Clove Essential Oil

Clove is an intensely aromatic, tropical, evergreen tree, which produces a flower bud (clove bud) that has numerous medicinal properties. Clove bud has a shaft and a head and has the Latin name clavus, meaning nail. Clove was extensively used in ancient Indian and Chinese civilizations and it spread to other parts of the world, including Europe, during the seventh and eighth centuries. For centuries, dried cloves have been chewed to release their essential oil, which has a strong numbing effect on toothache and is still used as an antiseptic pain-relieving remedy in dentistry.

Summary of Uses of Clove Essential Oil

The health benefits of clove oil can be attributed to its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, analgesic, aphrodisiac and stimulating properties. The oil is used for treating a variety of health disorders including toothaches, indigestion, cough, respiratory ailments, headache, nausea, stress, muscular disorders and blood impurities. Clove oil is good for preventing disease and infection but the most common use of the oil is in dental care. Several toothpastes, mouth wash and oral care medications contain clove oil as an important ingredient. Clove oil is also used as a disinfectant and for the sterilization of surgical instruments.

Clove is rich in minerals such as calcium, hydrochloric acid, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin A and vitamin C. Clove is also listed as the food with the highest antioxidant content.

Uses and Health benefits of Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil can be used in massage (mixed with a carrier oil), aroma lamp, diffuser, inhaler or mist spray.

