Clove oil is a very active essential oil, and its intensity makes it good for many uses outside the kitchen as well as in it. It is known to be helpful in relieving toothache and dental infection, as well as for killing some parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi. It has a warm, cinnamonlike smell and taste, but some people are allergic to clove oil. It is approved generally for food use in the United States, but should not be given in large amounts to people with kidney or liver disorders, young children, or pregnant or nursing women.
Rub clove oil on painful teeth and gums, diluted with vegetable or olive oil. It can be added to toothpastes and tooth powders, since it kills infection as well as numbing pain. Clove oil acts as a mild anti-inflammatory as well, reducing swelling along with pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, clove oil is as effective as over-the-counter benzocaine for dental pain.
The list of attributes of clove oil includes antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiparasitic qualities. It has been approved as a topical antiseptic and anesthetic by the German Commission E, which evaluates herbal remedies scientifically. It is sometimes given to livestock to slow down the fermentation of their waste.
Clove oil is used in many cosmetic and fragrance products, including face scrubs and masks, and spiced scents in potpourri, candles and room sprays. At Christmas time, pressing cloves into the peel of an orange is a decorative and warm-smelling way to adorn a house or kitchen. Clove oil warmed in oil burners gives an aromatic holiday scent to a room.
Clove oil is sometimes applied to the skin, diluted with other basic oils like vegetable or olive oil. It warms the skin where it is spread, numbing topical pain. It also is used to get rid of acne, warts, scars and even parasites on the skin. However, its use for these purposes has not been scientifically evaluated.
Marine researchers have used clove oil successfully as an anesthetic for juvenile tropical saltwater fish. It is used when capturing, weighing, tagging and transporting live juvenile fish. The clove oil is emulsified with seawater and given through the gills of the fish, according to scientists at the University of Reunion Marine Ecology Laboratory on Reunion Island in the South Indian Ocean.
Ayurvedic health practitioners say clove oil supports the respiratory and circulatory systems, and regulates digestive function when a drop or two is added to drinking water. The National Institutes of Health say studies on the use of clove for premature ejaculation, fever reduction and as a mosquito repellent have not been reliably conclusive. It is also known to lower blood sugar and encourage bleeding, so it may have interactions with other supplements or drugs.
Clove has many uses in family, love, prosperity and protection spells. Clove oil in particular can be used to anoint candles for these spells, or as the ink for drawing magical symbols for these purposes. Clove oil is popular for use in spells that involve ingesting the ingredient or making skin contact with it, since, while potent, clove is relatively harmless to ingest or touch. It is common in offerings to Indonesian and Malaysian deities.