Not many of us here in the United States have a Sysygium aromaticum tree growing in our backyard. However, we eat and cook with its unopened, dried flower buds quite often. Especially this time of year as an ingredient in the signature flavor of fall, pumpkin pie spice, that’s in everything! Those buds we know as cloves. These tropical evergreen trees are native to the Malaku Islands in Indonesia. Cloves, whole or ground, are also used to flavor meats, curries, chai, mulled wine, and cider.
Along with pumpkin pie spice, ragweed is another sign of fall approaching. For many this means allergies and sinus congestion. Congestion can cause toothaches for some people. No worries, pull out the cloves! As with a lot of the foods and spices we have in our pantry, cloves have several medicinal uses. Clove oil is even used in dentistry to treat pain. It contains the chemical eugenol, an anesthetic and antibacterial agent, which helps to numb and reduce the pain of a toothache. Here are a few simple methods. One is to put a few cloves in your mouth and moisten them with your saliva. To release more of its power, crush it with your non-painful molars before holding it against the aching tooth for about thirty minutes. Spit out and repeat the process once more if needed. Your tongue will definitely become numb if used to move the cloves around in your mouth. You can use ground cloves as well by adding some to ¼ teaspoon of olive oil to make a paste. Then apply with a cotton swab or your clean finger. A cup of clove tea is another alternative. If you have several weeks, you can crush and soak cloves in olive oil to make a clove oil you can easily apply with a cotton swab when needed. Remember to strain out the clove pieces before storing.
There are some possible side effects to using clove oil. If applied directly in your mouth or on your skin, it’s possible one could experience skin or gum irritations, damage, or a burning sensation. The presence of eugenol can be harmful for people suffering from blood disorders. It is NOT for INFANTS or YOUNG CHILDREN. Clove oil should not be ingested as high amounts can lead to seizures and liver injury. As always, do your own research and consult a physician if you have questions or concerns about using this or any other treatments. This is intended to be informational only and not medical advice.
Artist, Writer, Holistic Living Guide
Important Disclaimer: Any content discussing medicinal uses of plants, herbs, or food as medicine is informational only and not prescriptive. When dealing with health issues, be sure to do your own research and consult with the appropriate health professional for guidance. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is information based on my personal research and studies.