An evergreen tree, clove (scientific name Eugenia carophyllata syn. Syzygium aromaticum) produces a particular flower bud possessing several therapeutic attributes. Often clove is also called a clove bud. Ancient civilizations in India as well as China used clove extensively and gradually its use spread to other parts of the globe, especially Europe some time during the 7th and 8th centuries. In the present times also people in India and China use clove in several food preparations.
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The essential oil of clove is spicy and warming oil that is obtained by steam distilling the clove buds as well as the plant's stem. The aroma of clove essential oil is similar to dried clove buds, but its action is more potent compared to the flower buds. Since clove essential oil is very potent, it is necessary to use it with great caution and only after diluting it. However, a quality brand of the oil available commercially is safe for culinary use, including cooking and baking.
Clove essential oil possesses antiseptic properties and, hence, it is effective for treating athlete's foot, bruises, wounds, fungal infections, scabies, cuts, prickly heat and various other kinds of injuries. You can also use this essential oil for healing stings and insect bites.
However, it is important to bear in mind that since clove essential oil is extremely potent in nature, you should never use it in a concentrated form. Always dilute the oil before using. Moreover, people with exceptionally sensitive skin should avoid using this oil.
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Clove essential oil is mainly and extensively used in dental care. Since clove oil possesses germicidal properties, it is highly effective in alleviating tooth ache, dental pain, sore gums as well as mouth ulcers. The compound eugenol is the main active element of clove essential oil. This compound has been employed in dentistry for several years. Clove oil can be diluted and used for gargling, as it will help in alleviating throat aches and irritation. In addition, the typical aroma of clove essential oil is also useful in getting rid of bad breath. Apart from these, clove oil is useful in combating cavities. In India, people have been traditionally using clove oil to cure cavities. They add clove oil to a small cotton ball and place it at the corner of the tooth affected by cavity before sleeping at night. In this way, they succeed in treating cavities completely just in a few days.
Owing to this health benefit of clove essential oil, it is included in several dental products as well as medications, counting tooth paste and mouth wash. In addition, dentists blend clove oil with zinc oxide to make a white substance, which they use for temporary filling of cavities. It is an alternative mode of a root canal treatment. However, you need to be cautious while using clove essential oil, as it is very potent in nature. Using undiluted clove oil may result in burns inside the mouth, especially if it is not used in a proper manner.
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Findings of recent scientific studies as well as cautious consideration of clove essential oil's power have led to its use in the form of a calming balm on teething babies. When used in a highly diluted form, clove oil can even be applied to the gums of infants. As clove oil possesses stimulating and antiseptic properties, its use can help to augment blood circulation to the unhealthy skin areas and make the skin appear youthful again.
Medical practitioners often recommend the use of clove oil for skin care, particularly for people who are enduring acne. To get the best results of using clove oil, you need to use its liquid form spread on a dry and unsullied rag. Clove oil is included in several skin care products, especially those that are meant for reducing the symptoms of aging, such as sagging skin, wrinkles, as well as facial rejuvenation, particularly for the eyes, as it possesses stimulating and rejuvenating properties. These therapeutic attributes of clove essential oil can help to augment blood circulation to skin areas that are not so healthy.
Clove as well as clove essential oil are both effective for perking up our immune system. Both possess anti-viral properties and have the ability to disinfect the blood, thereby enhancing the body's resistance to numerous diseases. This is owing to the fact that the antioxidants present in clove oil forage the harmful free radicals in the body and eliminate them. These free radicals are responsible for various diseases such as heart diseases and specific cancer forms.
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Clove essential oil also possesses aphrodisiac properties and, hence, it is also effective in relieving stress. This oil has an invigorating action on the mind and, therefore, is useful in alleviating mental weariness and fatigue. Ingestion or internal use of this oil in suitable amounts and concentration helps to refresh the mind. At the same time, it works to promote the functioning of the brain. Clove essential oil is also said to possess mild sedative properties as it helps to induce sleep and is beneficial for people enduring insomnia. In addition, clove oil is also effective for curing neural disorders like anxiety, depression, and memory loss.
Topical application of a blend of clove essential oil and salt on the forehead causes a cooling effect, thereby helping in alleviating headaches. Clove oil encloses several flavonoids, which serve as anti-inflammatory agents. Application of this oil externally on the neck or temples result in alleviating tension or inflammation that often leads to headaches. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil. Clove essential oil is also applied on other parts of the body in the form of a pain reliever or analgesic for the same qualities. When applied on painful joints and overworked muscles, to some extent, clove oil helps to alleviate painful swelling and inflammation.
