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.