Clove Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

Clove Oil Uses and Benefits

Clove spice is best known for use in holiday baking and decorating; however, because of its amazing medicinal properties, it is now available as clove essential oil.

Composition of Clove Essential Oil

Cloves are the flower buds from the clove tree, an evergreen native to Indonesia. Three types of clove essential oil can be derived from the tree: clove bud oil, clove leaf oil and clove stem oil.  Clove bud essential oil is the safest of the three for topical use and aromatherapy. The oils produced from the leaves and stems are very potent and can easily cause skin irritations.

An article published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine states, “Clove represents one of the major vegetal sources of phenolic compounds as flavonoids … Eugenol is the main bioactive compound of clove.” Flavonoids, which are naturally occurring plant pigments, are very powerful antioxidants that offer anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Clove essential oil contains almost 90% eugenol – making it incredibly effective for health and medicinal purposes.

Clove Essential Oil Benefits:

  1. Anti-inflammatory properties:

Research performed by doTERRA International showed that a concentration of 0.011% oil provides strong anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce swelling and redness.

  1. Antioxidant properties:

Antioxidants are helpful compounds in our bodies that reduce oxidative stress, something that contributes to chronic disease development. A study discovered that eugenol can destroy free radicals – negative compounds that build-up and cause oxidative stress in our bodies. In fact, it was five times more effective than vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant.

  1. Infection fighter/wound healer:

The amount of eugenol within clove essential oil makes it a highly effective infection fighter and wound healer. It has tremendous antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. An example of this was research conducted on the incidence of alveolar osteitis (painful dry socket) after adult molar extraction. After being given 0.2% chlorhexidine gel, a eugenol-based gel, one group showed zero incidences of dry socket after seven days. Moreover, they also had “less pain, inflammation, infection, and better wound healing than the control group.”

  1. Anesthetic properties:

The analgesic effects of eugenol work well for blocking and reducing pain, most notably in the mouth. Clove oil can numb nerves in the jaw that carry pain signals to the brain.

  1. Cancer fighting properties:

Preliminary research shows that clove essential oil contains specific anti-cancer compounds. It has been helpful in promoting death in esophageal cancer cells. Its potent antioxidant properties make it an essential oil to keep an eye on when it comes to cancer research.

Clove Essential Oil Uses:

Oral Health

As far back as the ancient Greek and Roman times, clove oil was used to relieve toothaches and fend off bad breath. Today, it is available as a anesthetic mouthwash to relieve toothaches and fight mouth and throat infections.  Clove oil can help re-mineralize teeth when added to tooth paste.  Here are a few oral remedies:

  • Tooth/gum pain remedy (for adults)

Add 1-2 drops of clove essential oil to a cotton ball. Carefully place in mouth at the point of pain. Keep cotton ball in place for 15 minutes or until pain disappears.

  • Mouth/throat pain remedy

Add 2 drops of clove oil to a cup of warm water and use as a gargle.

Acne Fighter

One of the best uses for clove essential oil is for the natural reduction of acne. The antibacterial properties in eugenol help clear cystic acne, kill its infections and reduce swelling. Clove oil contains more antibacterial properties than most of the commercial acne fighting creams that contain harsh chemicals.

  • Acne medication

Clove oil
Glycerin or jojoba oil
Rose Water

Cleanse your face with rosewater. Add 10 drops of clove essential oil to about 200 ml glycerin or jojoba oil and mix really well. Put 4-5 drops of this mixture on a cotton ball and gently apply it all over the face. Do not wash it off. If you experience a stinging sensation, this is normal. For bad acne, apply twice daily.

  • Acne reducing lotion

Add 2-3 drops of pure clove essential oil to your skin cream or lotion and use it regularly, particularly on the target areas. This will help reduce the appearance of acne.

Skin Care

Besides for acne fighting, clove essential oil is extremely beneficial to the skin. It helps reduce dark circles under the eyes, wrinkles and even stretch marks. It can also be used as an effective massage oil for reducing body pain and stress. The super antioxidant power of clove essential oil is perfect for helping the skin retain its youthful appearance and protecting against free radical damage and skin cell destruction.

  • Clove oil night cream
    Add 2-5 drops of clove essential oil to about 10 gm of any natural cream (beeswax or olive oil-based). Mix well and apply daily on your face and other skin areas.

