When you hear the word clove, you probably think about the little bottle on your spice rack or a flower. There are many important uses for cloves beyond its appearance or abilities to flavor your food. If you are into a more natural approach to health or want to learn how to incorporate essential oils into your outdoor kit, cloves are certainly a great addition.
What is Clove?
Clove, also known as Syzygium aromaticum, is a part of a tree that grows primarily in Asia and South America. The tree that produces the cloves can only grow in humid climates which makes it a higher commodity than spices you can simply grow in your kitchen or backyard.
Clove can be processed so you can use the flower bud, stem and leaves and either dry them or turn them into oils. This is then turned into medicine, cleaning products and of course cooking spices.
Uses and Benefits
Here are some main uses and benefits of Clove essential oil that will convince you to take it along for your outdoor adventures.
You probably already know this. Cooking is the most common use of cloves. You can add it to food and beverages to help increase its flavor. For hundreds of years, the clove plant has been added to food and drinks to gain the delicious mix of sweet and spice with the amazing smell that goes along with it. Clove also offers more than just an ability to enhance the taste of your food though. It is also loaded with nutrients like vitamins and minerals that the body needs to be healthy.
If you suffer from acne or want to battle bacteria build-up that may cause it, clove essential oil can be an ideal treatment. Simply combine three drops of clove essential oil with two teaspoons of raw honey and wash your face with it.
With poor diets and inadequate food quality control, it is possible to end up with digestive issues in the outdoors. Clove can work as an effective antifungal treatment or parasite cleanse. You should avoid processed grains and sugars while taking it to prevent unwanted interactions though.
Cloves can be very helpful for reducing pain in your body when you’re outdoors and have no access to medicine. It has anti-inflammatory agents such as eugenol, kaempferol, and rhamnetin to keep pain at bay and prevent it from getting worse.
Treat Oral Diseases
Clove oil goes above and beyond when it comes to treating oral problems. From toothaches to gum disease and everything in between, cloves not only reduce pain but help fight the infections in your mouth. Cloves have been used for toothache remedies since it was documented in 1640 in France and up to 2,000 years ago in China from oral history.
Cloves can reduce tooth decalcification as well as dental erosion on top of fighting pain and there have even been signs that it can re-mineralize your teeth as well. They do seem to be an all in one when it comes to oral health and is a must try for those looking for a more natural and cost-effective type of treatment. You can also include it in mouthwash to help prevent oral problems from forming or from coming back.
Cloves are able to help if you’re dealing with ulcers. It not only reduces the damage done by existing ulcers and keeps them from getting worse, but it also helps prevent new ones from forming.
This is because clove oil helps to produce more gastric mucus in the stomach to form a protective lining in the digestive tract. This reduces the amount of acid able to get through to the lining and cause gastritis or ulcers to get worse or form in the first place.
Cloves inhibit the growth of yeast, gram-positive bacteria and gram-negative bacteria that can become resistant to antibiotics. It is also a fantastic antimicrobial agent that makes it ideal for cleaning.
You can make your own cleaner including spray cleaners, and even make your own anti-bacterial wipes for your outdoor kit.
Cloves are included in a blend of oils known as thieves oils which were a blend of four oils that have been used for centuries to help fight off illness. In fact, this blend was used in Europe by robbers during the bubonic plague to stay healthy and avoid catching the plague themselves while looting homes. Thus the name, thieves oils.
Clove is a proven anti-inflammatory agent because of the eugenol it contains. It also contains kaempferol and rhamnetin flavonoids that have similar properties to help fight inflammation and bad bacteria growth.
This makes it a fantastic natural remedy for chronic pain and inflammation sufferers.
Because of the sweet yet spicy smell of the clove, it’s ideal for perfumes whether used on its own as the primary scent or as a secondary or background fragrance. Cloves are used in many professionally made perfumes to incorporate that special scent.
You can easily make your own by mixing your favorite essential oil scents and a carrier oil like coconut oil to form either a perfumed lotion or a standard perfume.
Cloves have antibacterial properties and a strong, sweet and spicy smell, making it perfect for personal hygiene items. Deodorant is a great example of that because it neutralizes your bad body odor and prevents bad bacteria from forming. You can also use it in shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and even toothpaste to help get a thorough clean that fights bacteria and smell great. These reasons alone are strong enough for you to add it to your outdoor kit.
Altitude Sickness Relief
The eugenol in cloves helps thin the blood, making it easier to flow through your veins and transmit oxygen throughout your body. This is crucial when you are at high altitudes so your brain can get the proper amount of oxygen to prevent altitude sickness and keep you going.
