Other Names of Clove: Eugenia Aromatic, Caryophyllus Aromaticum, Clove Oil, Eugenol

Useful Parts of the Plant: The flower bud

Cloves refer to the dried aromatic flower buds that are derived from the Myrtaceae tree family. Cloves are mainly found in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan and Madagascar. This is a spice that is widely used by people all over the world for different culinary as well as medicinal purposes. Cloves are available all through the year and therefore can be obtained quite easily. Cloves once dried are dark brown to black in color and are about half an inch long. Cloves are very helpful and beneficial to the body and can be used by all.

Nutritional Information and Benefits

With regards to the nutritional information and properties of cloves, they are known to be an excellent source of calcium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin C and K. One of the most important ingredients in cloves is Eugenol, the essential oil along with certain flavanoids that are known to give cloves their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • One of the medicinal benefits of cloves is that it is very effective against a variety of digestive problems. Thus cloves are used in the natural treatment for indigestion, loose stools, flatulence and nausea. In fact cloves are also effective in gaining relief from vomiting, gastric irritability and diarrhea.
  • Cloves essential oil, Eugenol is also known to be a very effective antifungal which is even more beneficial when combined with tea tree oil. Hence Eugenol is used in the treatment of ringworm or tinia.
  • Dental clove oil is also commonly used on account of its properties as an anesthetic, analgesic, antibacterial and for its anti-inflammatory properties as well. In the field of dentistry clove oil is used in the form of a mixture or paste to prepare the filler, restorative material or dental cement.
  • Medicinal benefits of cloves also include cloves being used for tooth pain which is done by placing a single clove on the tooth that is aching. Alternatively some cotton can be dipped in clove oil and this cotton should be placed next to the aching tooth.
  • Another one of the health benefits of cloves is its ability to delay as well as minimize the formation of skin cancer. Cloves are also known to have chemo preventive properties against lung cancer.
  • Medicinal uses of cloves and clove oil also include it being an effective and potent platelet inhibitor which essentially means that it helps in the prevention of occurrence of blood clots thereby ensuring good cardiovascular health. This is mostly on account of eugenol that is found in cloves.
  • Eugenol or the natural oil obtained from cloves is also known to act as a natural mosquito repellent that can offer protection from mosquitoes for almost 4-5 hours at a stretch.
  • Most aromatherapists are also known to use clove oil to treat the various symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism as well as respiratory problems such as bronchitis, coughs, sinusitis as well as asthma.
  • Additionally clove oil is also recommended to be used as part of skin care for those suffering from acne.
  • The therapeutic uses of cloves also include it being used as a stress reliever. Clove oil is known to stimulate the mind and thereby provide the individual with relief from mental fatigue and exhaustion. In fact clove oil is also used to treat mental ailments such as depression, loss of memory and anxiety.
  • Another one of the medicinal uses of cloves is relief from headaches. The essential oil, Eugenol obtained from cloves, when mixed with salt and then applied on the person’s forehead is known to have a cooling effect thereby providing immediate relief from the headache.
  • Similarly a mixture of warm sesame oil and clove oil is also considered to be an excellent natural treatment for earaches. 

Precautions/Side Effects/ Warnings

However, besides the various benefits and uses of cloves, it is also known to cause certain adverse reactions and side effects in some people such as an increased risk of bleeding, a burning sensation and lowered levels of blood sugar.