Hair Care

Applying a small amount of clove essential oil on the scalp can reduce the rate hair falls out by boosting the blood circulation. It can also promote hair growth and help make your hair long and shiny. Mix a drop of clove essential oil with olive oil to make a great conditioner and strengthen hair from the roots. Apply the mix to damp hair and wrap a thick towel around your head. Leave it on 15-20 minutes and comb as usual.

Infection fighter

– Clove essential oil is not only effective at killing the bacteria that causes acne, but it can also help against some of the most common bacterial infections such as Staph and E. coli. Because of its antiseptic and antifungal properties, clove essential oil has also been identified as helpful in killing the bacteria and yeast associated with candida infections. 

Pain reliever

– As a pain reliever, clove essential oil can alleviate headaches. Use in a diffuser or breathe deeply directly from the bottle and the clove oil should relieve the head pain. It can also be applied topically by diluting it in a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil. It can reduce inflammation and nerve pain by creating a dull, numbing sensation.

Stomach protector

– Clove essential oil has been a digestive aid for thousands of years. It helps with stomach pain, ulcers, bloating and gas. It can even help with motion sickness and nausea-induced vomiting. More specifically, clove can increase the mucus in the stomach lining, protecting it from the damage caused by ulcers.

Blood sugar balancer

– Clove essential oil can help to bring stability to blood sugar, especially in those who are diabetic, because it can increase how quickly glucose is drawn into the cells.  It can also boost insulin secretion and make insulin production more efficient.

Sex drive enhancer

– Clove essential oil can increase blood flow, making it effective as a natural remedy for low sex drive and function in both men and women. Use through aromatherapy or dilute with a carrier oil and apply to wrists, ankles or thighs.

Mental Clarity

– The antioxidants found in clove essential oil are effective for treating memory deficits caused by oxidative stress. A study conducted in mice concluded that clove oil, when administered during an elevated maze test, could revert memory and learning deficits.

Home Remedies

Clove essential oil is a natural and beneficial product to have around the house. Here are a few different home remedies:

  • Air purifier – When combined with eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary and lemon oils, Clove Oil is a very powerful antibacterial. It can be diffused inside the house using a vaporizer, killing almost 99% of disease-causing bacteria in the air.
  • Substitute for moth balls – Dilute pure clove oil in water.   Dip table tennis balls in solution and use as a substitute to moth balls in closets and/or dresser drawers.
  • Mold killer – Kill mold spores by spraying a diluted solution of clove essential oil over the affected area. In a spray bottle, mix a quarter teaspoon of clove essential oil per liter of water. Spray moldy surface and leave for 20 minutes. Wipe off, then spray again and leave. It will take between 24-48 hours for the mold spores to dry and drop off.
  • Insect repellent – Put 2 drops of clove essential oil in a diffuser or vaporizer to ward off insects. Blend 2-3 drops with a skincare product to produce an insect repellent for your body.

Safety Concerns

  • Using this, or any oil, in its undiluted form can lead to serious skin problems. To prevent this from happening, properly dilute clove essential oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, coconut oil or olive oil. If you’d like to apply it topically, check first for allergic reactions by performing a skin patch test and observing for any side effects.
  • Due to high concentrations of eugenol, clove oil may irritate the mucous membrane and may cause dermatitis and other skin problems. It should never be used on damaged skin. 
  • If you are taking anticoagulants and/or aspirin you should avoid using clove oil.  It may slow down platelet activity.   Clove oil should be used with caution in diabetics, because it may cause blood glucose to plummet.  Do not use clove oil if you have either kidney or liver disease.
  • It is recommend to not use clove oil if you are either pregnant or nursing.  Clove oils should also not be used on children.

Side Effects

Despite its many health benefits, clove essential oil should be used in moderation. Eugenol, while it offers many beneficial properties, may induce allergic effects. Using it in its undiluted form may cause:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sore throat
  • seizure
  • shortness of breath
  • rashes and itching

Repeated or overuse of clove essential oil to address acne problems can cause skin damage, which may leave permanent marks. If you’re thinking of using clove essential oil to address a dental problem or any health concern, always seek the advice of your healthcare provider.

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