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Clove oil is extracted from the dry flower buds of the clove plant, Syzygium Aromaticum. This plant is mainly found in Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Eastern Africa.

Clove plant is evergreen, and it grows approximately twenty-six to thirty-nine feet tall. The leaves are square in shape and are a colorful shade of pink grow in clusters. The flowers are harvested when they are less than an inch in size and bright red in colour. They are then dried in the sun until a dark brown colour with a rigid texture is achieved.

Three types of oil are obtained from the clove plant. Bud oil comes from the flower buds, leaf oil from the leaves and stem oil from the twigs. 

Clove is one of the oldest spices and the oil they produce is used as a natural treatment for a variety of ailments. The colour of the clove oil ranges from pale yellow to golden brown. It is readily available at local stores it can be easily found in the medicine cabinets of people who prefer a natural approach to treating their everyday problems. It has significant medicinal properties and is typically used for pain relief. It has a spicy aroma, like that of cloves. Hence, clove oil is commonly used as a fragrance and flavouring agent in various recipes.

Some basic facts about cloves and clove oil:

  • Scientific Name of clove: Eugenia caryophyllata L.
  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • Common name: Laung ka tel in Hindi
  • Sanskrit Name: लवङ्ग-तैल, LavaGga-talia
  • Origin: Clove oil is a native of Indonesia and the Malacca Islands.
  1. Nutrition facts of ground cloves
  2. Clove oil health benefits
  3. Clove oil side effects
  4. Takeaway

The nutritional value of cloves per 100 g according to the USDA Nutrient Database is as follows:

Nutrients Value per 100g
Water 9.87 g
Energy 274kcal
Fats 13.00g
Carbohydrate 65..53 g
Fibre 33.9 g
Sugars 2.38 g

 

Minerals Value per 100 g
Calcium 632mg
Iron 11.83mg
Zinc 2.32mg
Magnesium 259 mg
Phosphorus 104 mg
Potassium 1020 mg
Sodium 277 mg

 

Vitamins Value per 100 g
Vitamin A 8 µg
Vitamin B 1 0.158 mg
Vitamin B 2 0.220 mg
Vitamin B 3 1.560 mg
Vitamin C 0.2 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.391 mg
Vitamin E 8.82mg
Vitamin K 141.8 µg

 

Fats/ Fatty acids Value per 100 g
Saturated 3.952 g
Monounsaturated 1.393 g
Polyunsaturated 3.606 g

*According to a fact sheet published by CBI, department of foreign affairs, Garmany, 100g of cloves may contain about 14ml of volatile oils.

Clove oil for dental health

The most prominent and significant benefit of clove oil is dental care. Clove oil is added to several dental products like toothpaste and mouthwashes due to its considerable germicidal characteristics and the presence of a compound called eugenol. Eugenol has been known to exhibit irritant action as well as analgesic effect. It helps fend off dental discomfort, mouth ulcers, toothache, and sore or bleeding gums.  The strong and potent smell of clove removes bad breath and even soothes throat pain.

Clove oil also possesses antiseptic and antimicrobial activity against oral bacteria like S. aureus, E. coli, and C. albicans. This helps keep dental caries and periodontal disease at bay. Using clove oil for dental troubles is as simple as diluting a few drops of the oil into a cup of warm water for gargling.

Clove oil for skin

Most of the commercially available skin care creams and lotions consist of harsh chemicals which may have various side effects. However,  clove could be used as a natural alternative to such skin care products. Clove oil contains a compound known as eugenol which is especially known for its antibacterial properties. It is effective in the treatment for acne, reducing swelling as well as killing the infectious bacteria at the same time. It can clear cystic acne as well.

Mixing a few drops of clove oil in your daily skin cream can aid you in getting a clear and smooth looking skin. Clove oil can also prevent the early signs of ageing skin including wrinkles and sagging skin. It even helps get rid of blemishes and scars when applied directly on the skin in appropriate proportions. Also, It works as a mild chemical peel, which helps in exfoliating dead skin. As a stimulant, clove oil increases the blood flow in the skin tissue. Together, these properties can help in reviving the youthfulness of the skin.

Due to its antiseptic property and soothing effects, it is used as a massage oil and in soaps.

Clove oil as a repellent

Clove oil works as a great bug or insect repellent. In fact, It is a common constituent of many insect repellents. Conventionally, a few drops of clove oil were scattered around the room and sleeping area to keep the mosquitoes away  So, you can use clove leaves or oil and save money on buying bug sprays. Cloves can even be planted around yards to decrease the number of bugs. Furthermore, clove oil-based creams can be directly applied to the body to keep insects and bugs at bay. Bug and insect repellent candles also consist of this oil. 

Clove oil for hair

Applying small quantities of clove oil on the scalp helps reduce the rate of hair fall and promotes hair growth. This oil can also aid in covering the bald spots and makes your hair long and lustrous.

It boosts the blood circulation in the scalp, stopping unnecessary hair fall and consequently accelerating hair growth post one week of application. When a drop of clove oil is mixed with olive oil, it works wonders as a conditioner. It strengthens the hair straight from the roots to the tips.

Clove oil for nose and ear

Traditionally, clove oil is used for the treatment of respiratory ailments like cold, cough and sore throat. It has a cooling and anti-inflammatory action which helps clear the nasal canal and gives you relief from respiratory troubles such as, sinusitis and asthma.

