4 of the Top Health Benefits of Using Clove Essential Oil
Posted on February 26 2016
Cloves are a spice that you’re probably familiar with thanks to cooking. They’re aromatic and distinctive, holding a special place for many of us with a scent that reminds us of the holidays. If you live in the southern half of the United States, you can also probably grow your own clove tree!
The history of cloves is substantial - in ancient times, they were grown only on a few select islands, and trade in them was extensive. The trees turned out to be relatively easy to plant and grow outside of these first islands, though, and the seeds were taken and planted all over islands in the Indian sea.
Supposedly, a Frenchman stole seeds from one of the oldest known clove trees on one island, and planted them on the island of Zanzibar (for a while, one of the biggest exporters of cloves). The Dutch East India Trading Company attempted to create a monopoly around cloves the way they had with nutmeg, but the trees grew over so many islands by that time that controlling the trade was impossible.
The essential oil made from cloves (the flower buds from the tree) has been used in medicine for centuries. Cloves were traded in many historical stories, including characters from the stories in the Arabian Nights! With the many powerful properties that cloves have, it's no wonder they've been so popular for such a large part of human history.
Clove oil has a ton of uses, and in particular, we’ve recently mentioned how it’s a must-have for your medicine cabinet. Here’s four very, very good reasons why!
Immune System: Clove essential oil is extremely helpful in boosting your immune system. It’s antiviral and antibacterial properties are a big reason it’s in our Protect blend – it’s been shown to help reduce airborne bacteria!
Diffuse clove oil when you want to clear the air and fight illness – it’s great in stuffy areas or when a particular virus or bug is traveling through the family. Be careful not to overdo it; clean your diffuser regularly, and make sure there’s good air flow through the rooms you’re diffusing into.
Skin Care: Suffer from acne, wrinkles, or puffy eyes? Or perhaps you’ve got a stubborn case of athlete’s foot or you want to reduce scarring for a wound that’s taking a long time to heal. Clove essential oil helps increase the blood flow to your skin, which can help reduce scarring – for acne, for wounds, or to help reduce puffiness around the eyes!
To use, dilute 2 drops of clove oil in 15 drops of a carrier oil (primrose or jojoba are both good skincare options). Mix well, then on a clean washcloth or rag, gently rub it into the skin. You may want to dilute even further to use on puffy under-eye circles; use your judgement and experiment carefully.
Blood flow & Indigestion: We don’t recommend ingesting essential oils without consulting with your doctor, but you can still use clove oil topically to experience great internal benefits. Clove oil, diluted with 10 to 15 drops of a carrier oil, rubbed onto the stomach and abdomen can warm and stimulate the digestive tract, soothing an upset stomach.
In addition, the stimulating and warming properties of clove oil are great all over the body. Diluting the oil and then massaging it into your skin helps increase blood circulation, improving overall health in many ways. There’s a specific compound found in Clove essential oil that contributes to this – Eugenol has been shown to reduce blood pressure without causing any changes to heart rate.
Teeth: Clove oil is used to help combat toothaches – the same compound that reduces blood pressure also can act as a dental pain killer, as well as fight the germs causing tooth decay. While the FDA feels that eugenol or clove oil have definitive effects on toothaches, clove oil is still often mixed with zinc oxide to create a temporary cavity filling. It’s also used in some toothpastes to help combat tooth pain – so while the FDA may not put its stamp on clove oil, it clearly still works for many people.
Be very careful applying clove essential oil to your mouth, as the compounds are strong and can cause burns to your gums if used incorrectly. This means diluting it; a maximum of 2 drops for every 10 drops of carrier oil is usually a dilute enough mixture.
A major word of caution regarding clove oil, and as further encouragement to always dilute it before using it: eugenol can be toxic, especially in concentrated doses. Clove oil contains enough of it that prolonged exposure of just .01 oz per 1 gallon of water is an acceptable dose to humanely euthanize fish. We want you to experience the benefits of clove essential oil - not the negative effects from overdoing it!
Used with respect, clove essential oil is a powerful and necessary oil to keep in your medicine cabinet. Make sure to keep it out of reach of children, and treat it like the natural powerhouse it is.
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