The clove is an evergreen tree with pointed leaves that is native to the Molucca Islands and cultivated in Madagascar, Indonesia and Zanzibar. Oil of cloves is extracted from the leaf and/or flowers, and is the principal form of clove used medicinally.
Oil of cloves is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, and antifungal. Benefits of clove oil for specific health conditions include the following:
- Food poisoning. Clove oil kills some types of bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumonia, all of which can be involved in food poisoning.
- Peptic ulcer. Oil of clove reduces the sensation of gas pressure within the stomach that is frequently troubling for people with the peptic ulcers. The eugenol is clove oil depresses the transmission of nerve impulses that convey a felling of bloating and gas and although it does not directly stop the production of gas. This herb also protects against stomach cancer.
- Periodontal disease and toothache. Clove blossoms and clove oil have been used around the world for generations to relieve pain form toothache and dental treatment. Oil of clove is combined with zinc oxide to make an analgesic paste. Clove oil should be avoided, however, in treating pain due to root canal work, since it may cause inflammation.