Studies suggest that the antibacterial properties of clove oil are very helpful in reducing the risk of common respiratory infections. Clove oil has also been found to be an effective cure for nasty earaches and middle ear inflammatory diseases like otitis media.

According to an in vivo study, carvacrol, one of the active components of clove oil can inhibit the growth of Pneumococci and H. influenzae which are the causative agents of otitis media.

A mixture of warm clove oil and sesame oil is a good remedy for earaches as it has a numbing effect on the pain. 

Clove oil for stomach

Clove oil is one of the oldest remedies for fighting indigestion and stomach related issues. clove oil also comes handy for treating hiccups and motion sickness. Traditionally, it has been used in the treatment of stomach problems such as diarrhoea, bloating, flatulence and indigestion. If a few drops of oil are rubbed on the stomach area, it can help decrease gas and eliminate the toxins from the body.

A research documents that the essential oil of clove and eugenol possess antiulcer properties and have the ability to stimulate the synthesis of mucus which is an essential gastroprotective factor.

(Read more: Stomach ulcer treatment)

Clove oil for diabetes

Diabetes tends to disturb the glucose metabolism in the body by harming the insulin-producing cells. Lack of insulin is in turn responsible for hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels). Clove oil helps in maintaining insulin levels in the body. Studies suggest that post-meal insulin is likely to be more regular when clove oil is consumed. Eugenol is the major compound present in clove oil.  In an animal-based study, eugenol has been found to reduce diabetic complications by mediating an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory function. So, clove oil may have an important place in anti-diabetes therapies.

(Read more: Diabetes treatment)

Clove oil for nausea

Clove is very effective in controlling nausea and is commonly used to diminish the effects of morning sickness and discomfort faced by pregnant women. Studies suggest that clove oil has various bioactive components which can help in improving digestion and soothing nerves. It can also reduce the feeling of dizziness, which is one of the causes of nausea.

Clove oil can also be used an inhalant to get rid of nausea.

Clove oil for infections

Clove oil is blessed with an abundance of antiseptic properties. It can be used to treat cuts, wounds, fungal infections, prickly heat, athlete’s foot, and insect or bug bites. However, the direct application of clove oil may be harmful. If the wound is fresh and sore, it is suggested to dilute the oil by adding it with proportions of almond or coconut oil. These carrier oils can help prevent your skin from burns that can be caused by the direct application of clove oil.

Clove oil for cancer

Cancer is a ghastly disease which has been affecting numerous lives all over the world. The only cure for advanced stage cancer is chemotherapy which tends to leave endless side effects in its wake. Of late, there has been a growing resistance to anticancer drugs which have led to a shift in the focus towards natural products.

Clove oil is one such natural product which is believed to have anticarcinogenic properties. Eugenol is an essential oil found in the bud and leaves of Syzygium aromaticum (L.). Studies suggest eugenol inhibits cell proliferation and is especially seen to be effective against breast cancer lines. 

According to the National Cancer Institute, NIH, free radicals and oxidative stress could contribute to cancer by increasing DNA damage. Studies suggest that eugenol reacts with these reactive oxygen species (ROS) and arrests the free radical damage thus reducing the risk of cancer.

  • Clove oil, when consumed internally may lower blood glucose levels. Individuals prone to hypoglycemia  (low blood sugar), should be cautious when taking clove oil. In addition, people taking medications such as metformin or insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels in the body may need to monitor their blood glucose more intently when taking clove oil.
  • Clove oil may increase the risk of abnormal bleeding. People suffering from bleeding disorders such as haemophilia or people taking drugs or herbs that have blood-thinning effects should be careful when consuming clove oil. It is even suggested to avoid consuming clove oil several days before surgery or a dental procedure. 
  • Consumption of undiluted clove oil has been found to cause toxic effects. The side effects of such oil include nausea, sore throat, vomiting, sedation, difficulty in breathing, fluid in the lungs and seizures. Consuming unusual proportions of undiluted clove oil can also lead to blood disorders, kidney failures, and liver damages. Individuals suffering from kidney and liver disorders or people who have had seizures should not consume clove oil. These effects can be more severe in young children. Children, as well as pregnant or nurturing women, are suggested to avoid the use of clove oil. 
  •  Although clove oil allergies are not very common, it has been reported in some people. Symptoms of clove allergy include rashes, itchiness, and shortness of breath. Allergic reaction to clove oil should be taken seriously as it is considered a medical emergency which can lead to anaphylaxis.
  • Excess use of clove oil can take a toll on your skin and make it super sensitive. Undiluted clove oil, when applied directly on the skin, can result in irritation, rashes, burns or contact dermatitis. It can even damage the skin cells completely.

Clove oil is used widely in Chinese and Indian medicine. It has become more famous in Western medicine as well, as people tend to look for more natural ways to treat medical conditions.

Clove oil is a very potent oil and should be used with care. Like any other medicament, it is advised to seek medical consultation before using clove oil as a medication. When using the oil internally, it is important to remember that the usage should be in a limited manner. In conclusion, clove oil is strongly beneficial for health if the minimal precautions are taken.


Medicines / Products that contain Clove oil

References

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  10. Oboh G et al. Essential Oil from Clove Bud (Eugenia aromatica Kuntze) Inhibit Key Enzymes Relevant to the Management of Type-2 Diabetes and Some Pro-oxidant Induced Lipid Peroxidation in Rats Pancreas in vitro. J Oleo Sci. 2015;64(7):775-82. PMID: 25994557
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