Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), Clove Oil – Fragrant remedy for inflammed tooth and gums
We often come across Clove during the Holiday Season, and most of us may not realize what medicinal properties Clove has in store for us.
Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree.
Last time I needed an instant natural remedy for my husband’s tooth pain and inflammation, I took my chances and turned to Clove oil (and Garlic Oil and Propolis). Clove oil can be purchased in any local health store, and it is primarily a topical pain reliever and antibacterial agent. It can be applied to the tooth and the surrounding tissues directly, with or without dilution. It may cause some burning sensation if applied directly to the skin. Now lets go into some details about the beneficial properties of Cloves and Clove oil.
Clove oil has been approved for use in dentistry as a topical anesthetic by Commission E, Germany’s regulatory agency for herbs. However, no well-controlled clinical studies have been done to evaluate the potential germ-killing and anticancer properties of cloves or clove oil in humans. A small controlled study published in 2006 compared clove gel to a numbing gel to lessen the pain of injections in the mouth. The researchers found that people who were given a placebo gel had more pain than those who received clove gel or numbing gel. The pain levels of those who received the numbing medicine and those who were given clove gel were about the same. Further studies are needed to be sure this is a reliable effect.
Two recent laboratory studies do suggest that clove and clove extracts may be antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that block the action of free radicals, activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells.
Very limited laboratory studies conducted in other countries suggest that clove oil may fight bacteria and prevent seizures. One recent study compared the oils from several herbs to find out how well they stopped the growth of certain germs. Clove oil was very effective at stopping the bacteria, yeasts, and molds that were tested. Along these lines, a Japanese study in mice suggested that a clove preparation taken by mouth might help reduce the severity of yeast infections in the mouth.
A 2006 study suggested that cloves contain chemicals that might reduce development of lung cancer in mice treated with cancer-causing chemicals. Another laboratory study suggested that compounds taken from cloves show promise as potential anticancer agents. However, study results of clove extracts will not necessarily be the same as studies using the raw plant. And, while laboratory studies may show promise, further studies are needed to find out whether the results apply to humans.
Clove essential oil
Clove essential oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and it is know as well as being antihistamine.
It can help eliminate gas and indigestion, clear mucous from the lungs, and is even said to expel intestinal worms.
Use clove essential oil as an antiseptic and pain-reliever when suffering from toothaches, flu, colds, and/or bronchial congestion.
When used in a liniment, clove essential oil could help you relieve the pain associated with sore muscles and arthritis.
Clove oil is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat diarrhea, indigestion, ringworm and hernias. Ayurvedic medicine practitioners in India use the plant and the essential oil to treat digestive problems and respiratory ailments.
Clove Oil Compress
Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural pain killer and antibacterial. Mix 2 to 3 drops of pure clove oil with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Saturate a cotton ball with the mixture and place the cotton ball beside the tooth.
If the toothache involves a molar at the back of your mouth, you can bite down gently on the cotton ball to keep it in place. Leave it there for as long as possible (but don’t go to sleep with it in your mouth.) Pain relief should begin quite rapidly.
Clove oil is thought to destroy bacteria in the intestine, and may also be used as an oral disinfectant. Manufacturers add clove oil to soft drinks and alcoholic beverages as a flavoring agent. Clove oil also appears in perfumes, toothpastes, soaps and cosmetics as a fragrance.
Infections: Due to its antiseptic properties, clove oil is useful for wound, cuts, scabies, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, scabies, etc. It can also be used insect bites and stings. Clove oil is very strong in nature and hence should be used in diluted form. Further, it should not be used on sensitive skin.
Side effects – Clove Oil
Undiluted clove oil inside the mouth can causing burning, tissue or nerve damage, and pain. In large doses, clove oil taken orally can cause vomiting, sore throat, seizure, difficulty breathing, kidney failure, or liver damage. Clove oil shouldn’t be applied to broken skin.
Clove oil taken by mouth may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider, and medication adjustments may be necessary. In overdoses, cloves can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Severe cases can lead to changes in liver function, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, hallucination, and even death.
Essential oils should not be taken internally (eaten).