There are many clove essential oil benefits that can help improve your health. I will get to the 5 amazing benefits in a bit. But, first, when most people think of clove, it’s usually in relation to Thanksgiving and Christmas time when it is used in all those yummy foods. Who would have thought, something that gives such great flavor to pumpkin pie could also give our bodies a healthy boost. It’s not just for cooking anymore! Clove is also extracted to make clove essential oil. That oil can help to treat health conditions such as toothaches, acne, (yes, another oil that can help acne!), indigestion, and more.
The scientific name for clove is Eugenia caryophyllata, also known as Syzgium aromaticum, and is part of the Myrtaceae family, just as the eucalyptus tree. Clove is actually the pink flower buds of this tropical evergreen tree. This tree can reach to heights of 32-39 feet and grows well in poor quality soil. The flower buds are picked by hand, twice a year, in late summer and early winter. These buds are then dried until they turn brown. From there the oil is extracted for essential oil, or the clove can be ground into spice, or left whole.
A Bit Of History
Clove is native of Indonesia, the Maluku islands to be exact. Even though they are native to and commercially harvested in Indonesia, they are also commercially produced in Tanzania, foremost, but also in Madagascar, India, and Sri Lanka, to mention a few. Because of different harvest seasons, they are available anytime of the year.
Evidence shows cloves have been used in Syria back in 1721 BCE, where a ceramic dish with cloves was discovered. Trading for cloves was a big business during the Middle Ages, by merchants and sailors on the Indian Ocean ports. Even Sinbad the Sailor was in the business.
As I stated, Cloves are native to the Maluku Islands, which are also known as the Spice Islands. What is believed to be the oldest clove tree in the world, is located on the island of Ternate in the Spice Islands. A story is told that seedlings of the tree were stolen and made it’s way to Zanzibar, which used to be one of the highest producing countries of clove. (Read More Here).
SOME TIDBITS ABOUT CLOVE ESSENTIAL OIL
Clove essential oil can be extracted from the clove buds, the stems, and the leaves. Clove leaf oil is the least expensive of these. The most common means of extraction is steam distillation. Some companies have been known to use water distillation. For more on extraction methods of essential oils, go Here.
The major component or constituent in clove essential oil which makes it such a great oil is Eugenol. This constituent makes up anywhere from 72% – 91% of the oil, depending on what the oil is made from, the clove, the leaf, or the stem. Here is a study that was done on the composition of each type of oil. β-caryophyllene is in all three, but more so in the leaf and stem with eugenylacetate being greater in the bud. Other components in all three types of oil are; α-humulene, caryophyllene oxide, α-copaene, methyl eugenol, and several more.
It also contains phenolic compounds such as hidroxiphenyl propens, hidroxibenzoic acids, hidroxicinamic acid, and flavonoids. Clove oil also contains an abundance of Gallic acid.
Clove essential oil has a strong spicy and warming aroma, but a little woody and bitter. It smells like the clove itself, but has a more intense scent. The oil is pale yellow in color and is medium consistency. For blending purposes, this oil is in the middle note category. See How To Categorize Essential Oils.
Clove oil blends well with these oils:
- Woody family: sandalwood, frankincense, and agarwood.
- Floral family: lavender, geranium, rose, jasmine, palmarosa, chamomile, vanilla, and ylang ylang.
- Spicy family: Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, bay, and ginger.
- Herbal family: clary sage, basil, and rosemary.
- Citrus family: bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, and orange.
For more about blending oils, see Blending And Essential Oils.
Therapeutic properties from the components of clove essential oil are indeed powerful. Some of the therapeutic properties of clove oil are: antiviral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anesthetic, aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, insecticide, stimulant, anti-coagulant, anti-tumoral, and analgesic. These are a majority of the therapeutic properties clove oil possesses.
Benefits of Clove Essential Oil
There are many benefits of clove essential oil. Here are the 5 amazing benefits I mentioned at the beginning.
1. Dental Conditions
One of the most popular benefits is that it can be used to help with toothaches. Using clove oil to give toothache relief has been documented back in 1640 by the french. In most recent times, it has been proven that clove oil is a great numbing agent. And actually can be compared to benzocaine, which is the topical anesthetic used to numb the gums before inserting the needle with Novocaine. This study shows the results of the test.
