The oil of boundaries. It is no accident that our grannies told us to use cloves if we felt sick or had toothache, since its efficacies go back to before the birth of Christ! During the Renaissance (14th – 17th century), pomanders were made with cloves to keep epidemics and the plague at bay. Pliny (AD23 – 79) praised cloves, as did the great Roman doctor Alexander Trallianus (c. 525 – c.605), one of the most eminent of the ancient physicians.
Interesting fact: Clove has a high Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) score, which means it is effective in destroying free radicals. Reducing free radical activity in the body can help to prevent cancer, heart disease, strokes, and a number of other illnesses and disease. As a comparison, blueberries which are well known for their antioxidants, their ORAC score is 2,400 and the score of clove is over 10,000,000! Wow!
History: The Greeks called the tree ‘caryophyllum’ meaning ‘leaf of walnut tree’ which derived through Arabic to ‘girofle’, part of the French name for the spice ‘clou de girofle’. Clou is the French word for nail, derived from Latin ‘clavus’ (the dried buds look like little nails).
St Hildegarde (1098 – 1179), a German Benedictine abbess, visionary theologian, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic and profound scholar of natural science and music) in her book Morborum Causae et Curae, wrote that cloves were included in treatments for headaches, migraines, deafness after a cold, and dropsy, advising that cloves would warm people feeling cold, and cool down those who felt hot.
In Chinese medicine, cloves are considered a warming agent, good for hypertension; according to reports of the time, officials in the Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) often chewed clove to reduce bad breath caused by stomach “fire” and gum disease, before going to court to counsel the emperor.
Source: Zanzibar, Madagascar, Java and Sri Lanka. The bud, stem and leaf of the plant are used from a slender evergreen tree which grows up to 12 metres.
Properties: Anti-infectious, antidepressant, antibiotic, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammation, antifungal, strong antiseptic, antiparasitic, carminative (digestive relief), antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitumor, antiviral, diuretic, disinfectant, immune stimulant, sedative, uterine.
Therapeutic Uses & Benefits: Historically, cloves were used to support the digestive system, promote good breath, and alleviate skin irritations. Cloves are still used today as a stress-relieving agent for anxiety, tension, hysteria and insomnia.
Due to its minor anaesthetic effect, the oil has been traditionally used to relieve toothache.
Inflammatory conditions, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Common Primary Uses: Addictions (tobacco), antioxidant, blood clots, candida, cataracts, corns, disinfectant, fever, fungal infections, herpes simplex, Hodgkin’s disease, hormonal balance, hypothyroidism, liver cleansing, lupus, macular degeneration, memory, metabolism balance, muscle aches, muscle pain, osteoporosis, plague, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid dysfunction, toothache (pain), tumour (lipoma), viral infections, warts, wounds.
Emotional Uses: Clove supports individuals in letting go of a victim mentality, from feeling overly influenced by other people and outside circumstances and powerless to change their life situations by reconnecting them with their personal integrity and helping them regain the strength to stand up for their needs.
Clove builds up appropriate boundaries and defenses by giving the ‘pushover’ to say “no”, re-igniting the inner soul-fire and can help anytime there has been damage to the Self related to childhood pain, trauma or abuse encouraging positive attributes of feeling capable, courageous, empowered, independent, personal integrity, proactive, protected and setting clear boundaries.
Blends well with: Basil, black pepper, cajeput, cinnamon, ginger, spoke lavender, lavender, lemon, marjoram, nutmeg, orange, peppermint, rosemary, thyme.
Ways to Use
- Dilute 1:1 (1 drop doterra essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil) before topical use. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern
- Rub directly on gums surrounding an infected tooth (just as you’d do with clove oil bought from the chemist)
- Place on tongue with finger to remove desire to smoke (or take an OnGuard beadlet that has clove oil in it)
- Place on back of tongue to fight against a tickling cough
- Use as a flavouring in cooking
- Or take in veggie capsules
* Only use therapeutic grade oils neat on the skin and internally if safe to do so such as with doTERRA’s essential oils where labelled.