It has happened to all of us. It is the weekend or you are miles away from civilization and your tooth starts to hurt. The pain is excruciating and has become so bad you can not eat, drink, concentrate, or get through the normal day-to-day activities of life. If it is night time, you can’t sleep.
A trip to the ER is not practical and of course, what dentist is open for business on the weekend?
Let me let you in on a secret. You can temporarily mitigate the pain and suffering of a toothache with with the oil of clove, an inexpensive and readily available essential oil commonly referred to as clove oil or clove bud oil”.
How to Mitigate Dental Pain with Clove Oil
Here is what you need to 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.
Just so you know, I did not come up with this pain-relieving trick on my own. While on vacation, I was experiencing major dental woes. When I got home, my dentist had one piece of advice for me. Always travel with a small bottle of inexpensive clove. In addition, he told me he was such a proponent of clove oil that he frequently used it with patients to provide preliminary numbing prior to a procedure.
I was convinced and wanting to learn more, I decided to investigate additional uses for this miracle oil.
The 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. Anyone approaching the Chinese emperor was required to hold a clove in their mouth for this purpose. Over the years, traditional Chinese medicine has used cloves to treat indigestion, diarrhea, hernias, ringworm, 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 more readily available in Europe, they were used in a manner similar to traditional Chinese medicine. Europeans used cloves to treat indigestion, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. cough, infertility, warts, worms, wounds and toothaches.
In America, cloves have been used to treat digestive disorders and have been used in bitter herb medicine preparations to make them more tasteful.
Here is a fact for you: Americans were the first to extract the oil from cloves and use it to treat the gums and relieve 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.
20 Ways to Benefit from Clove Oil
Since my first experience using clove oil for dental pain, I have incorporated cloves and clove essential oil into other aspects of daily life. Here is a list of 20 ways you can benefit from clove essential 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. If your household is smelling especially bad or is really stale, simmer some cloves, cinnamon and orange peel on the stove for awhile; the smell will be heavenly. You can also use an essential oil diffuser to automatically mist clove oil in the air.
Got Doggie Destructo? You can discourage puppy chewing by dabbing the most likely targets (wood moldings, your slippers) with a bit of clove oil. One sniff and one taste and your pup will move on to something else, hopefully his dog food or doggie toys. This worked with Tucker the Awesome Wonder Dog (my Yorkie) and he never did develop and penchant for chewing anything but his treats and toys.
Non-toxic Insect Repellent: Did you know that many insect repellent companies use Clove essential oil as one of the active ingredients in their spray products? If you have some clove leaves or oils, you can simply use these instead of spending money on bug spray. Another thing you can do is plant cloves around the perimeter of your yard to replace the number of bugs that cross into your yard. You can also put some of the oils on your body so bugs and mosquitoes won’t come near you.
As much as I tried, I could only find anecdotal information about the benefits of cloves. There seems to be little or no scientific research into the medicinal uses of cloves which frankly, I find baffling given the huge sums that are devoted to the research of toxic pharmacy products.
That said, here are some of the reported therapeutic uses of cloves and oil of clove:
Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal: As an 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.
Cancer Prevention: Preliminary studies suggest that clove oil may play a chemo preventative role, particularly in cases of lung, skin and digestive cancers. The American Cancer Society states that more carefully controlled research is needed to determine the role of Chinese herbal medicine, including cloves, in cancer treatment and prevention.
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.
Improves blood circulation. Clove bud oil is one of the ingredients used in Tiger Balm, which is an herbal formulation that dates back to the times of the Chinese emperors. It is used to sooth muscle aches and pains and is though to do so by increasing the blood flow in the affected area.
Indigestion: Clove oil offers a powerful action against gas and bloating. It reduces gas pressure in the stomach, aiding in the proper elimination of food and toxins. It also relieves the discomfort of peptic ulcers. Effective for stomach related conditions including nausea, hiccups, motion sickness and vomiting.
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.
Mitigate Dental Pain: Clove creates a numbing sensation that becomes a powerful pain reliever for dental pain.
Powerful germicidal properties: Gargling with clove oil can aid in sore throat conditions and bad breath.
Premature Ejaculation: Some research has shown that clove may be useful as a aid for premature ejaculation.
Relieve flatulence: A tea made of cloves can relieve the foof’s. Try steeping 5 cloves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink it when it cools and repeat two of three times daily.
Relieves 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.
How to Make Your Own Clove Oil Infusion
While not as potent as an essential oil, an clove oil infusion is a cinch to make at home for very little cost. (Not that clove essential oil is expensive, but sometimes, it is nice to have a DIY alternative.)
