Clove Essential Oil - Syzygium aromaticum

3:03 PM Posted by jo

Clove, Syzygium aromaticum, is part of the Myrtaceae family. It is also called Carophyllym and  Eugenia aromatica. It is an evergreen that may reach 30 feet tall with crimsom flowers and gray leaves.

The dried buds from the flowers are water or steamed distilled to make the essential oil. It grows in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Indonesia, Mauritius and Antilles.

The Greeks and Romans highly valued clove and the Chinese has used the plant long before Christ. St. Hildegard mentioned clove as very useful in migraines. 

Essential oils have high antioxidant value. For example, clove is the ingredient tested with the highest antioxidant capacity on the ORAC scale.

The chemical constituents of Syzygium aromaticum are:
  • The phenolic ethers eugenol and chavicol. They have antioxidant and anti-viral properties.
  • The sesquiterpenes carophyllene which is formed during the distillation.
  • Alcohols.
  • Methyl salicylate.
Syzygium aromaticum has a spicy, hot peppery and fresh top note. It is very penetrating and stays in my head. The middle note is very uplifting, smooth, more distinct and sweet. It is very aromatic. The base note seems stronger, sweet, spicy, and warm. The dry out note is still strong, spicy, slightly floral and fruity. Clove is an uplifting, stimulating, and positive scent. 

The oil is yellow. It feels oily when I rub and dries slowly when I rub it between my fingers. It leaves a gray stain on the blotter.

Clove is a very positive, uplifting, and stimulating scent. I like it. I makes me feel very positive and ready to do things. I associate the aroma with freshly baked gingerbread. This is of course my personal opinion.

According to Battaglia, clove contains eugenol and is therefore antiseptic. He says it may be used to prevent viral diseases. Battaglia says that due to being an antispasmodic and carminative, it helps stimulate digestion, relieves flatulence, and restores the appetite. Clove's anesthetic property has historically been used to ease toothache. According to Battaglia, the anti-inflammatory properties may be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis.

According to Jean Valnet, MD, clove oil can prevent contagious disease, and may treat arthritis, bronchitis, colera, cystitis, cholera, dental infection, amoebic dysentery, diarrhea, tuberculosis, acne, fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, insect bites, hypertenstion, dermatitis, skin cancer, bacterial colitism sinusitis, sores, viral hepatitis, warts, and lymphoma.

According to Dr.LeAnn, clove has corticosteroid activity, and they can support the adrenals and help them to heal.

It is a strong oil and is not often used in skin care. It has traditionally been used for leg ulcers, skin sores and infected wounds.

It blends well with
Basil, black pepper, cajuput, cinnamon, spike lavender, lemon, Spanish marjoram, nutmeg, orange, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme.

Use with caution after first trimester but it is best to consult a physician before use when pregnant.

Avoid with homeopathics. It is a mucus membranes irritant, and it may cause dermatitis. It is also a blood thinner and should be avoided if taking blood thinning  medication. 

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
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