There is no denying the scent of a clove. Most of us grew familiar with it from a young age.
It has a strong spicy aroma and has been used for thousands of years by many cultures for its many medicinal qualities and fragrant scent.
This member of the evergreen family has seeped its way into the Western culture from the Eastern regions of the world and is now used not only in dentistry but in many culinary dishes.
The Origins of Clove
Clove has been used in Chinese medicine and culture for over 2000 years. It has begun to gain worldwide fame through its many uses not only in food but in medicine as well. It is also used in agriculture and cosmetics. What a powerful yet versatile plant and essential oil.
The clove plant is a part of the evergreen family. It grows upwards of 36 feet in height or 12 meters; some have been known to be as tall at 50 feet or 15 meters. It is a slender tree with a pyramid-like shape.
Native to Southeast Asia, primarily the Molucca Islands and southern Philippines, the clove tree begins its blooming season during the beginning of the rainy months or season. Long buds will appear on the tree and over time will change color; starting out as pink unopened flowers and turning brown when they are picked and dried.
The tree grows year round and the buds are often harvested twice a year. These buds are either sold whole commercially or made into essential oils.
The clove itself comes from the Latin word clavus which means nail. This pays homage to the look of the clove bud which looked like a nail in ancient times.
The Greeks and Romans used it for toothaches and to combat against bad breath; while the Chinese used it for it many health benefits.
During the Middle Ages cloves became a hot commodity because of its health benefits and antiseptic properties. Cloves were a main ingredient in the Thieves essential oil blend which rose to popularity during the black plague in Europe.
Today clove, whole, ground or essential oil, is used around the world. It is used not only as a spice and condiment but to help with many body ailments that plague many people today.
Health Benefits of Clove
Clove has a variety of health benefits. Having been used for thousands of years and rising to great popularity in Western cultures during the Black Plague in the Middle Ages clove has grown a highly respectable reputation when it comes to healing and warding off disease.
Clove essential oil was one of the main ingredients in the blend or tonic 4 Thieves. Thieves was used during the Middle Ages of the Black Plague and helped to protect people from contacting the dreaded plague.
It has strong antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties which are supportive and help protect and keep the body healthy. It also has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties which aid healing of sores, wounds or injuries to the body.
Its powerful and strong spicy scent helps with mental stimulation; helping to create mental awareness and alertness driving away mental fog and fatigue.
Clove also has potent anti-oxidant properties; helping to flush the body of unwanted toxins. Humans have long appreciated clove’s ability to heal, as it possesses some of the most powerful anti-oxidants in the natural world.
Clove helps to warm the body though can irritate the skin so care should be used when applying or ingesting it. It also helps to reduce gas and bloating in the body.
It has also been known to help with colds and flus, depression, headaches, digestive problems, skin problems such as acne and athlete’s foot and nausea.
There are more broad health uses of clove as well. It has been used for a long time with many applications. This is why clove essential oil and whole cloves or clove powder are commonly kept in households. It’s great to keep in your home for external use and culinary adventures.
25 Uses for Clove Essential Oil
As stated above clove essential oil has many health benefits. It’s a great essential oil to have in your home kit at all times as it supports a wide variety of body ailments and general maladies.
Analgesic: Clove has strong pain reducing properties that make it great for relieving pain associated with an injury for a wound.
Anesthetic: Clove has a strong numbing agent in it that make it great for helping to numb the pain associated with an injury or a wound. It is also great in helping to relieve sore muscles.
Antibacterial: Clove is a great bacteria killer. It is known to help kill more than 60 known strains of bacteria. This makes it great for ridding the body, both inside and out, of unwanted bacteria that may be causing harm.
Antifungal: Clove it known to help kill many fungal infections in the body. It helps to kill off Candida as well as athlete’s foot.
Anti-inflammatory: Clove has anti-neuralgic properties which help to decrease and relieve nerve pain that is often associated with inflammation; by doing so it also helps to begin to relieve the inflammation of said affected area which in turn allows for the healing process of the affected area to begin.
Related: 22 EOs for Inflammation
Anti-oxidant: Clove is the highest anti-oxidant there is on the planet. This make is great for helping to get rid of unwanted toxins within the body and quickly as well. This in turn helps to boost the body’s own immune system allow it to heal more quickly when being plagued by unwanted infections or ailments.
Antiseptic: Known for its strong antiseptic properties clove helps to clean wounds and prevent infections from taking hold. This is important for skin sores as well as for internal problems, but should be noted at the clove essential oil should not be taken orally as it could irritate or burn.
Antiviral: Just like its antibacterial properties it is a viral killer as well helping to rid the body of unwanted viruses that may be plaguing it.
Aphrodisiac: It is said that clove has aphrodisiac properties that make it great for boosting the libido in many people. It also helps in preventing premature ejaculation which can cause many problems in the bedroom and also lowers a man’s libido. When combined with nutmeg the scent can be very intoxicating. Try it in a diffuser or a massage oil to excite your sex life.
