Clove oil is distilled by steam from the Syzgium aromaticum plant. This evergreen plant grows twenty-six to thirty-nine feet tall. It has square leaves and pink colorful flowers that grow in clusters. The flowers are harvested when they’re less than one inch in length and red in color. Clove flowers are dried in the sun until turning a dark brown color with a hard texture. The name “clove’ is derived from the Latin word clavus, meaning nail. This plant is found mainly in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Eastern Africa.
There are three types of clove oil: Bud, Leaf and Stem. They are all derived from the same plant, (Syzgium aromaticum), but from different locations. Bud oil is derived from the flower buds, leaf oil from leaves and stem oil from the twigs.
- Bud Oil contains 60% – 90% eugenol, eugenic acetate, caryophyllene and other minor constituents.
- Leaf Oil contains 82% – 88% eugenol with little or no eugenol acetate and minor constituents.
- Stem Oil contains 90% – 95% eugenol with other minor constituents.
Eugenol is a clear to pale yellow oil extracted from certain essential oils: clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil and bay leaf. It’s responsible for the clove aroma. It’s used in perfumes and flavorings. Eugenol is also used, medicinally, as an antiseptic and anesthetic. When mixed with zinc oxide, it forms a material useful for making restorative dental applications.
Another chemical compound of clove oil is caryophyllene. This compound contributes to the spiciness of black pepper. Studies show that it may have anti-inflammatory properties, but additional research is necessary.
Medicinal Benefits of Clove
Clove has been said to relieve toothaches, pneumonia, strep throat, coughs, phlegm, bronchitis, strains and sprains. Clove reportedly regulates blood sugar, aids in digestion, reduces fever and has antioxidant properties that protect the body against free radical damage. Clove also battles bad breath, with the help of its anti-fungal properties.
Skin Care Benefits of Clove
Has antiseptic properties useful for treating bee stings, minor cuts, bruises, insect bites, athlete’s foot fungus, warts and acne.
Clove oil can be a nice additive for flat or dull scented soaps. It combines well with: bergamot oil, citronella, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint, rosemary, vetiver and yang yiang. It would be nice to use in a homemade soap for men, since it has that robust, spicy, warm, slightly bitter, scent. Since it has antiseptic properties, you may want to use it in soap for acne relief. It may help get rid of blackheads, acne or pimples. A drop or two is all you will need in your homemade soap recipes.
Clove’s Common Uses
- throat lozenges
- topical treatments
- spice tea
- homemade soap
Benefits + Uses Continued
- Topical application over the stomach or abdomen are said to warm the digestive tract.
- Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, also relieves toothache. It is used as anodyne or painkiller in dental emergency. It also helps to decrease infection in the teeth, sore gums and oral ulcers due to its antiseptic properties.
- Gargling with clove oil can also aid in sore throat conditions and bad breath.
- Cloves have antiseptic properties that are why clove oil is used to cure wound, cuts, scabies, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, scabies, etc. Clove oil is very strong in nature hence one should use only diluted form. Avoid its application on sensitive skin.
- Clove oil is used to cure acne and has very positive results on skin.
- Clove oil induces sleep and is aphrodisiac in nature hence serves as an excellent stress buster and is beneficial for people suffering from insomnia.
- Clove oil has a cooling and anti-inflammatory effect which clears nasal passage and is useful in various respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and tuberculosis.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties are useful in curing earaches.
- Clove oil is often added in cosmetic creams and lotions. It is a good massage oil providing relief from pain and stress.
- Both clove and clove oil are useful for boosting the immune system. Its antiviral properties and ability to purify blood increases your resistance to diseases.
Toothache Pain Relief Recipe
Clove oil has been used for thousands of years to provide relief from toothache pain. Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural pain killer with antibacterial properties. Mix a few drops of pure clove oil with ¼ teaspoon olive oil. Soak a cotton ball with the mixture and place the cotton ball beside the tooth. Bite down gently on the cotton ball if your toothache involves a molar at the back of your mouth. You can also grind a clove and apply the powder on the affected area.
Clove & Essential Oils – Heed These Warnings
WARNING! DO NOT OVERDOSE! Eugenol is hepatic meaning it can, possibly, cause liver damage. It may cause other conditions, too, including: convulsions, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, blood in urine or unconsciousness. Avoid if you have a eugenol allergy. Eugenol may cause allergic dermatitis or skin irritations such as: itching, redness, tenderness, or inflammation. Avoid if you have sensitive skin, if you are pregnant, have kidney or liver conditions, have prostate cancer, are on blood thinners, have hemophilia, or have breathing problems. Always consult your health care provider, if in doubt.
Essential oils contain bioactive ingredients. This means they contain natural chemicals that interact with biological systems. They’re potent chemicals and should be used with care! Never use large amounts of essential oils externally, or internally.
Never use them straight. They must always be diluted in carrier oil, or soap, lotion, or other buffering agent. Finally, never use them without knowing what their bioactive compounds are known to do.