Cloves don’t just help prevent bad bacteria growth but will help you fight off viruses like the common cold and flu. If you do end up getting sick, cloves will help reduce inflammation and mucus. This reduces symptoms like coughs, congestions and sore throats.
Air Freshener and Odor Reducer
Clove oil mixed with boiled orange peels is a great natural air freshener that will also fight and eliminate foul odors, rather than just cover them up.
You can use it in the kitchen, bathroom or any other room that needs a little help and even use clove leaves on their own to freshen and eliminate odors. Place clove leaves in shoes to eliminate odors or burn clove leaves in your tent to soak up and eliminate bad smells.
Rather than spend money on bug spray, make your own with clove oil. Clove essential oils are an active ingredient in many types of insect repellent including repellents against mosquitoes, ants, moths, flies, aphids, mites and thrips.
This makes cloves a great inside and outside insect repellant and is a natural solution as opposed to dealing with a bunch of chemicals.
Simply spray clove essential oils in your immediate surroundings, wipe down surfaces with clove oil, or put a bowl of clove oil near where you’re sitting outside to prevent mosquitoes from biting you.
Cloves are a great natural moisturizer for your skin in liquid form to help return moisture into your skin and prevent the symptoms of itchy, dry skin. Cloves can also help you reduce the appearance of baggy and puffy eyes as well as stretch marks.
Clove oil is a fantastic natural metal cleaner because it removes dirt and dust without scratching or damaging the metal surface. The clove oil also provides a beautiful shine to the metal. You don’t need to use any other oils or ingredients, simply dip a cotton rag in pure clove oil and see the unmatched shine it provides metal of all kinds.
While it is amazingly beneficial to the human body, cloves are disastrous on weeds. In fact, it is the main active ingredient in most commercial weed killers. This makes it a must-have if you want to make your own weed killer.
High Antioxidant Content
Cloves are an amazing form of antioxidants with more than 30 times the amount in blueberries per gram. The antioxidants allow your body to combat the damage done by free radicals and can help protect your body from viruses and bad bacteria. They can also slow the signs of aging, prevent cell death and even reduce your chances of getting cancer.
Cloves can be very helpful for those with digestive issues like ulcers and gastritis. It can also help prevent and treat other illnesses like motion sickness, indigestion, and bloating.
Immune System Booster
With antibacterial and antiviral properties and high antioxidant content, the clove is a fantastic way to boost and maintain your immune system. This means helping your body, especially around a cold season, to fight off things like the flu and stay healthy.
Can Help Increase Heart Health
Your heart works hard to keep blood pumping everywhere it needs to be in your body. It can certainly use all the help it can get to keep working as well as possible. Cloves can be a great way to lower blood pressure, prevent potent platelets from forming and act as a natural blood thinner to prevent the risk of clumping in the arteries and heart attacks.
Because cloves contain eugenol, it is recommended that you take it to protect your liver and promote healthy function. This is because eugenol in small doses will help prevent liver disease and reverse previously done damage like inflammation and cellular oxidation which will speed up the aging process.
Even though cloves are all natural, you still need to be careful not to overdo it. Any type of essential oils isn’t advised for those under the age of two or women who are pregnant or nursing unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
You can dilute the essential oils with water or coconut oil but it is still important to consult your physician before starting them.
Essential oils, when taken orally and even after dilution, can still cause irritation on your skin and digestive system. This is why you shouldn’t take any essential oil orally for longer than two weeks in a row unless your doctor says otherwise and you should take a probiotic supplement to regain normal digestion. You also need to do your research and make sure your clove oil in 100% natural and pure without any additives or chemicals.
Although clove oil contains eugenol, which is a chemical that can reduce pain and fight infections, there hasn’t been thorough testing to see just how effective it truly is.
Clove essential oil can also reduce your blood ability to clot because of the eugenol, so you should always discuss with your doctor if taking it is a good choice for you. Make sure any medications you are on won’t negatively interact with it.
Clove oil has amazing properties that can help you in a large variety of ways. Whether it is as simple as flavoring your food, creating your own cleaning agent, or using it to boost your overall health when you’re out camping, clove oil is a must have that has earned its spot in your outdoor kit.
Jodie Walker is a full-time writer and a keen essential oil enthusiast. She believes that there’s an essential oil for everything and loves the benefits that it provides. Her favorites include Sweet orange oil and Peppermint oil for a quick perk me up.