’s Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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Important Information About the Profiles
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
Essential Oil Book Suggestions
Click on a book’s title to view details and read a full review for the book. Visit AromaWeb’s Books area to find details about many other essential oil and aromatherapy books.
Own Safety Profiles for 400 Essential Oils and 206 Constituents:
Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
Authors: Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young
The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Includes 125 Essential Oil Profiles
Author: Valerie Ann Worwood
Clove Bud Essential Oil – A Holiday Favorite with Health Benefits
If any essential oil could be classified as a superfood, it would be clove bud.
Packed with antioxidants and offering high levels of eugenol—one of the most volatile compounds plants can produce—clove bud essential oil has been used for centuries for a variety of different ailments.
Ancient Greeks and Romans used clove bud essential oil to help ease toothache pain, a natural remedy that remains popular today.
However, this oil which makes up about 20 to 40 percent of the dried bud, offers plenty of other health benefits including supporting heart health and maintaining healthy immune system function.
Clove bud oil is derived from the clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum), an evergreen that also produces clove leaf and clove stem essential oil. Of the three, clove bud essential oil is the most popular.
Clove bud essential oil, also known as Eugenia carophyllata, is so highly-prized because it takes 20 years for a clove tree to produce flowering buds, which are then dried in the sun before the oil is extracted.
Clove bud essential oil pairs well with citrus oils such as bergamot, orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, and lime; spicy scents like basil, cinnamon bark, nutmeg, rosemary, and clary sage; members of the mint family, including peppermint; and florals such as lavender, geranium, rose, and ylang-ylang.
The History of Clove Bud
Cloves are native to only a few islands of the Moluccas in Indonesia—once known as the Spice Islands for their abundance of exotic spices—including Bacan, Makian, Moti, Tidore, and Ternate, where experts believe the oldest clove tree in the world still stands.
Visitors to the tree are told that seedlings from the 400-year-old tree were stolen by French explorer and botanist Pierre Poivre in 1770, which he planted in the Isle de France and Zanzibar, which later became the world’s largest producer of cloves.
The dried buds of the clove tree have been used medicinally for at least 4,000 years, not only in Chinese medicine but also in Ayurvedic medicine.
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Cloves have been discovered in ceramic vessels in Syria, placing the prized spice’s use at about 1721 BCE, and Sinbad the Sailor, a character in the One Thousand and One Nights tales, bought and sold cloves in India, according to translations of the folktales.
During the Middle Ages, the clove trade was profitable, especially because clove oil was thought to prevent the further spread of the bubonic plague in Europe because of its antibacterial properties.
The formula for the essential oil treatment is believed to have come from Nostradamus, a physician who survived the plague, along with the individuals who worked for him.
The formula, called “Four Thieves” due to the four men who stole the prized formula and surprisingly survived the plague, is believed to contain cloves, wormwood, meadowsweet, juniper berries, wild marjoram, sage, elecampane root (a member of the sunflower family), angelica, rosemary, camphor, and horehound, all preserved in white wine vinegar.
Today, cloves are popular in cuisines around the world, from savory dishes including meats and marinades to desserts and beverages.
Cloves are also used in cigarettes, known as kretek in Indonesia. In 2009, in the United States, clove cigarettes were legally classified as cigars.
Clove essential oil is steam distilled from the buds of the dried flowers, and the elixir is one of the most powerful essential oils because of its ability to alleviate pain, kill harmful bacteria, and boost mood.
These benefits come from the chemical compounds found in clove bud essential oil, some of which are highlighted below.
Eugenol is one of the main chemical components of clove bud oil, composing about 90 percent. Eugenol offers powerful pain relief and has been used to treat dental pain for centuries.
Additionally, it has been shown to act as an antibacterial with the ability to inhibit the growth of certain pathogens, making it an excellent addition to any oral care regimen.
Eugenol also acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Clove bud essential oil offers additional pain relief because of methyl salicylate, a compound that acts as an analgesic. It was isolated in 1843 by French chemist Auguste André Thomas Cahours and is often used to treat muscle aches.
Cinnamaldehyde is also a natural pain reliever that helps control inflammation, making it a good option for easing the inflammation-related pain.
In lab studies, carvacrol has been shown to kill some antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Carvacrol also helps supports heart health. 1
Thymol is a phenol that offers antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
A terpene, caryophyllene is an anti-inflammatory that also offers pain relief. It has also been shown to relieve symptoms of both stress and anxiety.
