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There are certain times when the smell of a specific spice brings back fond childhood memories, especially during the holidays.


For me, clove is one of those spices.  It’s been used to spruce up holiday beverages and to add a zip of flavor to desserts and side dishes.


Clove spice is grown on evergreen trees that are found in tropical areas like Indonesia, Jamaica, the Philippines, and Madagascar (1).


The whole clove spice is the unopened, dried flower buds from these particular evergreen trees.


The clove essential oil is extracted from the flower buds, leaves and stems of these evergreen tree and it is antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and highly aromatic (2).


Besides clove spice being used as a food flavoring ingredient, it is also touted for its many health benefits:




If you experience a sudden toothache and don’t have immediate access to your dentist or family physician, just place tiny amount of ground cloves into a square inch-sized piece of paper towel and fold it into a pouch.


Wet the pouch slightly and place it on the affected gum area.  Wetting the pouch first will speed up the release of the anesthetic properties in the clove spice.


Be warned, however, that clove spice is, well, spicy!  So you will start to experience a slight burning sensation from the clove.


Nevertheless, it will at least give you temporary relief from a toothache until you can see your dentist (3).


Clove essential oil can be used in the same way as dried ground clove to provide toothache relief.


Take caution, however, when using clove essential oil because it is very concentrated and can irritate the skin.


For toothache relief, place one drop of clove essential oil on a moistened cotton ball and place it on the affected tooth/gum area to temporarily numb the pain until you can see your dentist.


Again, be warned that the clove essential oil may cause a burning sensation due to its super-concentrated nature.  Just be sure to properly dilute it a carrier oil prior to application to your skin.






Want to get rid of a nagging cough?  Sip on a nice, hot cup of clove tea.


Clove spice helps to quell coughs by breaking up congestion (4).  Drop 2 whole cloves into 10-12 ounces of boiling water and let it steep for about 10 minutes.


Add a bit of Manuka honey to your desired taste.  Compared to other types of raw honey, Manuka honey not only helps to cut mucous, but it is also known for its strong anti-microbial properties (a).


You can also opt to sweeten your tea with stevia leaf powder instead of honey.  Stevia leaf has a lower glycemic index than honey.


Stir to blend your ingredients thoroughly, then slowly sip this solution for cough relief.


If you like the taste of cloves, this will be a real treat for you!





Cloves reportedly helps rid the body of parasites, too (5).


Pour about 8 ounces of boiling water over 2-3 whole clove buds and allow it to steep for about 10 minutes to achieve a reasonably effective infusion.


Drink the solution to help immobilize and sweep those creepy crawlies out of the body!




Clove essential oil is very powerful and can cause skin irritations.  If used on the skin, you must be sure to adequately dilute it into a safe carrier oil base (like olive oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil) prior to applying it to your skin.


Also, take care not to inhale undiluted clove essential oil too closely to your nose as it can burn the mucous membranes.


In addition, it is reportedly not safe to diffuse clove essential oil into the air due to its high levels of phenols.


Phenols give clove essential oil its antiviral properties, and inhaling strong concentrations of it can possibly burn the mucous membranes.  However, if you decide to take your chances on diffusing clove essential oil, be sure you do so in a well-ventilated room!


While clove essential oil has many therapeutic uses, keep in mind that it is still very strong.


Rather than trying to administer clove essential oil as a remedy, you may fare better using either the dried ground clove spice or whole cloves if you want to experience the natural benefits that it offers.


This way you still experience the healing, antiseptic and antiviral properties of clove spice without the risk of harming yourself.


Have you experienced health benefits from using clove spice?  Tell us about it below.


The content on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any ailments. Consult with your physician prior to incorporating any new herbs or spices into your wellness regimen or regarding any health issues you may have.


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