12 Health Benefits of Clove Oil and Its Side Effects

Clove oil has been used for treating dental pain for centuries. However, this is not the only use for this essential oil. Clove oil benefits also include treating acne, asthma, indigestion, cough and blood impurities.

Not only is it a proven anti-inflammatory and a painkiller, but we also use it for its antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, aphrodisiac and stimulant properties.


Read on to learn more about the numerous benefits and uses of clove oil.

What is clove oil?

Clove oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the dried flower buds of the clove plant, known as Syzygium aromaticum (1).

A native of Indonesia and Madagascar, clove can be grown throughout the year. The island of Zanzibar in Tanzania is the world’s biggest producer of cloves.

This plant is a rich source of phenolic compounds like eugenol, eugenol, and gallic acid. Thymol, carvacrol, and cinnamaldehyde are some of the other bioactive compounds found in clove oil.

Clove oil ranges from pale yellow to golden brown. It has a spicy fragrance and is commonly used as a fragrance and a flavoring agent.

During the time of ancient Greeks and Romans, clove oil was used to combat bad breath and relieves toothaches. It has also been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

Benefits of clove oil

Although clove oil is most commonly known for its benefits for dental care, it has many other uses. Let us learn about the many health benefits and uses of clove oil.

1. Improves digestive health

Clove essential oil has been traditionally used to treat various digestive problems like indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Clove oil is also be used to cure flatulence, hiccups and motion sickness.

A few drops of clove oil rubbed on the stomach can help reduce gas and bloating. You can also put one or two drops to your pillow. Inhaling this while sleeping can help alleviate a lot of nausea-related problems.

According to a 2011 study, clove oil stimulates the synthesis of gastric mucus, which is helpful in protecting the digestive tract lining and preventing erosion that can lead to gastritis and ulcers (2).

2. Skin care

Eugenol, one of the compounds in clove oil, has rejuvenating properties that help increase blood flow to the skin and make it look fresh and radiant. Is also helps to reduce wrinkles, sagging skin, and blemishes.

The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of clove essential oil also help in treating cystic acne. Eugenol is effective against Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria implicated in most acne cases.

According to a study published in the Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the antimicrobial activity of clove essential oil is effective against the planktonic cells and biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus(3).

S. aureus has been linked to the pathogenesis of acne. Mix a few drops of clove oil with honey and apply to the face. You can also combine clove oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil and use it on your skin.

Mix two drop of clove oil in warm water to wash your face to keep acne infections at bay.

Clove OIl benefits infographic

3. Heals candida infections

Clove oil contains eugenol and carvacrol, which have an anticandidal and antifungal effect. According to a 2005 study, clove essential oil clove oil is quite effective in treating candida infections.

The study also found that clove oil was as effective as nystatin in treating oral candidiasis (4). Clove oil is also useful in killing intestinal parasites which can cause diarrhea and other symptoms.

However, you must perform an intestinal cleanse with a clove oil under the supervision of a doctor.

Warm two tablespoons of coconut oil till it melts. Mix ten drops of clove oil into this coconut oil and let it cool. You can apply this mixture like you use mouth paint. You can also use this mixture for any fungal infection on the skin.

4. Dental care

The anesthetic and germicidal properties of clove oil are very effective for relieving toothaches, sore gums, and mouth ulcers. Clove oil has been used for centuries as a remedy for toothaches.

According to a study published in the Journal of Dentistry, clove oil can replace benzocaine as a topical anesthetic (5).

Clove oil also provides many other dental benefits. According to the Indian Department of Public Health Dentistry, clove oil also helps slow down tooth decalcification as compared to eugenol, eugenol-acetate, fluoride, and a control group. It also aids in demineralization of teeth (6).

Clove oil is also be used to relieve toothaches from emerging wisdom teeth and impact injuries. You can also apply it on baby’s gums to provide relief from pain and discomfort from of teething. You can also use it to eliminate bad breath.

Mix one teaspoon of olive oil with two or three drops of clove oil and dip a cotton ball in this. Put this cotton on the affected tooth and bite down on it. Keep it in your mouth for 10 minutes and rinse your mouth.

