Clove Essential Oil

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, native to the Maluku is lands in Indonesia, commonly employed as spice. Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the largest producer, Pemba Island, just off the coast of Tanzania.

The clove tree is an evergreen growing to 8–12 m tall, having large leaves and sanguine flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds are begin a pale hue before gradually become green, then transitioning to a bright red and are ready for collection. Cloves are harvested when 1.5–2 cm long, and consist of a long calyx, terminating in four spreading sepals and four unopened petals forming a small central ball.

Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and the Near and Middle East, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as compliment to fruit such as apples, pears, or rhubarb.

The spice is used in a type of cigarette called kretek in Indonesia. Kretek have been smoked throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. In 2009, clove cigarettes (as well as fruit and candy flavored cigarettes) were outlawed in the US. Cigarettes containing clove are now classified as cigars when sold in the US.

Benefit & Uses: Cloves are used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine and western herbalist and dentistry where the essential oil is used as an anodyne (painkiller) for dental emergencies. Cloves are used as a carminative, to increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach and to improve peristalsis. Cloves are also said to be a natural anthelimintic. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy when stimulation and warming are needed, especially for digestive problems. Topical application over the stomach or abdomen are said to warm the digestive tract. Applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, it also relieves toothache.

In Chinese medicine cloves are considered acrid, warm and aromatic, entering the kidney, spleen and stomach meridians and are notable in their ability to warm the middle, to treat hiccough and to fortify the kidney yang. Because the herb is so warming it is contraindicated in any persons with fire symptoms and according to classical sources should not be used for anything except cold from yang deficiency. As such it is used in formulas for impotence or clear vaginal discharge from yang deficiency, for morning sickness together with ginseng and patchouli, or for vomiting and diarrhea due to spleen and stomach coldness.

Cloves may be used internally as a tea and topically as oil for hypotonic muscles, including for multiple sclerosis. This is also found in Tibetan medicine. Some recommend avoiding more than occasional use of cloves internally in the presence of pita inflammation such as is found in acute flares of autoimmune diseases.

Clove is used for upset stomach and as an expectorant. Expectorants make it easier to cough up phlegm. Clove oil is used for diarrhea, hernia and bad breath. Clove and clove oil are used for intestinal gas, nausea and vomiting.
Clove is applied directly to the gums (used topically) for toothache, for pain control during dental work, and for a complication of tooth extraction called “dry socket.” It is also applied to the skin as counterirritant for pain and for mouth and throat inflammation. In combination with other ingredients, clove is also applied to the skin as part of a multi-ingredient product used to keep men from reaching orgasm too early.


Clove oil can be used for acne, burns and cuts, keeping infection at bay and as a pain reliever. It helps in toothache, mouth sores, rheumatism and arthritis. It is also of use for skin problems-especially for skin sores and leg ulcers and as an insect repellent.


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