Circulatory System: due to its stimulant properties as well as its blood purification properties clove is great for the circulatory system. It helps to regulate the blood sugar levels in the body which can be very beneficial for those suffering from diabetes. It also helps to stimulate the flow and circulation of blood within the body helping to speed up recovery time, healing time and ridding the body of unwanted toxins; this also helps to speed up the metabolism as well.
Colds and Flus: Clove essential oil is an important part of helping to fight colds and flus. It not only helps to get rid of the infection in the body due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties but it also helps to expel mucus and phlegm that may be stuck in the body. Not to mention it also helps in preventing said infection or other infections for that matter from taking hold in the body.
Related: 5 EO Remedies for Coughs
Depression and Anxiety: Clove helps to relieve and alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety by helping to reduce stress and stimulate the mind and body creating a more positive and uplifting feeling in a person.
Diabetes Help: Clove not only helps to purify the blood which is important when it comes to diabetes it also helps to control blood sugar level. This controlling of blood sugar levels in the blood is important for those suffering from diabetes because it means less insulin injections and complications with blood sugar levels. It is said that clove can imitate insulin thus helping to control the blood sugar levels.
Digestive System: There are so many ways in which clove helps with digestion. It helps to rid the digestive system of unwanted infections that may be caused by bacteria, fungus or a virus. It also helps to flush unwanted toxins out of the system thus helping the digestive tract to run more smoothly. It also helps to reduce flatulence and bloating that may be caused by excessive gas build-up. Clove has also been known to help with nausea, acid reflux and IBS symptoms.
Ear Care: Clove can help with earaches. By simply warming some clove oil with some sesame oil and applying it to the ear it can help to reduce pain and inflammation that is associated with earaches.
Eye Care: Ever have a sty infection of the eye? Well clove can help with that. Clove has also been known to help slow down macular degeneration of the eye as well as helping to aid the elderly with their vision as it deteriorates as they age.
Headaches: Headaches can be a great pain and even prevent many people from functioning properly throughout the day because the pain and inflammation in and on the brain is so bad. Clove can help to reduce the pain and the inflammation commonly associated with headaches as well as helping to reduce tension that may be caused by stress while still stimulating the brain to function more clearly.
Related: 7 EOs for Headaches & Migraines
Household Products: Clove is used in many household products, from toothpaste to mouthwash and from soap to perfume to cosmetics, the list of products that clove is used in is endless. Its many health benefits make it great for putting into many of the household products you use daily.
Immune System: Clove is great for helping to boost the immune system. Not only does it stimulate the body, but it also helps to detoxify the body which all in turn helps to boost the immune system because there is now nothing standing in its way of being healthy and strong.
Oral Care: Clove is very important in dental or oral care. It helps the mouth stay clean and helps in reducing pain and inflammation that may be present due to sores in the mouth such as cold sores, canker sores or toothaches. Many dentists, even today, use cloves to pack into “dry sockets” after a tooth has been removed and is not healing properly. This helps to reduce the pain and inflammation in the dry socket as well as bring needed antiseptic and antibacterial properties to the area to clean and promote healing.
Related: Healthy Gums with Essential Oils
Pest Control: Clove is a powerful pest deterrent as well as killer. When clove essential oil is highly diluted it helps to greatly deter pests, however, if it is minimally diluted it can help to kills same said pests.
Respiratory System: Clove is great for helping with respiratory issues such as colds and flus; it has also been known to help with chronic bronchitis and even asthma. It has a cooling effect that when paired with its anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties helps to relieve many respiratory problems. It also has expectorant properties which is important in ridding the lungs and sinuses of built up mucus and phlegm.
Skin Care: Clove is used in many skin care products, from face washes to toners. It is also very helpful in preventing acne and blemishes. It also helps to reduce the signs of aging and wrinkles while helping to brighten and rejuvenate the face.
Related: 7 EOs for Cellulite
Stimulant: Clove helps to awaken the body and mind helping to stimulate clear thinking while reducing mental fatigue and fogginess.
Stress Aide: Clove, being a natural aphrodisiac, actually helps to reduce stress levels in the body. It does this my stimulating the mind and the body thus helping to reduce mental fatigue and fogginess. This also helps to relax the mind and the body at the same time because it is more awake and aware and less worried. Simply inhaling clove can help to even reduce irritability.
Clove Essential Oil Recipes
Due to clove having so many health benefits there are a lot of recipes out there to help with multiple ailments. Have some fun experimenting and trying your own recipes out and don’t forget to try using ground clove or whole dried cloves in your culinary adventures.
Clove Essential Oil for Toothaches
- 2-5 drops clove EO
- Cotton swab
- Apply 2-5 drops of clove essential oil to a cotton swab.
- Apply to the affected area for a few seconds or until the pain starts to subside.
- Apply as needed.
Clove Essential Oil Acne Treatment
- First cleanse your face with the rosewater by apply some onto a cotton swab and wiping all over your face.
- Next in a glass bottle combine the glycerin and clove EO together.
- Mix well.
- Apply 4-5 drops of the mixture to a cotton swab and apply all over your face.
- Note that it may sting a little at first but the sensation will go away and the clove EO will go to work cleaning your face and getting rid of the acne.
- Do this twice a day.
