Clove is an aromatic flower bud from the clove tree, scientific name Syzygium aromaticum, from the Myrtaceae family. Clove oil is the oil extracted from the clove and it mainly contains eugenol, a chemical compound found in cloves (1). Since 19th-century, eugenol has been used in dentistry for several remedies and most importantly for toothache.
Although clove oil is mainly known for its dental care benefits, yet the benefits are not confined to it. Clove oil is useful in several ways and does just wonders with its benefits.
Clove oil is mainly peppery, pungent, and piquant as well as aromatic by nature. It is a very easy and simple process to make clove oil and it can last for a long duration once prepared.
How To Make Clove Oil?
Clove oil is made by following multiple steps and they are as follows (2):
Saute or toast nearly half a tablespoon of cloves in a pan over medium flame. This will give nearly half a cup of infused oil. This process of roasting helps the volatile oils to mobilize and makes it easier to extract it.
Wash, sterilize and air dry a mortar, pestle, and funnel and a bottle where the oil will be stored. To sterilize, take the bottle, funnel, mortar, and pestle and boil them for 10 minutes in a pot of water. Now, take the items out from the pot and invert them over a dry paper towel to remove the excess water and allow them to dry.
Rinse the cloves properly under cool water and pat dry over a paper towel. Put the cloves in a warm boiled but dry mortar pestle.
Lightly tap the cloves with the pestle so as to crack them purposefully. Add those cracked cloves in a container, followed by high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, using a funnel.
Finally, tighten the cap of the bottle and store it in a cool, dry place especially out of direct sunlight. Shake the bottle every couple of days to ensure proper infusion.
Infuse the oil with the cloves for two weeks, and then taste it. If you need a stronger flavor, then let those cloves steep for few more weeks. If the flavor reaches a point which you need, go ahead and strain it via sieve lined up with cheesecloth.
Finally, store the oil in a sterilized airtight bottle or container and keep it in the refrigerator. Infused clove oil can easily be used for a month.
What are the Benefits of Clove Oil?
Clove oil has several benefits which include:
Benefits of Clove Oil for Tooth Problems:
One of the very first and most important benefits of clove oil is for relieving toothache and all sorts of tooth and gum problems (1, 3).
Antiseptic Properties of Clove Oil:
Clove oil has antiseptic properties and hence it is used over cuts, wounds, and bruises (4, 5). Several types of insect bites, scabies, prickly heat, athlete’s foot, and other fungal infections can also be treated by a diluted form of clove oil.
Clove Oil Benefits to Boost Sex Drive:
Clove oil is considered one of the powerful aphrodisiac (6). Adding 2-3 drops of the oil in warm water can help with sex drive enhancement. It can also increase blood circulation in the sexual organs and prevents early ejaculation as well (7).
Benefits of Clove Oil to Boost the Immune System:
Both clove, as well as clove oil, is helpful in boosting up the immune system (4). The oil also has some antiviral properties which can purify the blood and increase the body’s resistance against several diseases (1). Clove oil is capable of all this because it possesses antioxidants which eradicate free radicals. This even helps in preventing many heart and carcinoma diseases.
Improved Blood Circulation Benefits of Clove Oil:
Eugenol is the main component of clove oil which helps in stimulating the blood circulation (8). It helps in oxygenation by making all vital organs equipped with sufficient oxygen. It also helps in increasing the body’s metabolism.
Antioxidant Benefits of Clove Oil:
Eugenol present in clove oil is an extremely powerful antioxidant (1, 8). It has high free radical scavenging capability. So its application to sling by adding in masks can benefit the skin of removing oxidative stress.
Benefits of Clove Oil for Digestion and Preventing Ulcers:
Clove oil has been used traditionally for the treatment of several stomach problems (9); starting from flatulence to indigestion, bloating, and diarrhoea everything can be treated by rubbing a few drops of oil on the belly region. It helps in the elimination of toxins from the digestive system with ease.
According to a study by Santin J.R. et al, Clove oil helps in stimulating mucus synthesis which is an important gastro-protective factor (10). This is the reason behind protection provided by clove oil of digestive tract against ulcers and gastritis.
Benefits of Clove Oil as an Anti-inflammatory Agent:
As per a study by Han X, and Parker T.L., flavonoids present in clove oil possess potent anti-inflammatory properties (11). Hence, clove oil is used as natural oil for treating all kinds of inflammation covering toothaches with inflamed gums, several skin eruptions, or muscle and joint pain, to gut inflammations (8).
Antibacterial and Anti-fungal Benefits of Clove Oil:
Clove oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Clove oil can inhibit the growth of several bacterias, mold, and yeasts (5). According to research by Nunez L and Aquino M.D., the phenolic compounds present in the clove oil can destroy an extensive number of gram-negative as well as gram-positive bacteria (4).
