By Gaye Levy
Guest writer for Wake Up World
Here’s the deal. It’s the weekend (or, like me, you are on vacation in the middle of the ocean) and your tooth starts to hurt. The pain has become so bad you can not eat, can not concentrate and whoa! you can not even enjoy yourself and have fun. What’s a gal or guy to do?
Let me let you in on a secret: you can temporarily mitigate the pain and suffering with oil of clove, an inexpensive and readily available essential oil. Here is what you do:
Put a few drops of clove oil on a cotton ball, place the ball on your sore tooth and bite down. Keep you mouth shut for about 5 minutes as the oil numbs the pain and kills the bacteria.
Afterward, remove the cotton ball and mix a bit of the clove oil (6 to 8 drops will do it), water, and salt into a cup. Swish this around in your mouth for about a minute and spit out. You should feel a whole lot better!
Note: Undiluted clove oil can cause burning and even nerve damage, so be sure to dilute it if you are applying it to sensitive skin tissue. You can still use it directly on a tooth by applying it to a cotton ball or cotton swab first.
So back to my little episode on the ship. Turns out I needed a root canal (which by the way, these days is a piece of cake except for the pain to the wallet). The dentist had one word of advice for me: when in pain, use clove oil. As as matter of fact, he told me that it was a bit of clove oil on a cotton swab that provided preliminary numbing prior to my procedure.
History of Cloves
The use of clove dates back to the Han dynasty (207B.C to 220 A.D.) where it was used to hide bad breath. It was required that those who approached the Chinese emperor hold a clove in their mouth for this purpose. Over the years, traditional Chinese medicine has used cloves to treat indigestion, diarrhea, hernias, ringworm and also athletes foot and other fungal infections.
Cloves arrived in Europe in the 4th century A.D. They were considered a luxury and were used as a part of a mixture it was used to treat gout. Once cloves became readily available in Europe, they were used in a manner similar to traditional Chinese medicine. Europeans used cloves to treat indigestion, flatulence, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It also treated cough, infertility, warts, worms, wounds and toothaches.
The active component of cloves is eugenol oil. This oil makes up 60-90% of each clove and has long been thought to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. This oil also acts as an antiseptic, anesthetic, digestive stimulant expectorant, aromatic, antispasmodic, astringent and accounts for its various uses.
Proven Uses of Cloves and Clove Oil
Instant air freshener: Make an atomizer in a spray bottle mixing clove oil with water. Be sure to shake well before each use as oil and water do not stay mixed.
Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal: Effective aid for food poisoning, clove oil effectively kills many forms of bacterial infections. Clove is also effective in reducing fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
Anti-inflammatory: Clove oil clears the respiratory passages, acting as an expectorant for treating many upper-respiratory conditions including colds, eye sties, bronchitis, sinus conditions, cough and asthma.
Antiseptic: Clove oil can be used to reduce infections, wounds, insect bites and stings.
Cardiovascular Health: The active essential oil in clove, eugenol, has been shown to act as a an effective platelet inhibitor, preventing blood clots.
Energy booster: When used for aromatherapy purposes, clove oil helps to stimulate the brain. The scent makes you more attentive and can even make you feel more energetic than you normally would.
Improve blood circulation. Clove bud oil is one of the ingredients used in Naturalus Cayenne Plus Cream. It is used to sooth muscle & joint aches and pains and it does so by increasing the blood flow in the affected area.
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 for treating insect bites and stings.
Relieve headaches: Clove oil is useful for reducing the pain and discomfort associated with tension headaches. Apply a rag soaked in clove oils to the forehead or temples to get help open the blood vessels and rid yourself of the headache.
Skin: An aid for skin disorders, such as acne.
Stress reliever: Clove oil stimulates the circulatory system, clearing the mind and reducing mental exhaustion and fatigue. It is also used to aid insomnia, memory loss, anxiety and depression.
Prevention from toxic exposure: Some studies show that clove oil can prevent toxicity related to exposure to environmental pollution.