What other names is Clove known by?
Bourgeon Floral de Clou de Girofle, Bouton Floral de Clou de Girofle, Caryophylli Flos, Caryophyllum, Caryophyllus aromaticus, Clavo de Olor, Clous de Girolfe, Clove Flower, Clove Flowerbud, Clove Leaf, Clove Oil, Clove Stem, Cloves, Cloves Bud, Ding Xiang, Eugenia aromatica, Eugenia caryophyllata, Eugenia caryophyllus, Feuille de Clou de Girofle, Fleur de Clou de Girofle, Flores Caryophylli, Flores Caryophyllum, Gewurznelken Nagelein, Girofle, Giroflier, Huile de Clou de Girofle, Kreteks, Lavang, Lavanga, Oil of Clove, Syzygium aromaticum, Tige de Clou de Girofle.
What is Clove?
Clove is an herb. People use the oils, dried flower buds, leaves, and stems to make medicine.
Clove is used for upset stomach
and as an expectorant
. Expectorants make it easier to cough
up phlegm. Clove oil is used for diarrhea
, and bad breath
. Clove and clove oil are used for intestinal gas
, and vomiting
Clove is applied directly to the gums (used topically) for toothache
, for pain
control during dental work, and for a complication of tooth extraction called "dry socket
." It is also applied to the skin as a counterirritant for pain
and for mouth and throat inflammation. In combination with other ingredients, clove is also applied to the skin as part of a multi-ingredient product used to keep men from reaching orgasm
too early (premature ejaculation
In foods and beverages
, clove is used as a flavoring.
In manufacturing, clove is used in toothpaste
, soaps, cosmetics
, perfumes, and cigarettes. Clove cigarettes, also called kreteks, generally contain 60% to 80% tobacco
and 20% to 40% ground clove. Eugenol, one of the chemicals in clove, acts like menthol to reduce the harshness of tobacco smoke.
Possibly Effective for...
- Premature ejaculation. Research shows that applying a cream containing clove flower plus Panax ginseng root, Angelica root, Cistanches deserticola, Zanthoxyl species, Torlidis seed, Asiasari root, cinnamon bark, and toad venom (SS Cream) to the skin of the penis improves premature ejaculation.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Anal fissures. Early research suggests that applying a clove oil cream to anal fissures for 6 weeks improves healing compared to using stool softeners and applying lignocaine cream.
- Dental plaque. Early research suggests that using a specific toothpaste (Sudantha, Link Natural Products Ltd.) containing a combination of clove, Acacia chundra Willd., malabar nut, bullet wood tree, black pepper, Indian beech, gall oak, Terminalia, and ginger twice daily for 12 weeks can reduce dental plaque, bleeding, and amount of bacteria in the mouth.
- Mosquito repellent. Early research suggests that applying clove oil or clove oil gel to the skin can repel mosquitos for up to 5 hours.
- Pain. Early research suggests that applying a gel containing ground cloves for 5 minutes before being stuck with a needle can reduce needle stick pain similarly to benzocaine.
- Toothache. Clove oil and eugenol, one of the chemicals it contains, have long been used topically for toothache, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reclassified eugenol, downgrading its effectiveness rating. The FDA now believes there is not enough evidence to rate eugenol as effective for toothache pain.
- "Dry socket" following tooth extraction.
- Upset stomach.
- Gas (flatulence).
- Pain and swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of clove for these uses.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).