Clove oil also contains flavonoids, triterpenoids, and sesquiterpenes, as well as antioxidants. In addition, as dietary use, not the essential oil, cloves are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
Uses for Clove Bud Essential Oil
Since the use of clove bud essential oil dates back at least 4,000 years, it should come as no surprise that the oil is one of the most important essentials for tackling a wide range of health concerns.
Relieves Dental Pain
For the past century, clove oil has been a go-to to treat pain associated with dentistry, especially to treat the discomfort associated with dry sockets.
A 2006 study appearing in the Journal of Dentistry found that clove oil was as effective as benzocaine, a topical used to numb the gum’s surface prior to injections of lidocaine. It can also be used at home to help ease toothache pain.
Because clove on its own can cause dental sensitivity, a few drops should be mixed with a carrier oil and applied with a cotton ball at the source of pain. 2
In addition to dental pain, clove oil’s anti-inflammatory benefits may make it an excellent natural option for easing the pain of sore muscles.
When mixed with a carrier oil, clove oil can help ease the inflammation that triggers the pain. Clove oil can also relieve the pain associated with headaches. 3
For those suffering from acne—about 17 million people in the United States—finding a solution that works is a priority. Clove bud oil could be a potential fix.
Researchers have found that clove bud essential oil has the ability to impede the growth of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, one of the bacterial strains linked to acne growth.
Reduces Signs of Aging
The high levels of antioxidants in clove oil—gram for gram, it contains 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries, which are classified as a superfood—can help prevent signs of aging, including fine lines, age spots, wrinkles and sagging skin.
In addition, the eugenol in cloves has been shown in studies to help protect skin against oxidative stress caused by free radicals from pollutants, cigarette smoke, and other toxins.
Maintains Healthy Blood Pressure
According to a 2005 study appearing in the British Journal of Pharmacology, the eugenol in clove oil may help major arteries dilate, allowing blood to flow through them more smoothly, maintaining healthy blood pressure. 4
In a time when there are so many different bacteria that have grown resistant to antibiotics, a natural solution is a welcome intervention. Clove bud oil has been shown to help fight certain bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains.
A study from the University of Buenos Aires found that clove essential oil effectively eliminated bot E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes pneumonia.
Maintains Healthy Immune System Function
In addition to improving digestive health, ensuring that the probiotics that make up the bulk of the immune system have a healthy environment in which to proliferate, researchers in India found that clove oil helped boost the immune response of red blood cells, protecting against infections in the blood and body tissue.
Supports Respiratory Health
Because clove bud oil acts as an anti-inflammatory, it can help relieve the symptoms associated with bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and other respiratory problems.
It can be used in aromatically in a bath, room diffuser, or personal essential oil diffuser for maximum benefits, as it acts as an expectorant, helping clear the lungs of mucus.
The aroma of clove oil—reminiscent of holidays, autumn and baked goods from the oven—has been shown to lower stress, relieve fatigue, and reduce tension.
For stress-relieving effects, add a few drops to a warm bath or use clove oil in homemade soap or as part of a massage oil.
Pregnant and nursing women should not use clove oil, nor should individuals who are taking blood thinners.
If being used topically, clove essential oils should first be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut, almond, or jojoba oil. Conduct a patch skin test to ensure that the essential oil does not result in an allergic reaction before applying it to larger areas of the body.5
How To Use Clove Bud Essential Oil
- Oral health: Add a drop of oil to your toothpaste at night to eradicate bacteria and promote oral health. Alternatively, use a drop of the oil at the site of a toothache or add a drop of oil to several ounces of water to create a gargle.
- Aromatherapy: Use clove bud essential oil in a diffuser or add a few drops to a water bottle with a spray cap to dispense the scent throughout the room. For an on the go option, use clove oil in a personal essential oil diffuser like Love MONQ.
- Muscle pain: Add a few drops of clove oil to a carrier oil and massage onto affected areas.
Clove Fun Facts
- When America was being settled, cloves were used to stud oranges to create pomanders to scent homes for the holidays.
- The botanical name for clove means “nail,” which makes sense given the sharp tip on the end of its dried flower bud.
- According to records, officers in the Chinese army used clove oil to alleviate bad breath before they had to meet with the Emperor.
- The Dutch East India Company had control over nutmeg in the 17th century but because clove trees grew throughout the Moluccas, the company failed to monopolize the clove trade.
- Cloves are used to flavor the popular cookie butter speculoos.
More than just a popular spice, clove essential oil can provide a range of health benefits when added into your daily routine. From relieving pain to alleviating stress, this essential oils deserves a spot in your collection.