Clove: benefits, side effects and drugs


Derived from Syzygium aromaticum , an evergreen tree native to Asia and South America, cloves are a culinary spice. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, clove tones in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

Clove oil is used to kill parasites and repel insects because it contains eugenol, a powerful bactericide, and caryophyllene, which has antimicrobial properties.


What is clove oil used for?

Clove is commonly considered a spice used in cooking, but for centuries it has also been used to treat a variety of health problems. Some of these potential benefits are supported by research.

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As a spice, cloves have important nutritional properties. According to nutritional data , a teaspoon of minced cloves contains 30% of the DV for the mineral manganese, 4% of the DV for vitamin K, 3% of the DV for vitamin C, and traces of calcium, magnesium and vitamin E. It is also a good source of fiber.

Vitamin C and eugenol are antioxidants that can help slow the progression of a chronic disease. Manganese is important for bone health.

Toothache and toothache

Many of the health benefits of clove oil are believed to result from its analgesic, anti- inflammatory , and antibacterial effects.

Clove oil is perhaps best known as a remedy for toothaches and toothaches. For example, in a 2006 study of 73 adults, researchers found that a clove-based gel was comparable to benzocaine (a local anesthetic) in its ability to relieve pain when injected into the mouth .

The antibacterial properties of cloves can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth that can lead to the development of plague, gingivitis , and cavities.

In Germany, a state regulatory agency known as Commission E has recommended cloves for the treatment of inflammation of the mouth and gums, and as a local anesthetic in dentistry .


There is some evidence that cloves may be beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes . This is based on research showing that cloves can help lower blood sugar (glucose) levels before and after meals.

According to a 2019 pilot study, significant reductions in glucose were found in healthy volunteers who took polyphenolic clove extract, based on promising preclinical studies on the effects of cloves to help regulate blood sugar .

More research is needed to determine if the same effect can be achieved in people with diabetes.


Although tea tree oil (an essential oil used in aromatherapy) is best known as a natural remedy for acne, clove oil is also sometimes used to treat acne.

According to an in vivo study in 2017, an ethanolic clove extract containing eugenol inhibited the activity of the bacterium P. acnes and reduced its associated inflammatory response in a mouse model.

Since P. acnes is associated with acne, this supports further research to see if clove oil can be an effective breakout treatment .

Prevention of food poisoning.

According to a 2018 review, clove oil, and in particular its constituent eugenol, shows advantages over potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and other chemical food preservatives in terms of antimicrobial activity, safety, and flavor, making it worthy of consideration as a food substitute. preservative.

Clove oil has been found to have antibacterial effects on gram-negative bacteria that are the common food source, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa , salmonella , E. coli, as well as gram-positive bacteria such as streptococci and staphylococci.

In laboratory tests published in 2009, scientists found that clove oil (as well as the essential oils of cinnamon and allspice ) also helped suppress the growth of Listeria, another common bacteria that causes foodborne illness, which which indicates that clove oil may be helpful in protecting against food. poisoning

Possible side effects.

While clove oil is generally recognized as safe for topical use, clove oil has been found to affect the diversity of the gut microbiota when ingested due to the sensitivity of even some beneficial bacteria in the gut biome to eugenol, such as shown in a 2012 study .

Consuming large amounts of clove oil is generally not recommended. Cloves can cause a burning sensation if swallowed. Instead, it is recommended that you apply clove oil to your skin or gums, or use it as a mouthwash. Clogard Clove Mouthwash is one of the commercially available mouthwashes.

Take special care to make sure that infants and children do not ingest clove oil. In 1992, a case was described in which a child who swallowed clove oil and experienced disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and hepatocellular necrosis was described in detail. Another report from 1991 describes central nervous system depression in a baby who ingested clove oil.

While a direct link between clove oil use and these problems has not been established, it is best to play it safe.

Due to insufficient research on the effects on pregnancy and lactation, clove products are best avoided during these periods .


Eugenol slows blood clotting and can increase the risk of bleeding. This should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders, patients undergoing surgery, and people taking blood-thinning medications.

Cloves have been shown to lower blood sugar levels and people with hypoglycemia should avoid them.

Selection, preparation and storage

Clove oil is available in most health food stores and supermarkets. When preparing clove oil remedies for young children, cutting clove oil into a carrier oil such as almond or olive oil helps mitigate the irritating effects.

Based on the review of cloves in Commission E monographs, detailing German-approved clove oil preparations, 1% to 5% essential oil solutions are recommended for mouthwash, and undiluted oil is recommended. for official dental use .

As a spice, clove is known as a medicinal supplement in Ayurvedic medicine that is said to balance the Kapha dosha.

According to a 2011 study, clove buds that were peeled, ground to a fine powder and stored in sealed containers at room temperature showed significant antimicrobial activity after being added to meat emulsion at a level of 0.1 % .

General business

Can I grow a carnation on my own?
Carnation cultivation requires a warm and humid climate. This evergreen is best suited for USDA zones 9b through 12, although cloves can be grown in pots and in temperate zones during winter. Clove trees prefer partial shade and can be propagated by seeds or cuttings; However, it takes 15-20 years for them to reach full bloom.

Are clove cigarettes safe?
Clove cigarettes, also known as kreteks, are popular in Indonesia and distributed throughout the world. They generally contain 60-80% tobacco and 20-40% ground clove buds and clove oil, as well as some other spices. The overwhelming effect of eugenol in clove cigarettes allows them to be inhaled more and more deeply. This may make tobacco smoking less severe at this time, but it does not prevent the risks associated with inhaling nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar in any way .

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