Clove is an evergreen tree, which produces a flower bud that has numerous medicinal properties. It is often referred as clove bud. Clove bud has a shaft and a head and hence it has the Latin name clavus meaning nail. Clove was extensively used in the ancient Indian and Chinese civilizations and it spread to other parts of the world, including Europe, during the seventh and eight centuries.
Clove is rich in minerals such as calcium, hydrochloric acid, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin A and vitamin C. The health benefits of clove oil include the following:
* 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. Clove oil contains the compound eugenol, which has been used in dentistry since numerous years. Gargles with diluted clove oil help in easing the throat. The characteristic smell of clove oil helps removing bad breath. As a result, clove oil is added to numerous dental products and medications, including, mouth washes, and tooth pastes. Dentists also mix clove oil with zinc oxide and prepare a white filling material as a temporary alternative to root canal.
* Infections: Due to its antiseptic properties, clove oil is useful for wound, cuts, scabies, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, scabies, etc. It can also be used insect bites and stings. Clove oil is very strong in nature and hence should be used in diluted form. Further, it should not be used on sensitive skin.
* Skin Care: Clove oil is often recommended for skin care, especially to acne patients.
* Stress: Clove oil is aphrodisiac in nature and hence serves as an excellent stress reliever. It has a stimulating effect on the mind and removes mental exhaustion and fatigue. When taken internally, in appropriate amounts, it refreshes the mind. Clove oil also induces sleep and is helpful to insomnia patients. It is useful for treating mental problems such as loss of memory, depression and anxiety.
* Headache: Clove oil when mixed with salt, and applied on the forehead, gives a cooling effect and helps in getting relief from headache.
* Respiratory Problems: Clove oil has a cooling and anti inflammatory effect, and thereby clears the nasal passage. This expectorant is useful in various respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and tuberculosis. Chewing a clove bud eases sore throats.
* Earache: A mixture of warm clove oil and sesame oil is a good remedy for earaches.
* Indigestion: Clove oil is effective in stomach related problems such as hiccups, indigestion, motion sickness, and flatulence. Hence, clove one of the important spices added in Indian dishes.
* Nausea: Clove oil is helpful in case of nausea and vomiting and is often used for pregnancy related vomiting.
* Blood Circulation: Clove oil is increases your body metabolism by increasing blood circulation and reducing body temperature.
* Blood Purification: Clove oil also helps in purifying the blood.
* Diabetes: Along with blood purification, clove oil also helps in controlling the blood sugar levels and hence is useful to diabetics.
* Immune System: Both clove and clove oil are useful for boosting the immune system. Its antiviral properties and ability to purify blood increases your resistance to diseases.
* Premature Ejaculation: Research has indicated that clove can be useful for treating premature ejaculation. Further research needs to be carried out to confirm these results.
* Cholera: It is believed that clove oil is useful for treating cholera.
* Sty: Clove and clove oil is a very effective home remedy for treating sty. Sty is an inflammation on the eyelash and is a very irritating condition. Sty is not only painful, but also causes difficulty in the proper functioning of the eye.
Other benefits of clove oil include the following:
* Cosmetics: Clove oil is often added in cosmetic creams and lotions. It is a good massage oil providing relief from pain and stress.
* Clove Cigarettes: Usage of clove in making cigarettes is a new trend all over the world. Traditionally, clove was added in cigarettes in Indonesia. Smokers (wrongly) feel that the numerous health benefits of clove would nullify the ill effects of smoking. Flavoring Agent: Along with its digestive properties, clove oil is added in food items due to its flavor. It is added in many Indian dishes, pickles, sauce, spice cakes, etc.
* Soaps: Due to the characteristic aroma, soothing effect and antiseptic properties, clove oil is added in making soaps.
* Perfumes: Clove oil is also used in making perfumes.
Many people believe that clove oil is useful in preventing and treating cancer. However, the American Cancer Society clearly mentions that there is no scientific evidence on the curative properties of clove oil. It is also claimed by many that clove oil is useful in treating viral hepatitis.
One should be careful while using clove oil. Clove oil is strong in nature and hence should be diluted before application.
Clove oil blends well with many essential oils including basil essential oil, rosemary essential oil, rose oil, cinnamon essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, lemon essential oil, nutmeg essential oil, peppermint essential oil, orange essential oil, lavender essential oil, geranium essential oil, etc.