Another awesome thing clove oil has been proven to do in this study, is its ability to slow down dental erosion and it can actually remineralize teeth. Wow!! I think that is some kind of power. That means that there is an alternative to all this not-so-good-for-you fluoride that is being used to help our teeth.
2. Yeast Infections
Many people are plagued with the Candida fungus, or yeast infection, which is caused by an overabundance of sugar and acids in our diets. This fungal infection can occur in several areas of the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract, the vagina, the mouth, nose, fingernails, and ears. Clove oil has been proven in this study published in the Oral Microbiology and Immunology Journal to be effective in treated this fungus. As a matter of fact, clove essential oil was proven to be just as effective as the medication nystatin in treatment.
Along this line, clove oil has also been shown to be effective in killing off intestinal parasites that can cause diarrhea and other uncomfortable symptoms.
3. An Anti-inflammatory and Protects Liver
One of the greatest benefits of clove essential oil is the power it has to fight inflammation. It gets its power from the flavonoid, eugenol, which makes up about three-fourths of the oil. Eugenol is a very potent flavonoid and makes a very powerful anti-inflammatory.
The Journal of Immunotoxicology has published a study that shows eugenol, when taken in low doses, can help to protect the liver and promote good liver health. It reverses inflammation. Taking large doses of eugenol internally, though, could do damage to the digestive lining. Small doses are recommended. Clove oil, with eugenol, can help prevent fatty liver disease and liver cirrhosis could be reversed. Read the study Here.
4. High Antioxidant Content
Clove has been measured to have one of the highest valued antioxidants by the National Institute on Aging. They have devised a method to measure antioxidants in various foods. It is called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC for short. Through the ORAC, clove has been measured at 290,283, while blueberries have only 9, 621. That’s 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries! Check out the list.
Antioxidants are molecules that break down and eliminate free radicals and they reverse the damage free radicals cause. Free radicals are bad molecules in our bodies that damage our cells, which can kill them and even cause cancer. Antioxidants can slow aging and protect our bodies from bad viruses and bacteria. Because clove has such a high content of antioxidants and eugenol, clove essential oil makes a great healing oil.
5. Cancer and Clove
Because clove essential oil has such a high amount of antioxidants, it has been used in cancer research to study its anti-cancer benefits. It gives promising hope to researchers, because it has the ability to kill cancer cells and is a natural cancer prevention agent.
Researchers have found that clove essential oil has cytotoxic (cancer killing) properties against a certain kind of breast cancer cells. In this study, they used different clove extracts; water, ethanol, and essential oil. Essential oil was shown to have the highest cytotoxic effect on the cancer. It was concluded that clove essential oil had excellent cytotoxicity towards these kinds of cancer cells and looked promising as an anti-cancer agent.
Clove essential oil is not only an anti-cancer agent against breast cancer, but other studies have been done on other forms of Cancer such as liver, colon, ovarian, and pancreatic among others. Clove extract and oil help prevent growth of tumors. This gives hope as an alternative to nasty chemotherapy and radiation that destroys the good cells, while killing the bad ones, since eugenol (the main component of clove essential oil) is not toxic to normal, healthy cells.
I only touched on a few of the many benefits of clove essential oil. Other benefits include; treats acne, aids digestion, supports immune system, promotes circulation, insect repellent, and more…
Uses of Clove Essential Oil
1. For head lice – mix several drops of clove essential oil into 1 tablespoon of your hair conditioner. After washing hair, massage the conditioner into your hair. Before rinsing, comb with a head lice comb, then rinse the conditioner out. Repeat daily until lice infestation is gone.
2. For indigestion or diarrhea – dilute a few drops in a carrier oil and massage over the abdomen. This can also be used for arthritic pain by massaging it into the affected area.
3. Cold Sores – Put a drop on a cold sore to relieve pain and duration. Clove essential oil is an antiviral and is great to use for this.
