Benefits and Uses of Clove Oil
Clove essential oil is derived from the clove tree which is scientifically known as Syzygium aromaticum. The clove tree is native to Southeast Asia but currently the main producers are Madagascar and Indonesia. The word clove is derived from the Latin word ‘clavus’ which means nail because the clove buds look like nails. Clove is an ancient spice, which is believed to be originated in the first century, before Christ.
In ancient times clove oil was used for cooking, making perfumes, traditional Indian and Chinese medicine men used clove essential oil to relieve toothaches and infections as well as for fresh breath. It was also used in aromatherapy as a massage oil. Clove oil is a widely known toothache remedy because it contains eugenol which is a natural anaesthetic this simply means it helps reduce the pain. In todays medicine, eugenol is used in medicines for dentistry. Cloves were traded to Europe by the Arabs in 4th century A.D.
Clove are the aromatic dried flower buds, from Plants of the genus Eugenia (Syzygium), comprising of about 100 species, that grow in tropical climate. The Clove tree is an evergreen tree, which grows to a height of up to 15m, having large square leaves and sanguine flowers, blooms twice a year and it yields for 60 years.
Clove essential oil is extracted from the dried flower buds, stems and leaves of the clove tree by steam distillation. Clove oil ranges in colour from colourless to light yellow.it has a strong spicy aroma and is unpleasant to taste.
There are three types of clove oil:
- Clove bud oil which is derived from the clove flower buds and contains 60%-90% of eugenol.
- Clove leaf oil derived from clove leaves and contains 82%-88% of eugenol.
- Clove stem oil derived from clove stems and contains 90%-95% of eugenol.
Saint Hildegard wrote in her work Physica about cloves: “Who has the pain that roars in his head as if he were deaf, should often eat the cloves …”.
Properties of clove essential oil.
- Antimicrobial- it helps kill bacteria
- Antifungal- it helps kill fungi
- Antibacterial -it helps kill bacteria
- Anti-inflammatory- it helps soothe any inflammations
- Antioxidant- ability to help fight sun damage
- Analgesic- ability to relieve pain
Eugenol is a phenolic component that can be obtained from a wide range of plant sources including clove oil, nutmeg oil, cinnamon extract and many other plants. Eugenol is a phenolic component that can be obtained from a wide range of plant sources including clove oil, nutmeg oil, cinnamon extract and many other plants. It owns strong health promoting functions that make it a versatile natural ingredient. Eugenol is the most abundant ingredient [70% to 90%] in clove oil and is thought to be responsible for its aromatic as well as both beneficial and harmful effects.
Cloves have many uses ranging from culinary to medicine. Cloves are also used to flavour meat products, cookies, chewing gums, pickles, chocolates, soft drinks, pastries, and candles
- Great for oral health
- Boosts the immunity system
- Boosts cardiovascular health
- Relieves labor pain
- Acts a pain killer
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases libido
- Relieves respiratory conditions like cough and cold
Clove for Skin
- Moisturizes dry skin
- Soothes irritation on the skin
- Great for acne prone skin
- Removes dark circles
- Lessen the appearance of stretch marks
- Depuffs puffy skin
- Gives the skin its natural radiant look
- Clove has a deodorizing property and so used in cosmetics
Cloves for Toothache
Clove is the oldest spice which has been in use for many years. It was used in China for more than 2000 years for checking decay of the tooth and also for halitosis (bad breath). Clove oil is generally used in dentistry to treat pain from a dry socket, as well as used in a number of temporary restorative materials. Eugenol is the major constituent [70% to 90%] in the aromatic oil extract from cloves. Eugenol has pronounced anaesthetic property so when applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, it relieves toothache. Rubbing of oil of cloves on sore gums and teeth help to ease pain . When mixed with zinc oxide, eugenol forms a material which has restorative and prosthodontic applications in dentistry, Based on data obtained from a 2016 study, clove oil and its two active principles may positively affect the dental erosion process of apple juice through distinct mechanisms.
Harmful effects of Clove oil
Clove oil used in low doses appears to have few side effects other than local irritation, rare allergic reactions and contact dermatitis, while exposure or ingestion of a large amounts , as in overdose, can result in tissue injury and damage to the liver and kidney. This clove oil is applied onto the affected tooth and gives temporary relief of toothache. • It can be used on adults, the elderly and children over 2 years old
How to use clove essential oil effectively.
Clove oil can be mixed with some essential oils to maximize on its benefits. The essential oils are: wild orange oil, frankincense essential oil, cassia, cedarwood, fennel oil, roman chamomile essential oil, ginger oil and cinnamon essential oil.
Clove oil can be used to disinfect surfaces in your home since it has antibacterial properties. You can add 15 drops of clove oil to an ounce of water in a spray bottle.
Clove oil can be inhaled, applied topically and even diffused in a diffuser or vaporizer to enhance the scent of your space.
As a massage oil to relieve muscle spasms and joint pains. Add a few drops of clove essential oil in a bottle with your preferred carrier oil and use it whenever needed.
As a body scrub. Add a few drops of clove oil in a bowl with brown sugar and coffee and your preferred carrier oil and a few drops of frankincense oil.
As a hair growth oil. You will need clove essential oil, peppermint essential oil, any carrier oil of your preference, like castor oil, coconut oil or olive oil.
As a toothache remedy, use a cotton swab and place a drop of clove oil on the affected area and let it sit for some minutes.
As an oil pull, for fresh breath, to kill oral bacteria and to whiten teeth. Add a few drops of clove oil and peppermint essential oil to coconut oil and use it to oil pull every morning. Take two to three spoonsful of the oil and swish in your mouth for 10 minutes then spit it out or in a trash bag. Not in the sink so as to prevent clogging. After you can brush your teeth normally.
Safe dosage of clove oil
The clove oil is considered safe when consumed in doses (<1.5g/kg). However, the WHO (World Health Organization) established the acceptable dose of clove 2.5 mg/kg/day in humans.
It is important to not that not all clove oils being sold are of good quality. It is therefore advised that you buy one that is sold in a dark glass bottle because clove essential oil can be damaged when stored in a light glass bottle. It is also advised that you master the scientific name of clove essential oil.
Do not ingest clove oil.
It is also advised that you dilute clove essential oil before administering it to children.
Clove oil can cause skin irritation so it advised that before you use it topically, you should conduct a patch test to see how clove oil reacts with your skin.
Clove oil can also cause an allergic reaction, so it is advised to consult your doctor first.
By Eila Oketch.