Since clove essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, it is often used for clearing blockages in the nose. It also serves as an expectorant and is effective for treating a variety of respiratory problems, counting asthma, colds, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis and even tuberculosis. Traditionally, people have been chewing the clove buds with a view to ease sore throats.
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Apart from the health benefits of clove and clove essential oil discussed above, both are excellent home remedies for sty, which is basically an irritating swelling on the eyelids. Often, sty can prove to be an extremely irksome and throbbing condition. Apart from being a painful condition, sty may also hinder the apt functioning of the eyes. In addition, it has been proved that clove oil is useful in preventing several eye infections, as it possesses anti-bacterial properties.
Traditionally, people have been using clove essential oil for successful treatment of problems related to the stomach, including indigestion, flatulence, hiccups and motion sickness. Hence, people in India have been traditionally adding clove to several food preparations. In fact, it is among the most vital spices used in Indian culinary. Clove oil is added to dishes for the strong outcome of eugenol, which is a main active compound present in this potent essential oil.
For several centuries, people have been using clove oil in dental preparations, gum and candy mainly owing to its wonderful flavour as well as its ability to support and encourage oral health. This essential oil offers numerous health benefits, apart from those discussed above. Eugenol is the main chemical component of clove essential oil, which is extremely energizing and stimulating that helps to support and improve blood flow throughout the body as well as support the cardiovascular system. In addition, clove oil is also a very potent antioxidant that may assist in protecting against the harmful free radicals and ensure the optimum health of the immune system.
The essential oil of clove buds is also effective in lessening vomiting and nausea and is frequently prescribed for pregnant women to cure problems like uneasiness and morning sickness. Occasional use of clove essential oil in aromatherapy or applying this oil topically to pillows before going to sleep at night for inhaling it for a long-term may help in bringing about positive health effects.
Clove essential oil also helps to improve the metabolism of your body by means of enhancing the blood flow to all parts of the body and, at the same time, reducing the body temperature. Typically, improved blood circulation denotes diminishing tension or pressure in the blood vessels - a problem that is generally related to tension headaches. Apart from this, improved blood circulation also helps in oxygenation of the blood, thereby ensuring that more oxygen is supplied to the various organs. This, in turn, improves metabolism and also enhances the efficiency of the organs.
Last, but not the least important, improved blood circulation is also beneficial for people suffering from diabetes, as it helps to put off a number of very dangerous side effects of this degenerating disease that may sometimes result in major health problems, amputations and sometimes even untimely death. The active ingredient in clove essential oil, eugenol is responsible for stimulating blood circulation throughout the body.
Clove essential oil is also useful in cleansing the blood. Findings of several scientific studies have revealed that the aroma extracts of clove can help in diminishing toxicity in blood and, at the same time, encourage the antioxidant activities all through the body. In this way, use of clove essential oil helps to boost the immune system and also cleanse the platelets.
Findings of studies have also suggested that you can effectively use clove to treat premature ejaculation (PE). Nevertheless, scientists are of the view that further studies should be undertaken to ascertain the validity of these results.
According to some reports, clove essential oil is also effective in treating cholera.
In addition to purifying the blood, clove essential oil has been found to be effective in regulating the blood sugar levels, thereby making this oil extremely beneficial for people enduring diabetes. Several studies have demonstrated that postprandial insulin and glucose response mechanisms are controlled better when clove oil works inside the system of our body. This effect of clove oil is mainly attributed to the concentration of phenol in this oil. In fact, phenol concentration in clove oil is among the highest considering the spice plants of this kind.
Generally, clove essential oil is used in the form of an active ingredient in insect repelling and bug repellent candles, as the vapour released by these candles is extremely strong for the olfactory senses of several different insects. Conventionally, people placed a few drops of clove oil on their bed sheets before sleeping at night with a view to avoid bugs.
While clove essential oil offers several therapeutic benefits, it is very potent oil and, hence, should always be used with great caution. Even when used in very small amounts, you need to dilute the oil with suitable carrier oils before ingestion or topical application. As eugenol, which is the primary element of this essential oil, is actually a rare substance, some people using this oil often develop violent allergies, especially when they use it in excessive doses. Therefore, it is advisable that you should always use clove essential oil in very small amounts, especially if you are using it for the first time. This holds true for any essential oil.