Clove Bud Essential Oil

Clove bud essential oil has been used for centuries. But what are the actual, proven benefits of it? Let’s find out shall we?

Clove bud essential oil

Properties of Clove Bud Essential Oil


You will find many botanical names for clove, for example:

  • Syzygium aromaticum
  • Caryophyllus aromaticus
  • Eugenia aromatica
  • Eugenia caryophyllata
  • Eugenia caryophyllus

You may also see clove leaf essential oil for sale. So be sure to check both the botanical name and part of the plant used when buying this essential oil.

Color & Smell of clove oil

Clove bud essential oil ranges in color from pale, golden yellow to brown. Its scent is very similar to cloves. That means it has a spicy, woody, unique smell to it.

What is in clove bud oil?

The main compound in clove bud essential oil is eugenol. It can make up anywhere from 50% to 90% of the oil. Other compounds that can be found in the oil include beta-caryophyllene, eugenyl acetate, and alpha-humulene.

Note, clove leaf essential oil contains high amounts of eugenol too but little or no eugenyl acetate. So you can expect clove leaf will have similar benefits to clove bud essential oil.

Benefits of Clove Bud Essential Oil

There are many benefits of clove bud essential oil include:

  • neutralizes free radicals
  • kills cancer cells in vitro
  • relieves pain
  • kills bacteria and fungi
  • repels and kills insects, spiders, mites and ticks


Clove oil may be cytotoxic to cancer cells

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A 2010 study found clove bud essential oil strongly inhibited melanoma cells at very low concentrations. And another 2010 study compared the effects of clove essential oil on cancer cells and on normal cells. The oil was found to have significant cytotoxic effects against all the studied cancer cell lines.

What does that mean? Well, clove essential oil is far more toxic to cancer cells than normal healthy cells. So there may be anticancer benefits of clove bud essential oil. But remember, these were lab studies and not clinical trials. We cannot definitively say clove can be used to fight cancer.

It is antioxidant

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There are many studies that explore this benefit of clove bud essential oil. A 2009 study looked at the antioxidant benefits of fourteen essential oils (including black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, fennel seed, caraway, cinnamon leaf, marjoram, ginger, garlic and clove bud). The study found garlic, clove bud, and cinnamon leaf essential oils were the most antioxidant oils tested.

A later study (2015) found eugenol was the compound responsible for these clove bud essential oil benefits.

It may help with pain

Clove essential oil has been used traditionally to relieve pain (especially toothaches). And these 2011 and 2012 animal studies suggest there may be some merit to this. Both studies showed the animal models exhibited reduced pain responses after being administered clove oil.

There’s a catch though – clove oil was injected into the animals. So it is unclear if topical use of clove bud essential oil will have similar pain relieving effects.

It is definitely antibacterial

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There is no shortage of research proving the antibacterial benefits of clove bud essential oil. For instance, a 2004 study investigated the effects of 17 plant essential oils (including cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, clove bud, lemon, lemongrass, and oregano) and 9 oil compounds (including eugenol, carvacrol, geraniol, and citral) on foodborne pathogens like Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica.

Clove bud essential oil was among the ten most active compounds against E. coli. However, its effects were not as strong against Salmonella enterica. So while clove bud essential oil has great antibacterial benefits, it isn’t one of the most antibacterial essential oils.

It has strong antifungal benefits

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Clove bud essential oil is a powerful antifungal oil. Take the results from this 2007 study as proof. The study tested clove bud on 53 human pathogenic yeasts. And the results showed the essential oil was highly effective against all the tested strains!

Clove bud essential oil is a great insecticide

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Again, there are lots of studies demonstrating these benefits. A 2005 study tested 29 essential oils (like eucalyptus, cassia, clove bud and garlic) on the Japanese termite, Reticulitermes speratus Kolbe. The study noted clove bud and garlic essential oils exhibited the most potent anti-termitic activity among the essential oils under investigation.

That’s pretty awesome!

It’s useful against lice

Clove bud’s insecticidal benefits extends to the human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis. This 2003 study suggested that clove bud essential oil had similar effects to two commonly used pediculicides, delta-phenothrin and pyrethrum. And, of course, eugenol was identified as the compound most toxic to the lice.

Clove bud essential oil can kill spiders and mites

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Several studies including this 2009 one found clove bud essential oil has acaricidal benefits. The study tested the oil on dust mites and showed that even at very low concentrations, clove bud essential oil was very effective against the mites. Woohoo!

Clove bud oil has been used for centuries

This 2007 study details the scientifically-proven and anecdotal benefits of clove bud essential oil. It noted clove bud is used topically to relieve pain, promote healing, and reduce inflammatory. It also reported the oil may have antiviral properties as well.

Clove bud oil and eugenol are also commonly used for toothaches. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not believe there is enough research to show clove oil is as effective for toothache pain as originally thought. In fact, a report submitted to the FDA noted:

… eugenol can damage the pulp of a vital tooth and should only be used in teeth with persistent throbbing pain (indicating [already] irreparable pulpal damage)…


So while anecdotal evidence suggests clove bud essential oil is great for a whole host of ailments, the oil should be used with tremendous caution.
Summary of Clove Bud Essential Oil Benefits
Finally, here’s a brief list of the scientifically proven benefits of clove bud essential oil.

Clove bud essential oil benefits

Uses of Clove Bud Essential Oil

The benefits of clove bud essential oil is pretty awesome. But how do you use the oil? Let’s take a look.

You can add small amounts of clove bud oil to your diffuser to get a wonderful spicy scent. It’s a strong oil so you only need to use a little.

Clove bud essential oil also blends well with other spicy oils too. So you can use bay, clary sage, geranium, ginger, palmarosa, peppermint and sandalwood oils with clove bud. Citrus oils also work well with this essential oil. That means you can pair clove bud with bergamot, grapefruit, lemon and orange essential oils.
Clove bud essential oil must be properly diluted with a carrier oil before using it on your skin. A blend of 3% may be sufficient for your needs. But you should know this oil may irritate your skin. So always patch test first and dilute even further if necessary.
Clove bud essential oil is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or suffering from liver and kidney problems. In fact, using high concentrations of clove oil may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, internal bleeding, breathing problems, seizures, liver damage, or kidney damage.

Yep! It’s serious! Eugenol is no joke. So use this oil with caution. You should also consult with your medical practitioner before using this essential oil… or any other essential oil for that matter.

Where to buy clove bud essential oil?

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