Benefits of Clove Oil for Headache and Nausea:
Clove oil is helpful in reducing symptoms like nausea and vomiting caused by any reasons. Applying 1 to 2 drops of clove oil over the pillow occasionally can help with long term positive effects. Nausea or dizziness because of motion sickness or sea-sickness, etc. can be treated effectively with the help of clove oil as it has potential flavonoids.
The anti-inflammatory action of flavonoids, upon inhaling clove oil, can help in relieving headaches as well.
Clove Oil Can Be Used As a Pain Killer or Reliever
Clove oil helps as a pain reliever (9). A few drops of clove oil application on the joints help overworked muscles and provides relief from swelling and soreness.
Clove Oil is Beneficial in Reducing Stress Levels:
Clove oil has a mild warming effect over the body and it possess a natural spicy fragrance, which refreshes the senses immediately. Topical application or even ingestion of diluted forms of clove oil can help in relieving mental exhaustion and fatigue completely (12). It further relieves the stress and tension of the entire body due to its calming effects.
Respiratory Health Benefits of Clove Oil:
Clove oil has a cooling as well as an anti-inflammatory effect (8). This helps in frequent clearing of the nasal passage with ease upon inhaling. It acts as an expectorant and helps in many respiratory disorders like cold, cough, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
Benefits of Clove Oil for Hair Care:
The warming effect of clove oil increases blood circulation in the scalp which stimulates hair follicles (13). Hence, it promotes hair growth. Adding a few drops of clove oil to a spoonful of coconut oil helps in preventing hair loss and promotes healthy scalp and hair.
Benefits of Clove Oil in Protecting the Liver:
Several studies have revealed that bioactive compounds present in clove oil help in liver health. It even prevents fatty liver disease and helps in reversal of liver cirrhosis (14, 15); although, further in-depth researches are being done to support the data.
Can Clove Oil Be Used For Any Specific Purpose Besides The Health Benefits?
Clove oil has several other benefits apart from the health benefits and they are:
Clove oil can be used as an Insect Repellent: It is used as bug and insect repellent (16) and is added in candles since its vapors are potential in repelling insects (17). It can also be added in the form of few drops over the bedsheet to keep bugs at bay.
Clove is added in a variety of Cosmetics: It is added in creams and lotions to benefit in massage keeping skin infections away (4).
Clove is Also Available in a few Cigarettes: As a traditional method in Indonesia, clove was also added in the cigarettes. It helps in reducing the harmful effects of the cigarettes in the lungs; although, it cannot completely irradiate the harms of smoking being carcinogenic in nature.
Clove is Used As A Typical Flavoring Agent: It is added to several Indian foods, cakes, and pickles along with other spices because of its rich aromatic flavor.
Clove Oil Is Added In Few Soap And Perfumes: Since clove has a peculiar aroma, this makes it suitable as an additive in perfumes and soaps. It also helps in keeping skin infections (4, 5).
Aromatherapy: Clove oil is purposefully added in several therapies as an essential oil due to its rich aroma. It also blends well with several other herbal essential oils like rose, cinnamon, lemon, nutmeg, lavender, and basil, etc.
Clove oil contains a chemical known as eugenol, which is known for its anesthetic and antibacterial properties. Clove oil also possesses anti-inflammatory as well as anti-fungal properties. It can be easily made in the house following the methods shared. It is also readily available in many supermarkets, and drug stores, and also on several online websites. It is known for its warm, strong, and peculiar spicy taste.
Clove oil is good for toothache and even for gums (3). Doctors do recommend applying it with the help of cotton swab since it actively helps in curbing oral bacteria. It is also added in several medicines, and cosmetic products because of its anti-fungal properties.
Several forms of studies are still carried out to understand more of its properties. It must be used to get the several benefits; however, it must be kept in mind to use minimal quantities like a few drops since it is an essential oil with strong aroma and effects.
- Diego Francisco, Cortes-Rojas., et al. (2014, Feb) Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): a precious spice. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 4(2): 90–96. Retrieved from
- Nunez, L., and Aquino, M.D., (2012) Microbicide activity of clove essential oil (Eugenia caryophyllata). Braz J Microbiol. 43(4): 1255–1260. Retrieved from
- Santin, J.R., et al (2011) Gastroprotective activity of essential oil of the Syzygium aromaticum and its major component eugenol in different animal models. Nanny Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 383(2):149-58. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21140134
- Han, X., and Parker, T.L. (2017, Dec) Anti-inflammatory activity of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts. Pharm Biol. 55(1):1619-1622.