Clove is a very popular spice used in our households. It is an essential item for most of the kitchens. It adds wonderfully to the flavor and has been traditionally used for making various preparations more relishing and delicious. Apart from having a great value as a spice, clove has got high significance as a medicinal plant. In fact, clove oil can be effectively used for a wide range of medicinal purposes due to its antimicrobial, antiseptic and stimulating properties. Let us look at some of the benefits of clove oil for our health.
1. Dental Care
The most commonly known medicinal application of clove oil is that for dental care. Clove oil is found to have been very effective for the severe pain caused due to dental caries. Caries results in excessive pain when the microbes eat into the enamel and attack the nerve containing pulp. However, clove oil can be used as a painkiller in such situations. It provides a numbing effect in the affected region and relieves pain and sensation. It is also helpful in problems arising due to swollen gums, pyorrhea etc. It is therefore a major component of toothpastes and dental care products.
2. Cavity filling and repair
Not only does clove provide instant relief from tooth pain but it is also used as a form of treatment for tooth decay. It works at two levels to repair cavity: first by preventing the growth of decay causing microorganisms and second by gradual reformation of enamel. Clove oil is used by adding it to a cotton ball and putting it in the cavity, resulting in cavity repair in some time. Sometimes, clove oil is mixed with zinc oxide to prepare a filling material as a temporary alternative to a root canal.
Clove oil improves the digestion process and helps prevent indigestion. It has been found that clove oil stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes in our body and facilitates easy digestion. It can therefore be used effectively for the treatment of stomach-related problems such as hiccups, indigestion and motion sickness. A few drops of clove oil mixed with warm water can provide great relief from flatulence (gas), bloating, heartburn or stomachache. It is also very effective against peptic ulcers.
Clove oil has been traditionally used for treating respiratory problems. It provides a soothing and anti inflammatory effect and is used for clearing the nasal passage to prevent congestion. It has been proven to be helpful in the treatment of respiratory disorders like cough, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. Clove oil, eucalyptus oil and lemon oil mixed in coconut oil as a base can be used to prepare an effective chest rub. Chewing a clove bud is recommended to soothe sore throats.
5. Treatment of injuries
Clove oil provides relief from pains such as rheumatic pain, and gives relief to the muscles and joints. It is also beneficial during sprains and bruises. It helps in recuperation after fatigue as it is known to have an increasing effect on the tissue repair processes. It is particularly helpful for sports persons and for people who exert themselves physically. It is one of the important ingredients of Tiger Balm which has been traditionally used to soothe muscle aches due to its ability to increase blood flow.
6. Hair and scalp care
Clove oil can be applied in small quantities on the scalp to provide nourishment to the hair. This makes the hair long, shiny and healthy. Clove oil also boosts blood circulation in the scalp, thereby stopping unnecessary hair fall. A drop of clove oil, mixed with olive oil woks as an excellent hair conditioner. This mixture when applied to wet hair and left for some time, provides strength to the hair.
Clove has got an exceptionally high antioxidant value. Antioxidants are molecules that reverse the damage that free radicals cause including cell death and cancer. They slow aging and degeneration and also protect the body from harmful microbes. Clove oil, due to its high antioxidant value is used in several medicinal blends. Clove can also be used to lower the risk of cancer by controlling the growth of cancerous cells. Some experts believe that clove can even be used in chemotherapy; however the role of clove for this purpose has to be studied in greater details.
8. Eye Sty Treatment
Eye Sty is a painful condition in which the glands on the eyelids are blocked due to infection. It results in the formation of a bump around or on the eyelid. Sty is not only painful, but also causes difficulty in the proper functioning of the eye. Clove oil is very effective in treatment of eye sty. It provides relief from inflammation and swelling of the eye. It is also a shield against other infections that might attack the eye.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. Due to its medicinal values and vital properties, and its tendency to blend well with other oils, clove oil has got widespread application in the field of aromatherapy.
10. Blood Circulation
Clove oil helps in improving blood circulation by reducing the tension of blood vessels. Increased circulation adds to the oxygenation of the blood and organ systems, which increases metabolism and raises organ efficiency. Clove also prevents blood clots.
11. Benefits for skin
Clove oil is very useful for curing skin problems, particularly for acne due to its anti bacterial nature. For this purpose take 3 drops clove oil and mix with 2 tsp raw honey and use the mixture as a face wash. Clove oil also helps remove blemishes and scars and helps in rejuvenating the skin.
12.Ear pain relief
Earache is a frequent problem, especially during winters. Clove oil can be used to provide respite from ear pain also. Mix 2 drops of clove oil in 1 teaspoon sesame oil warmed to body temperature. Carefully put 1-2 drops of the mixture in each ear and see the effect on ear pain.
13. Breath Freshener
Clove oil in a dilute form can also be used as a breath freshener due to its aroma. A few drops of clove oil and peppermint essential oil mixed in water can serve this purpose.
14. Soothing ulcers
Besides taking care of dental hygiene and strength, clove oil is an excellent substance for maintaining overall oral hygiene. The anesthetic nature of clove oil provides relief from the severe pain of mouth ulcers.
15. Curing infections
Clove oil can be used as an antiseptic. It can treat cuts, wounds, scabies and prickly heat. It can also be used in case of insect bites and stings. However, it should be used in a highly diluted form and is not suitable for people with very sensitive skin.
16. Blood purification
Clove has got properties which can reduce the toxicity in the blood and also increase the level of antioxidant activity in the body. This purifies the blood and the platelets.
Clove oil can act as a powerful insect repellent. It also finds its use as a pesticide and herbicide as its smell has the tendency to drive away bugs, insects and pests. It can act as an alternative to the harmful chemicals used otherwise for these purposes.
18. Relief from nausea
Clove oil can help in removing nausea, dizziness and discomfort. People who suffer from motion sickness can also use clove oil for comfort. Few drops of clove oil with peppermint oil can be used for this purpose.
19. Anti-fungal action
Clove oil can combat all kinds of fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Clove oil in small amount mixed in coconut oil can also be used to prepare mouth paint for curing oral fungal infections such as oral candidiacis.
20. Stress reliever
Clove oil is found to have a pleasant and tranquilizing effect on the mind. It refreshes the mind and enhances the functioning of brain. It also provides relief from sleep disorders and neural ailments such as memory loss and depression.
Clove oil is naturally pleasant in smell and is therefore used to make fine smelling room fresheners and perfumes.
22. Food preservative
Due to its anti microbial nature, clove oil is used to preserve foods for longer duration. It curbs the growth of harmful bacteria in the food and prevents is from being spoiled. Also, intake of clove oil can prevent problems after one has consumed impure or spoiled food.
Due to its antiseptic nature, its soothing effect on skin and its fine odor clove oil has got a wide use in the cosmetics industry. It is often used as massage oil and is a key ingredient of various soaps, creams and lotions.
24. Adding flavor
One of the most commonly used and popular spices, clove is said to add great flavor and taste into many preparations. It enhances the taste of many dishes, pickles, sauces etc. and also acts as an appetizer.
25. Alleviates headache
Clove oil contains flavonoids, which are anti inflammatory in nature. Mix a few drops of clove oil in coconut oil to get a soothing balm. When applied on the forehead or neck, the balm gives a soothing effect and relieves pain.
As it seems clear, clove oil is beneficial for our health in many ways. Next time while you look for natural remedies to the above health problems, make sure you try clove oil.