Health Benefits of Clove Oil

by Sharon Hopkins

The aromatic spice clove has been used in both cooking and as a medicine since ancient times. Cloves are dried flower buds of a tree called Eugenia caryophyllata. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are widely harvested in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Zanzibar.

Clove is used as an important spice in cooking; however, it is also known to have nutritional values and has various medicinal benefits. The compound eugenol found in cloves contributes to the clove’s taste as well as numerous benefits. Cloves also have significant amounts of carbohydrates, iron, calcium, hydrochloric proteins, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium. They also contain vitamins A and C, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Medicinal Benefits of Clove Oil


Clove is an excellent antifungal agent. It has been found to be very effective in candida infections, inhibiting the activity of yeast cells in these infections. Clove oil along with eugenol has been found to have fungicidal effect in candida albicans. In fact, the use of clove oil has completely inhibited the growth of various fungal strains. The clinical application of clove in the treatment of fungal infections is still under further investigation.

The antioxidants, anthocyaninsm and quercetin present in cloves protect cells from oxidative stress from free radical damage. The antioxidants present in clove are helpful in fighting against degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, muscular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others. Antioxidants are known to work in tandem and each one has its own specific characteristics and benefits.

Cloves have been used traditionally for toothaches as it is an excellent analgesic. Clove oil is quite strong and is often diluted for medicinal uses as it can cause irritation if used undiluted. Clove oil can be diluted in water and used for gargling to ease toothaches and tooth infections. It can also be used for gingivitis and sore throat. It has numbing effect that relieves pain and reduces the infection. You can also place a single clove between the teeth where the ache is present for some time. You can also dip a cotton swab with few drops of diluted clove oil and apply it on the affected area. Its antibiotic properties make it a prominent ingredient in a variety of dental creams, mouthwashes, toothpastes, and tooth sprays to clear bacteria, relieve pain in sore gums, and improve dental health.

Clove oil is also used aromatherapy wherein it is used to treat arthritis and rheumatism. Clove oil is also inhaled to treat asthma and sinusitis. Medicinal uses of clove oil include treating cuts, burns, fungal infections, wounds, athlete’s foot, and bruises. Clove oil mixed with milk and salt is an effective medicine for headaches. It is found effective in treating stys and other eye infections as well. A piece of clove can be applied to a sty for relief. Clove and sesame oil can be missed and warmed and applied in the ears for earaches.

Clove oil in the purified liquid form is used in synthetic vanilla and in the manufacture of soaps, perfumes and many toiletries. Clove oil is also used as an insect repellant. It is an effective mosquito repellant and also keeps away moths.

For internal use, you can make a tea from half teaspoon of ground clove by infusing it in hot water for ten minutes and straining. The tea can be taken for gastrointestinal and digestive problems such as dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea, cramps, and diarrhea and for treating or preventing peptic ulcers. Clove tea is also considered excellent for upper respiratory tract conditions like colds and flu, bronchitis, and laryngitis. Drinking clove tea one or two days before the menstrual flow is expected to begin and continue for the first two days of the cycle to bring much needed relief during this time.

While clove oil sure has numerous benefits for health and can be used in myriad ways, it is best to consult your doctor for using clove oil, especially for pregnant women and children.

Reference
  1. http://jmm.sgmjournals.org/content/58/11/1454.short

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