4. Toothache and Abscesses – Put some clove oil on a cotton swab and hold it on the affected gum or tooth. Alternately, mix it 1:2 drops with a carrier oil and rub it on the affected area. Clove oil is great for relieving pain as a numbing agent. It can sometimes be found in dental rinses and mouthwashes.
5. Insect Repellent – Combine clove essential oil with cedarwood, cinnamon and lemon essential oils in a carrier oil and massage on skin. It also helps to relieve bug bites and the itching of them.
6. Acne and Skin – Dab some clove oil on the spot of acne and it should reduce in size within a few hours. Also, put a few drops in your facial wash and cleanse as usual. Alternately, make a cream with 2 tablespoons melted Shea butter and 6 drops of clove oil and massage into face. Store in a clean container. Use this twice a day.
1. For Nausea – Use a few drops of clove oil with a few drops of peppermint essential oil and use in a diffuser. The amount depends on the size of the diffuser.
2. Fatigue – Use by itself in a diffuser using the amount of oil dependent upon the size of diffuser. This is good for mental and physical fatigue and helps with the cardiovascular system, improving blood circulation. This will also relieve headaches.
3. Respiratory problems – Use steam inhalation using 2-3 drops each of clove and eucalyptus oils. Add to boiling water and inhale the steam. This will open up the airways and make it easier to breathe.
4. Bug Repellant – For a night outside on the porch, put 2-3 drops each of citronella and clove essential oils in a diffuser to keep those pesty bugs away. Or, add a few drops of clove oil to a citronella candle.
5. Feeling Blue Relief – If you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up, add to a diffuser 2 drops each of clove and lemon oils and 3 drops of orange oil. Enjoy the pick-me-up.
6. Immune Booster – To help with immunity, in a diffuser add 1 drop each of rosemary, clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon bark and wild orange essential oils. This will help keep those germs away in those winter months or anytime something is going around.
Taking essential oils internally is very controversial. Some people say absolutely not while others say as long as it is mixed with a carrier oil and for only a couple weeks at a time. The U.S. National Library of Medicine claims clove oil is safe for most people to take internally – 1500 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight. With that being said, here are some things you can use clove essential oil for internally:
1. Immunity and liver detox – put a few drops in an empty veggie capsule and take with food each day.
2. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal – for things like Salmonella, E. coli and Candida albicans, use the same as #1 above. Alternatively, add 1 drop of clove oil to herbal tea and drink. Repeat for 10 days.
3. Intestinal Parasites – Add a drop or two of clove essential oil to any drink, such as tea, shakes, and juice. Drink this routinely and it can flush out the parasites and prevent them from coming back. Another alternative is to put 2 drops clove oil in a capsule for up to 10 days to get rid of the parasites.
4. Oral Health – put a drop of clove oil in 2 oz. of water and gargle with it. Another idea is to dilute clove oil in a carrier oil then add one drop to toothpaste and brush. These are a couple of ways to keep the mouth healthy and feeling good.
Oil Safety And Precautions
In general, use caution when using any essential oil with pregnant women and children under six. Clove essential oil, though, is not recommended being used on children under 2 years of age, as this may cause very serious complications. This is a very potent oil and may cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes. It is suggested to dilute the oil first before using .
When ingesting clove oil, it is recommended to take very low doses because of its potency. It may harm the digestive lining when taking large doses internally. Clove essential oil is a natural anti-coagulant and can be dangerous when combined with drugs such as Warfarin, aspirin, any blood thinning drugs. It slows down blood clotting. Seek your doctor’s advice before using clove essential oil if you are taking any blood-thinning drugs.
As always with any essential oil, use clove essential oil in moderation. Don’t overdo it! If you have any serious conditions, seek professional advice before using.
My Final Words
There’s something great about clove. It’s not just a spice anymore to give flavor to food. Clove essential oil benefits range from reducing inflammation; to supporting healthy teeth and gums; to a fresh face, clear of acne; to protecting the liver. It has so many therapeutic properties that can help improve health and does some amazing things for the body.
Clove oil is another great oil to add to your medicine cabinet. Buy it Here. Please pay attention to precautions and use it in moderation. I would love to have you share your thoughts and experiences. Leave your comments and questions below and I’ll get back to you real soon.
As always, thanks for reading!
*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.