Healthy Holistic Living

One of the most powerful and useful essential oils that nobody talks about: Clove Oil


You probably know clove as the unique aromatic spice commonly used in pumpkin pie seasoning or added to curries, but it is so much more than just a spice. The health benefits of cloves have been understood by traditional medicine for millennia. Clove is still used today for treating digestive and respiratory problems, but contemporary research reveals it can be used to treat more complex medical issues, including cancer.

In its medicinal uses, the stems and flowers of the clove tree (or syzygium aromaticum) are most commonly distilled and turned into clove oil. When extracted into an essential oil, the compound eugenol makes up the majority of its chemical composition. Eugenol is the secret to clove oil’s cancer-fighting properties.

According to a study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, eugenol fights cancer cells by reducing cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death). The study shows the eugenol found in clove essential oil is cytotoxic, killing off tumor cells created by certain kinds of cancer.

A Brief History of Clove Oil


Clove oil was first used medicinally by people of the Indonesian islands of Ternate and Tidore, which are historically known as the Spice Islands. More than 2000 years ago, cloves were imported into China and India and became a part of traditional medicine in these regions. Eventually, clove made its way to Europe in the 1600’s via the Dutch East India Company, and soon clove trees were grown throughout the world.

Although they were not aware of it at the time, people in these traditions were utilizing the benefits of the phytochemical eugenol. While today clove oil is garnering attention because of its potential anticancer effects, there are many more uses for clove oil in modern medicine.

Health Benefits of Clove Oil



Dental Care

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Clove oil is commonly applied to the teeth and gums to alleviate pain and fight cavities. The essential oil can be diluted and gargled. It is often found in natural toothpaste and mouthwashes. Clove oil may be combined with zinc oxide to temporarily alleviate the symptoms of an abscessed tooth.


The antibiotic and antiseptic properties of clove oil make it a useful antibacterial. As an ampicillin, clove essential oil can be applied topically to the skin or other infected area to treat certain kinds of infection.

Skin Care

Clove oil may be used to treat acne or as an anti-aging ointment since it helps circulation in the skin. For skin care, apply clove oil in the proper dilution directly to the skin.

Insect Repellant

Turn clove essential oil into a spray and apply to your skin to keep bugs away. It may also be used on your sheets for nighttime protection against insects or in candles to ward off mosquitoes.


Clove oil is not safe for consumption, however, clove as a spice can be used in cooking. Use clove spice in your food to help control indigestion and bloating or take medicinally for diarrhea and vomiting.

Head Lice

Instead of using chemical treatments to control head lice, add clove oil to your conditioner. Then comb through and rinse thoroughly for a natural head lice treatment.

Pain Relief


Clove essential oil is a pain reliever at more than just the topical level. Apply diluted oil to a painful area to get relief from headaches or arthritis.

A Note of Caution


Always consult your physician before using clove oil or any other natural remedy. Clove essential oil should be diluted before being applied or ingested. Test on a small area of skin to make sure you are not allergic or particularly sensitive to clove.

When taken internally, clove can cause cramping and bloating. It should not be used medicinally by pregnant women and diabetics because it lowers blood sugar. Clove oil may also increase the effectiveness of blood thinners like aspirin and Warfarin, so combine with anticoagulant medications carefully and under the guidance of a medical professional.

DIY Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil is available for purchase from many outlets, but it’s also possible to make your own.


  • Cloves (½ tablespoon per cup of oil)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Saute Pan
  • Two Bottles with tightly sealing caps
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Cheesecloth


  1. First, toast cloves over medium heat to make the oil easier to extract.
  2. Submerge the bottles, mortar, pestle in boiling water for 10 minutes in order to heat them up and sanitize them.
  3. Rinse and dry the cloves, then crack them on the warmed mortar with the pestle.
  4. Pour the cloves into one of the bottles followed by the extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to use ½ tablespoon of clove per cup of olive oil.
  5. Seal the bottle with its airtight lid and let the oil infuse in a cool and dry place for two weeks, shaking the bottle occasionally.
  6. After two weeks has passed, use a cheesecloth to strain the clove oil into the other clean airtight bottle with a lid. You can keep your homemade clove oil stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Clove Oil Health Benefits For Today And Tomorrow

Clove essential oil is a helpful, natural remedy you can use today to ease a variety of common health issues. Looking forward, keep an eye out for clove essential oil as research will continue to reveal more about clove’s compound eugenol and its cancer-fighting properties.


If you enjoyed that recipe, try these essential oil recipes – Essential Oil Difuser and Bedtime Oil


Comparative Anticancer Potential Of Clove

Oil Of Cloves– The Aromatic, Anticancer Essential Oil

“Clove” in UCLA’s Spices: Exotic Flavors And Medicine

How Do I Make Clove Oil?

Health Benefits Of Clove Oil

“Clove” on WebMD

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