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The Medicinal Properties Of Clove Oil

Updated on November 14, 2007
Ground cloves surrounded by dried clove buds.
Ground cloves surrounded by dried clove buds.

Clove oil, also known as clove bud oil, was one of three essential oils a lot of the homeless I knew in England carried around with them (the other two being tea tree and lavender). Getting to a dentist is almost as difficult in England as getting to a dentist in America, so when you had a toothache and no money for a dentist, you turned to clove oil.

Got Toothache?

Look at the over the counter tubes of toothache remedies in the pharmacy or chemist. Basically, they are clove oil!

Clove oil can be applied with a clean finger or cotton swab on the place where your tooth hurts. If a filling has popped out, put a few drops on a cotton ball and shove where the gap is. You still need to go to the dentist, though, but at least waiting can be more bearable.

Clove oil was especially useful for when I had painful sinus infections that are almost indistinguishable from toothache of the upper jaw. It also was good when a foreign substance like a strawberry seed went under my gums and I had to extract it myself. (Ugh).

Clove oil is a mild topical anestetic, but more is NOT better with clove oil! It will burn your skin, although a couple of drops on the gums or tooth is usually no problem, probably because it is diluted by your saliva. You will need to wash the clove oil off of your fingers if you apply it by fingertip, or after a little while your fingers will burn.

One tip -- brace yourself for the taste. It's pretty bad, but not as bad as having a toothache.

If you don't know why you have toothache pain, get to a doctor if you can't get to a dentist. You might have an infection that needs painkillers or an antibiotic.

Clove oil is also used to dull the pain of mouth sores. You can use it as a mouthwash, making up one part clove oil to nine parts water.

Soaked To The Skin

One of the most dangerous things we could do as British homeless was to get drenched. You couldn't stay in wet clothes. Modesty went out the hypothetical window when pneumonia was staring you in the face. You got out of those wet clothes and as dry as possible. A hot drink was essential to keep you from going into shock and, whenever possible, a footsoak.

Clove oil was great in my footbath, but only four or five drops. It's powerful. I had the pot bellied stove going in my makeshift squat (called a bender), lean my head over the steam and feel the blood return to my limbs. Ginger tea is also very effective in quickly heating you up when you are shaking with the cold and the wet, but any hot drink, even hot water, is preferable to nothing!

Leg sores

Clove oil is not recommended on open wounds, although it does have disinfecting properties -- but it can also burn! I have never used clove oil on any leg ulcers or skin sores, but have known people who have. They took a plain unscented body lotion and added one part clove oil to nine parts lotion, mixed it up and massaged it on.

If you have a wound or sore that doesn't go away in a week or doesn't seem to be anywhere near helaing, you are best off seeing the doctor. There could be an infection in there. This is especially important if you use intravenous drugs. Your wounds will have difficulty closing, and your nautral immunity is nearly gone.

Insect Repellant

Never put clove oil on your skin full strength! You can mix it in a cream or lotion, or leave a tissue with a few drops on it where moths and little midges like to gather. This usually keeps them away. Insects also don't like lavender or tea tree.

Arthritis Massage

Some people also use clove oil mixed with a vegatable based oil to massage into arthritic limbs. Safe inexpensive base oils include jojoba, olive oil or rapeseed. You really want to splurge, get apricot kernel oil. Again, use one part clove oil to nine parts oil. You need the oil to be at least room temperature, or you'll leap a mile when you touch it.

If you can't work your fingers for a massage or can't get someone to masage the oil in for you, try a hot compress with a few drops of clove oil added. Other oils that are good for arthritis pain are ginger, black pepper and rosemary.

Goldfish Euthenasia

Another use for clove oil is for not so happy a purpose. Unlike other pets, fish can't be taken to the vet. You are their vet. Sometimes, when a goldfish or freshwater tropical fish is obviously suffering, the kindest thing you can do for it is to put it out of it's misery. Don't just flush down the toilet -- they will still be alive.

Get a bowl that contains at least one liter of water. Pour in the one liter of water and add 10 drops of clove oil. Then, say goodbye to your small fish and place him or her in the euthenasia bowl. Death should be quick.

Then have a good cry and try to remember the good times about your dead wet pet.

Natural toothache remedies lesson by HomeRemedySecrets.

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  • RenaSherwood profile image
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    RenaSherwood 9 years ago

    You're quite welcome. Thanks for taking time to comment :-)

  • Michele Engholm profile image

    Michele Engholm 9 years ago from Hutchinson

    I have never had to think of euthanizing a goldfish, but you are correct, that would be infinitely more humane than a slow death in the sewer or septic system. Nice hub once again Rena...Thanks!