Special Blends

Add these essential oils to 20ml (4 tsp) carrier oil.
  1. To improve blood flow to aching muscles
    2 drops Clove Bud
    2 drops Cinnamon
    6 drops Orange or Mandarin
  2. To boost the immune system
    2 drops Clove Bud
    4 drops Cardamom
    4 drops Bergamot
Easing the mind
Healing the body
Other uses and health benefits of clove oil include the following:
Due to its antiseptic properties, clove oil is useful for wound, cuts, scabies, athlete's foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, scabies, and other types of injuries. It can also be used for treating insect bites and stings.
Dental Care:
The most prominent use of clove oil is in dental care. The germicidal properties of the oil make it very effective for relieving dental pain, tooth ache, sore gums and mouth ulcers. Gargling with diluted clove oil helps in easing throat pain and irritation. The characteristic smell of clove oil also helps to eliminate bad breath. Clove is also effective against cavities, and traditionally, in India, clove oil was added to a small cotton ball and put at the end of the tooth which has the cavity every day before going to sleep. The cavity would vanish in a few days. As a result, clove oil is added to numerous dental products and medications, including mouthwash and tooth paste. But be careful, clove oil is very strong and can cause burns inside your mouth if used incorrectly. In extremely diluted form, it can be applied to a baby's gums, and can ease their pain and reduce their discomfort during teething.
Skin Care:
Clove oil is often recommended for skin care, especially for acne patients. The effects are best achieved when the oil is used in liquid form and spread on a clean, dry rag. You will find clove oil in many products for lessening the effects of aging, like wrinkles, sagging skin, and facial rejuvenation for the eyes because of its rejuvenating and stimulating properties, which can increase blood flow to unhealthy skin and make it look young again!
Immune System:
Both clove and clove oil are useful for boosting the immune system. Its antiviral properties and ability to purify blood increases resistance to a multitude of diseases, because the antioxidants in clove essential oil scavenge the body of dangerous free radicals that cause a multitude of diseases like heart disease.
Clove oil is aphrodisiac in nature and therefore serves as an excellent stress reliever. It has a stimulating effect on the mind and removes mental exhaustion and fatigue. When ingested or breathed in appropriate amounts, it refreshes the mind, improves mental clarity and stimulates brain function. Clove oil also induces sleep and is helpful to patients suffering from insomnia. It is also useful for treating neural disorders such as memory loss, depression and anxiety.
Clove oil, when mixed with salt and applied on the forehead, gives a cooling effect and helps in getting relief from headaches. Clove oil has many flavonoids within it, which are anti-inflammatory agents. When topically applied to the temples or neck, that anti-inflammatory quality will ease the inflammation or tension that so often brings about headaches. For the same reason, clove oil is used as a pain reliever on other parts of the body, like joints and overworked muscles, to provide some relief from painful inflammation or swelling.
Respiratory Problems:
Clove oil has a cooling and anti-inflammatory effect. Its vapors open sinus and breathing passages. This expectorant is a useful treatment for various respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and tuberculosis. Chewing a clove bud is traditionally recommended to soothe sore throats.
Ear Ache:
A mixture of warm clove oil and sesame oil is a good remedy for earaches. The clove flower is the source of that beneficial additive of this already powerful essential oil.
Clove oil has traditionally been effective for the treatment of stomach-related problems such as hiccups, indigestion, motion sickness, and flatulence. This is due to the potent effects of eugenol, one of the main functional parts of clove essential oil.
Clove oil is helpful in reducing nausea and vomiting and is often used for pregnancy-related morning sickness and discomfort. Using it occasionally in aromatherapy or topically applying it to pillows at night for long-term inhalation can result in these positive effects.
Blood Circulation:
Clove oil increases your body's metabolism by increasing blood circulation and reducing body temperature. An increase in blood circulation typically means a reduction in tension of the blood vessels, a problem commonly associated with tension headaches. Furthermore, increased circulation adds to the oxygenation of the blood and organ systems, which increases metabolism and raises organ efficiency. Finally, in terms of diabetes, increased blood flow can help prevent some of the most dangerous side effects of that terrible disease that can lead to major complications, amputations, and even death. Eugenol is the active ingredient in clove essential oil that causes this stimulation of blood circulation.
Blood Purification:
Clove oil also helps in purifying the blood; studies have shown that the aroma extracts can actually reduce toxicity in the blood and stimulate antioxidant activity throughout the body, thereby boosting the immune system as well as purifying platelets.
Along with blood purification, clove oil helps control the level of blood sugar, making it very useful to patients suffering from diabetes. Studies have shown that the postprandial insulin and glucose response mechanisms are more regulated when clove oil is acting on the body's systems. This is primarily due to the phenol concentration found in clove oil, which is one of the highest in terms of spice plants of its general type.
Insect Repellent:
Clove oil is commonly used as a component in bug repellent and insect-repelling candles because the vapor is very potent for the olfactory senses of many insects. Traditionally, a few drops of clove oil were placed on the bedsheets at night to keep bugs away. Clove oil is said to work for 2 hours to repel mosquitos.
Cosmetics, Soaps and Perfumes:
Clove oil is often added in cosmetic creams and lotions, and it is commonly known as a good massage oil that provides relief from pain and stress. Due to its powerful aroma, soothing effect and antiseptic properties, clove oil is often added when making soap and can often be found as an active ingredient. Clove oil is also used in making perfumes because of its powerful and unique aroma.
Flavoring Agent:
Along with trying to benefit from cloves' digestive properties, the essential oil is also added to food items due to its rich flavor. It is added in a multitude of Indian dishes, pickles, sauces, spice cakes, and many other cultural foods.
Clove oil blends well with many essential oils including basil, rosemary, rose, cinnamon, grapefruit, lemon, nutmeg, peppermint, orange, lavender and geranium. This makes clove oil a popular element in aromatherapy. The oil from clove bud is the only clove oil suitable for use in aromatherapy, since it is less irritating than the leaf and stem oils.


  1. One should be careful while using clove oil, because it is very strong even in small quantities and must be diluted before application or ingestion.
  2. Clove Oil should not be used by people with unusually sensitive skin.
  3. Since eugenol (a main part of clove essential oil) is not very common, some people discover violent allergies when taking too much at once. Use small amounts of any essential oil if you have never used it before.
  4. Furthermore, preliminary risks of clove oil include some intestinal discomfort, which is most common in children, and in the most serious cases, has even been connected to kidney and liver failure.
  5. Clove oil can cause blood sugar to drop, so diabetics should be cautious.
  6. Pregnant women and those who are nursing should not use clove oil, as it is not clear whether this strong compound passes to the infant in the breast milk.
  7. As with any nutritional supplement, it is best to consult a doctor before administering or adding to your daily or weekly regimen.


  1. The Essential Oils Handbook, Jennie Harding, Watkins Publishing, London, 2008.
  3. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia, A Concise Guide to Over 395 Plant Oils, 2nd Ed, Carol Schiller & David Schiller, Basic Health Publications Inc, Languna Beach CA, 2012.
  4. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood, New World Library, San Rafael, CA, 1991.