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5 Amazing Clove Essential Oil Benefits – It’s Not Just A Spice

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Last Updated on November 20, 2020 by Lynn

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.
clove plant
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

Extraction Method

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.

Oil Components

The major component or constituent in clove essential oil which makes it such a great oil is Eugenol. clove oil constituentsThis 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

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. bearded man with toothache 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 Cloveclove and clove oil

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.
cold sore on lip
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.
citronella candle in a bucket
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 Precautionscaution sign image

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 Thoughts

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.

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20 thoughts on “5 Amazing Clove Essential Oil Benefits – It’s Not Just A Spice

  1. Hi Lynn, I was just wondering because i’ve been looking for home remedies, can clove oil be used on a toddler? I noticed you mentioned it as a remedy for candida fungus so I was just wondering. I’ve been having trouble with this in my baby boy. Thanks.

    1. Jen,
      Unfortunately, it is not recommended for use with children under 2 years of age. This is pretty much in agreement throughout the essential oil community. It’s because young children are still developing and their skin and internal organs are very sensitive. I’ve included a couple references that you can read to understand how to use them with children.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. If you have any other questions,leave me another comment. Thanks!


  2. This oil sounds like it has some amazing benefits. I do not believe I have ever heard of it before but it do like what I am reading. I do like the fact that it is good for your immune system and that you can digest it. I might give this a try, curious to know what it smells like now.

    1. Hi, Alexandra!
      Yes, clove oil does have amazing benefits. The clove spice is used a lot in baking, especially around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It has a very strong scent, but the essential oil has a more intense aroma. We use it in our diffuser and personal inhalers to fight colds and such.. Let me know if you use this and let me know what you think. Thanks!


  3. I didn’t know that clove has so many beneficial use, I thought it was just a spice, although I had heard about the relief from toothache, this post has been both helpful and informative, now if I get a cold sore, instead of going to buy an expensive cream, I am gonna try clove oil. Thank you so much.

    1. Rose,
      I’m glad you learned something from my post. It’s amazing what things we can use quite often and not even realize their value. I knew clove essential oil was good, but until I studied about it I did not know just how good it was. I have been having a soreness in my gum due to sinuses and have been putting a mixture of clove oil, oregano oil and coconut oil on it and it has given such good relief. I continue to be amazed at the natural medicines that have been created for our use. Thanks for reading and let me know if you ever use clove oil and how you like it.

  4. It is the first time I have heard of clove oil. In my family, we use cloves a lot for tea infusions but I would like to try the oil. You have explained so many wonderful benefits that this oil will be definitely part of my essential oils routine. I also love the smell 🙂 and it is the first time I’ve seen how the flower looks. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing this great information.

    1. Thais,
      Thank you for reading. I always try to give a little history on the essential oil in my writing. Now you know where that clove comes from. It’s actually a flower bud. And yes the smell is awesome. I’m thinking you should get yourself a diffuser so you can enjoy that smell wafting through your house. Here’s my post on kinds of essential oil diffusers. This may help you decide if you’re interested in getting one.
      Thanks for reading! Glad you liked the information.

  5. What an incredible piece of information on essential clove oil.
    I like the way you list the Therapeutic Properties , then make is simpler for us to understand.
    I’ve been using essential clove oil for more than 20 years for dental and gum health. I find it very effective in exactly the way you describe.
    I also use 2 drops of essential clove oil, 1 Table spoon white vinegar, mixed with 1 liter ( 0.26 gal) of water as a ‘Natural’ cleaner to spray on walls and ceilings mold.
    This is a great resource

    1. Honor,
      I’m glad that you got something out of it. My purpose is to help people understand about essential oils and their benefits and, as in your case, bring more information to those already familiar with and/or using them.

      I think dental health is probably the most popular benefit of using clove essential oil. I believe a lot of people don’t know all the other many benefits it has. I like your natural cleaner spray. Does it work well on the mold? I’m going to have to try that on some places I’ve discovered mold. Thank you for sharing your recipe! And thank you so much for reading…..

  6. Hi,

    I have known about clove for a while now but am amazed at the benefits as fully explained here. I never knew it does as much as this. Thanks for this writeup.  You have shed a huge light on things I never knew I could do with clove oil. That’s why I love articles like this, bringing to my knowledge the things I couldn’t have known. Keep up the good work. 

    1. You’re quite welcome… So glad I could bring you more information about clove.  I really didn’t know it was able to do all of this until I researched it.  I was amazed as you are.  I try to bring information to help people understand more about the natural healers that surround us.  Thanks for stopping by and come back to learn more.

  7. Hi Lynn,

    I found your article helpful. I did not know about Clove Essential Oil before reading your review. I believe, Clove Essential Oil is really essential for the human body. In your article, you have provided almost everything about the oil. SO, there’s no scope for to ask a question. I liked you article. I am going to share your post with friends and family members.

    Thank for such a article and sharing with us.

    1. Thanks for checking my post out and you’re welcome.  I’m glad I brought some new information to you.  Clove essential oil truly is amazing, as all essential oils are.  Oh, yes, please do share my post so others can learn information about this great oil.

  8. These are really amazing clove benefits. Honestly, I also thought it was just a spice until recently when I read online that it can also be used for preservative purposes.  Therefore this is a good addition to the information I have about clove. 

    Great content you got here. Thanks generally for the knowledge. Thumbs up. 

    1. Stella,

      Thanks for reading! So before this, you learned a little something about clove.  Clove being used as a preservative is something I hadn’t come across yet.  I’ll have to look that up.  I’m glad I could add to your knowledge….

  9. I know I am often looking for a solution for a toothache, I have sensitive teeth and the older I get the worse it gets. I will definitely use clove oil next time instead of buying a $6 tiny tube of orajel that only serves one purpose! I knew that essential oils were beneficial but had no idea they could be used for so many different things. I will put this to good use as I have a family of 5 and 2 teenage boys, they are starting to get acne and sometimes it’s hard to find a good product that’s not loaded with toxic chemicals. Great article, thanks!

    1. Kandi,

      It is good for toothaches.  It actually works.  I used it just recently.  It’s an awesome oil not just for that, but for all the other benefits it has.  I use it in my diffuser to help fight off those bad germs to stay healthy.  The more I research about the different oils, the more I’m amazed by them.  And they’re all natural!  You’re right!  No toxic chemicals.  You’re welcome and thanks for reading!

  10. Wow wow wow!!!!! I have been using cloves for years now to prepare hibiscus flower drinks. I was taught that it gives the drink a very nice aroma and flavor and when I tried it the first time, I got stuck using it. I can’t drink  hibiscus flower juice that doesn’t have cloves in it. I never knew that it had all these properties and benefits. This would also be my first time knowing that it can be processed to extract oil from it. I have a question though, is it as beneficial when used in its dried form,only? 

    1. That’s an interesting drink with hibiscus flowers! That seems quite unusual for a drink.  What are it’s benefits?  The essential oil version of clove can be used in different ways then the dry clove. It is a lot more potent than the dry version.  The dry version of clove is quite beneficial, but the extraction of the oil pulls out all the powerful components of the clove and is much stronger because it’s just the components. Check out my post on essential oil extraction.  I bet you could put a drop of clove essential oil in your drink instead of the dry clove and get even more benefits.  Thank you so much for reading!  

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