5. Boosts immune system

Clove oil has an exceptionally high ORAC value of 290,283 units, which means it contains 30 times the amount of antioxidants in blueberries (7).

Antioxidants help get rid of free radicals that lead to infections and diseases. Clove oil also aids in purifying the blood and improving the body’s resistance to diseases.

Thanks to its potent antibacterial and antiviral properties, clove oil helps boost immunity and prevent common cold and flu. It is often mixed with eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon and rosemary to form a blend called thieves oil (8).

6. Improves heart health

Clove oil can improve heart health in many ways. According to a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, eugenol in clove oil helps in dilating arteries while also reducing systemic blood pressure.

So, according to the researchers, eugenol may be therapeutically useful as an antihypertensive agent (9).

Acetyl eugenol, another active component of clove oil, plays the role of a potent platelet inhibitor in human blood cells. According to researchers, this bioactive component of clove oil prevents the formation of blood clots or thrombus (10).

One must consult with a physician before using clove oil for its blood thinning properties.

7. Protects the liver

Many studies have shown that the bioactive compounds like eugenol in clove oil can promote liver health. According to a study published in the Journal of Immunotoxicology, low dose of eugenol may protect the liver against disease.

It also helps lower inflammation and cellular oxidation in the liver (11). The study also noted that excessive use of eugenol could lead to more harm, so always use it in moderation.

8. Treats headaches

Clove oil is an excellent remedy for headaches. Clove oil contains flavonoids which help in reducing inflammation. The analgesic effect of clove oil provides quick relief from headaches.

It also increases blood circulation which helps treat the underlying causes of headaches like sinus congestion, and stress.

When applied topically, this essential oil also provides relief from muscle pain, joint pain, and swelling.

Mix a few drops of clove oil and coconut oil and apply it topically. You can also add a few drops to a cotton ball and sniff it or use clove oil in a diffuser.

9. Treats respiratory problems

The cooling and anti-inflammatory effect of clove oil are beneficial in addressing respiratory problems like coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and tuberculosis.

Clove oil is very useful in clearing out the nasal passage, which is why it is used in many ointment and balms to relieve chest congestion.

Steam inhalation with two drops of clove oil and eucalyptus oil added to the water will quickly open up the airway.

You can also make a chest rub at home by mixing five drops of clove and eucalyptus oil with ten drops of lemon oil and eight ounces of coconut oil. Add some melted beeswax to thicken the mixture if needed.

10. Lowers stress

Clove oil also helps in reducing stress. Its warming effect and spicy fragrance refreshes the mind and gets rid of mental fatigue and exhaustion. It also helps induce sleep in patients with insomnia.

You can ingest it in diluted form or apply it topically. Add a few drops of clove essential oil to coconut oil and use it as a massage oil to get rid of stress and tension.

11. Boosts sex drive

Clove oil is considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Have 2 or 3 drops in warm water to increase sex drive, promote blood circulation in sexual organs and prevent premature ejaculation.


You can also dilute and apply it topically to improve blood circulation in the genital area.

12. Antibacterial properties

Clove oil has powerful antibacterial properties that inhibit gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and yeast (12). This is helpful as gram-negative bacteria are often resistant to antibiotics.

According to a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, clove oil is effective against E. coli, Staph aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Side effects and precautions

  • Always dilute clove oil before using it as using it undiluted can lead to serious health issues and skin problems.
  • Since clove oil also has blood thinning properties, it should not be used with blood-thinning medication like anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs.
  • Do not use clove oil internally for more than two weeks consecutively as it can harm your intestinal flora. You should also take a probiotic supplement when you take clove oil orally.
  • Children under the age of two years and pregnant women should not use clove oil internally.
  • Do not use clove oil topically in damaged skin.
  • In some cases, exposure to sunlight after topical application of clove oil can lead to burns or the spread of viral sores.

Final thoughts

Clove oil is extracted from the dried buds of the clove plant. Eugenol is the main component of clove oil, forming 70 to 90 percent of the oil. This oil is known for its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac and stimulant properties.

Apart from dental care, it is also used to treat digestive issues, skin problems, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and headaches.


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