Here is what to do:
Using a mason jar, take 1/8 cup of whole clove buds and cover them with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. I recommend using olive oil for its own unique healing qualities but any oil will work.
Cover the jar and set it in a warm place such as the top of the refrigerator, next to the fireplace, or a sunny window sill. Every couple of days, give the jar a good shake. At the end of two weeks, strain the cloves from the oil and you are all set.
This clove oil infusion would make a fantastic carrier oil to mix with other essential oils or herbs when creating your own salves including DIY Miracle Salve.
What about “Thieves” or Bandit Blends?
According to the Essential Oils Desk Reference, “cloves were reputed to be part of the “Marseilles Vinegar” or “Four Thieves Vinegar” that bandits who robbed the dead and dying used to protect themselves during the 15th century plague.”
These days, there are many popular thieves-type blends put out by essential oils companies. I personally use the Spark Naturals Shield Blend bit you can also make your own using this recipe:
DIY Shield or Thieves/Robbers Blend
45 drops clove essential oil
35 drops lemon essential oil
25 drops eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
Combine the all essential oils and store in a dark 15 ml glass bottle.
A good way to use this clove intensive blend is in a protective spray.
How to Make An Essential Oil Protective Spray
Here is the recipe I use to make “Shield Protective Spray”. I use it as a hand sanitizer, room freshener, and all around disinfectant and protectant.
DIY Protective Spray
Add the essential oil to a 2 ounce glass spray bottle. Top with Witch Hazel. Shake well before using. That’s it. Easy peasy. Honestly, this recipe is so darn simple, it is embarrassing.
A Word About Essential Oils
When selecting the essential oils, be mindful that you want to use 100% pure, undiluted, essential oils. I get mine from Spark Naturals because I feel that they are the best quality I can buy at a reasonable price. If you are interesting in giving them a try, you will enjoy an extra 10% by using coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
Note: Enjoy a 10% discount at Spark Naturals using discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL.
For the budget minded, and especially when using oils in cleaning products, you might want to consider the 100% pure essential oils from NOW Foods. I have had good luck with them although I find I need to increase the amount used by about 50% to get the same benefit when used as an air freshener in my diffuser. Products from NOW Foods are often available in stores that sell supplements as well as online at Amazon and elsewhere.
Resource: NOW Foods Clove Oil
The Final Word
I first wrote about clove oil back in 2012. Since then, it has become an important addition to my first aid kit and is a frequent visitor to my diffuser. There is simply something calming about breathing air that is infused with the smell of cloves!
One caution: please remember that clove oil is very strong in nature and hence should always be used in a diluted form. In addition, if you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first. That said, cloves and clove oil are inexpensive and useful for a variety of purposes and ailments. And for a toothache or dental pain? In my view a dab of clove oil sure beats strong and potentially toxic pain relievers that require a prescription.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article.
Spark Naturals Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals exclusively. They are high quality yet reasonably priced. In addition, there are no membership fees and a distributor relationship is not necessary to get best pricing. Interested in checking them out? Backdoor Survival readers get a 10% discount by using coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout!
NOW Foods Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals. For healing purposes, I feel they are superior. On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price plus they can be purchased at Amazon.com. Here are a few to get you started: NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil, and Now Foods Lavender Oil and, of course, NOW Foods Clove Oil.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: I first became interested in aromatherapy and essential oils in the early 90s which was before they really became mainstream. I read every book I could get my hands on and dabbled at creating synergy’s (a combination of two or more oils that create a chemical compound that is greater than the some of its individual components). My bible then, and even now, is this book.
Essential Oils Desk Reference 6th Edition: This is the ultimate gift for the essential oil lover in your life. I thought long and hard before purchasing this book myself, but once I did, I was so grateful I took the leap. The information is cross referenced in many ways making it easy to find what you are looking for. When searching for a particular remedy, you may see multiple oils listed and any will work but they are presented in order of typical efficacy. The nice thing is that if you do not have #1 on hand, you can move down the list. I have found the recommendations to be spot on.
Thayer Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel, Unscented: This is the witch hazel that I use. I found that Amazon was less expensive than our local drugstore so be sure to check prices. Spark Naturals also sells witch hazel so if you are placing an order, you might want to add it to your cart since the cost is about the same. (Don’t forget your 10% discount using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL applied.)
ZAQ Noor Diffuser: Of my three diffusers, this is my favorite and is therefore the one I recommend. It puts out a strong, fragrant mist that is both soothing and healing. My second most favorite is the ZAQ Dew (pictured above). With both diffuser, the really cool thing is that the light (which can be turned off) changes colors all by its own self. Very soothing and I love it!
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