Clove oil is an essential oil that’s derived from clove trees. The clove tree, known as Syzygium aromaticum, is native to Southeast Asia, although today you may find it growing in other locations, too.
Clove oil is produced by distilling the dried flower buds that are collected from the clove tree. Other parts of the tree, such as the stem and leaves, may also be used.
Clove oil, which ranges in color from colorless to light yellow and has a strong, spicy aroma, has been used for centuries in a variety of applications.
What are the benefits of clove essential oil?
Clove oil has traditionally been used for a variety of purposes, including:
An antimicrobial, to help kill bacteria
A pain reliever for conditions such as toothache and muscle pain
Used for digestive upset
To relieve respiratory conditions like cough and asthma
May treat infections, and even fighting cancer
Like many essential oils, researchers have been working to evaluate the potential health benefits of clove oil and its components.
How to use clove essential oil?
There are several ways you can use clove oil at home. Here are some suggestions:
Using the oil as a spray is an easy way to add the spicy scent of clove to a room. Or perhaps you’d like to make use of clove oil’s antimicrobial properties and use it as a mild disinfectant. To make a clove spray:
Add several drops of clove oil to water. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) suggests 10 to 15 drops per ounce of water.
Since essential oils don’t dissolve in water, you may want to add a dispersing agent such as solubol to the solution as well.
Be sure to shake the bottle well before spraying.
Like spray applications, using a diffuser can help spread the aroma of clove throughout a room. When diffusing clove oil, be sure to carefully follow the instructions that came with your diffuser.
When spraying or diffusing clove oil, make sure the room is well-ventilated.
There are a couple of ways to apply clove oil to your skin if you want to use it for pain relief, wound healing, or to ease itching:
Creams, scrubs, or lotions. Dilute clove oil in an unscented product, such as a lotion or facial cream. The NAHA recommends a 1 to 2.5 percent dilution for normal skin and a 0.5 to 1 percent dilution for sensitive skin.
Do you have a toothache? Dabbing clove oil onto your sore tooth may help to relieve the pain until you can get to see a dentist. To use clove oil for a toothache, follow these steps:
Dilute a few drops of clove oil in an edible carrier oil, such as olive or coconut oil.
Dab a clean cotton ball into the solution, allowing it to soak in.
Avoiding contact with your gums, apply the cotton ball to the sore tooth. It may take a few minutes of application to feel relief.
Reapply every 2 hours as necessary.
If you experience irritation or discomfort when applying clove oil to a tooth, stop using it.
Are there any side effects?
There are some potential side effects of clove oil you should be aware of.
Clove oil can cause skin irritation in some people. If you’re concerned about your sensitivity to clove oil, test it first. To do this, apply a small amount of diluted clove oil to the inside of your elbow.
If you notice signs of skin irritation, like redness, itching, or swelling, don’t use clove oil topically.
Although rare, it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to clove oil or its components. Be sure to know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction:
rash or hives, which may be itchy
wheezing or coughing
tightness in the throat or trouble swallowing
digestive upset like vomiting, diarrhea, or cramping
The bottom line!
Traditionally, clove oil has been used for easing digestive upset, relieving pain, and helping with respiratory conditions. Research has found that clove oil may have benefits for dental and topical applications, for treating infections, and even fighting cancer. As with any essential oil, make sure to use clove oil safely. Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns before using clove oil.