Clove Essential Oil Night Cream
- 2-5 drops clove EO
- 10grams natural cream or you can use beeswax or olive oil
- Combine together in a glass jar the above ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Apply to your face and any other parts of your body you need.
- Allow to soak in and let the powerful anti-oxidant, anti-aging and powerful other properties work their magic.
Clove Essential Oil Skin Healer
- In a glass jar combine the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Apply to affected area(s) of your body such as a bruise, wound or fungus such as athlete’s foot.
- Apply as needed.
Sore Throat Blend
- Combine all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Cover your head with a towel and place your head over the bowl of water.
- Inhale deeply for at least 5 minutes.
- Do this as many times as needed throughout the day until your sore throat begins to subside.
Clove Essential Oil and Oral Care
- Combine the above ingredients together in a glass.
- Put into the mouth and swish around for at least 20 minutes.
- Spit out and then brush your teeth.
- This will help with oral thrush, cold sores, canker sores, toothaches and any other oral health care problems.
Natural Bug Spray Repellant
- Combine all of the above ingredients together in a glass spray bottle.
- Mix well.
- Spray around your yard and in your home to help prevent bugs from bothering you.
- Spray and use and needed.
Additional Clove Essential Oil Uses and Applications
Since there are so many health benefits when it comes to clove essential oil. Here are a few other ideas you may want to try.
- Try inhaling clove EO to relieve a headache.
- Apply some clove EO to cotton balls or in ping pong balls and place in your closet to use instead of moth balls.
- To help kill mold in the home add some clove EO to your homemade cleaner.
- To prevent cats from peeing on your home or in your yard combine clove and garlic EO together and spray around the home.
- Massage a couple drops of clove EO into your stomach to help prevent cramping and digestive discomfort.
- Place a couple of drops of clove EO in some hot water and inhale to help remove mucus and phlegm from the lungs and sinuses.
- Massage a couple drops into your chest or throat to help relieve congestion or a sore throat.
- To help relieve pain massage a couple of drops of clove EO diluted in a carrier oil onto the affected area.
- Try drinking some clove tea to help with digestive issues and nausea.
- Try your hand in the kitchen whip up a culinary masterpiece using ground clove or whole clove.
Side Effects and Cautions of Clove Essential Oil
When it comes to clove essential oil a few cautions and side effects should most definitely be noted.
Clove essential oil should never be taken orally because it is highly concentrated and can cause internal problems. However, if properly diluted and under the supervision of a trained professional oral consumption can be an option.
Clove essential oil is a “hot” oil meaning it can easily burn or irritate the skin. It is important to dilute the oil prior to use. It is also important to test it on a small patch of skin before full use on an affected area.
Those with allergies should use caution as clove essential oil can cause allergic reactions to take place. Even the smell of it can cause allergic reactions.
Caution should also be used around children, women who are breast-feeding, women who are pregnant or about to become pregnant. All of these people are highly sensitive and could react poorly to the oil.
Caution should always be used around pets as well as their immune systems are not always able to breakdown and process essential oils.
Purchasing Clove Essential Oil
What to look for what purchasing your clove essential oil? This is a very good question. First of all you want to ensure you are purchasing your essential oil from a reputable company that harvests and cares for their plants properly. You want to ensure thet when they do harvest it is at the right time of the year and that they use steam distillation to extract the essential oil from the clove plant.
You want to read the ingredients of the oil you are purchasing to ensure it is true or absolute clove essential oil and not diluted.
Since there are three different types of clove essential oil you want to ensure you are purchasing the correct essential oil for your needs and use.
Note that each year the color and scent of the essential oils will differ slightly this is because the plant is changed by the seasons and the environment it is grown in. This means that temperature and moisture can greatly affect each harvest, but this does not mean that the health benefits will not be present because they always will be.
How to Make Clove Essential Oil
You can most certainly make clove essential oil at home. It can be a lengthy process but it can be done.
Clove essential oil is done through the process of steam distillation. The clove buds, stems and leaves are dried in the sun after harvest and then go into the steam distiller. Each part of the clove plant is made into a different oil for different uses.
There are three types of clove essential oil. First there is the clove bud oil, known as Eugenia carophyllata, which is most popular for aromatherapy use. This type of essential oil is made from the buds of the clove plant. Second there is the clove leaf oil. This type of essential oil is derived from the leaves of the clove tree. Third there is the clove stem oil. This type of essential oil is made from the twigs or stems of the clove tree.
It should be noted that essential oils produced from the leaves and stems of the clove plant can be very strong in their chemical makeup. This is important to note because this strong chemical makeup can cause severe skin irritations and other problems which make it unfit for aromatherapy use.
It should also be noted that the longer the clove is steamed the stronger the oil will become.
Hopefully this post has been helpful for you. If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own concerning clove please let us know below in the comments.
Table of Contents
- The Origins of Clove
- Health Benefits of Clove
- 25 Uses for Clove Essential Oil
- Clove Essential Oil Recipes
- Additional Clove Essential Oil Uses and Applications
- Side Effects and Cautions of Clove Essential Oil
- Purchasing Clove Essential Oil
- How to Make Clove Essential Oil