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The Herb Emporium: Clove Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)

Posted Jun 10 2009 12:04am

clove oilIt is recommended that you speak with a knowledgeable health professionalbefore using any herbal remedy.

Clove is used as a domestic spice worldwide, but oil of clove also has extensive healing qualities. The health benefits of clove oil can be attributed to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating properties.

Clove bud essential oil contains phenol eugenol, a power anti-inflammatory agent that is strongly anesthetic.  Eugenol inhibits prostaglandin E (PGE) synthesis, which creates pain.1 This action has made clove oil popular for pain relief from tooth aches, mouth ulcers and sore gums.

Gargles made from diluted clove oil help in easing the throat.  The characteristic smell of clove oil also helps remove bad breath .  As a result, clove oil is added to numerous dental products and medications including mouth washes and tooth pastes.  Dentists mix clove oil with zinc oxide and prepare a temporary white filling material for a root canal. 1

Clove is also a great antiseptic against bacterial and viral infections, wounds, cuts, burns, fungal infections, athlete’s foot, etc.  Use the oil in diluted form for these problems but avoid using it on sensitive skin.

Clove oil can be used as an inhalant for various respiratory problems such as cold, cough, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis.  We have all suffered anxiety from knowing we are breathing the recycled air in an airplane filled with all sorts of pathogens from coughing, sniffling passengers.  I have taught people for years to put a few drops of clove oil on the wrist or a hankie and sniff it intermittently when flying.

Clove oil can even help headache pain.  When mixed with salt and applied to the forehead, clove oil provides a cooling effect that relieves headache pain.  If you suffer from insomnia, put two or three drops on your “third eye” (the middle of your forehead) before bed. 2


  1. Lawless, J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. England, Element Books, Limited, 1995, p. 223.
  2. Buckle, RGN, Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing. San Diego, CA, Singular Publishing Group, 1997, p. 58.

[ Ed. Note: Candace Booth has a natural health practice in Tavares, Florida where she offers consultations in nutrition and overcoming disease symptoms with natural healing remedies.  Her new book, HOW MUCH FAT ARE YOU CARRYING? The Ultimate Fat Loss Guide for People Who are Sick of Diets is available at]

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