Cloves have enjoyed unflagging popularity in cuisine for many years. We use them both when baking aromatic meats as well as Christmas cakes and gingerbread. Nevertheless, many of us are aware of the valuable health and cosmetic properties hidden in this amazing plant and the oil produced from it. It turns out that the healing potential of clove oil was known thousands of years ago. It was used, among others, by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Also in modern phytotherapy, clove oil is used to treat the symptoms of adolescent acne, and even cellulite, which is common among women.
Where it comes from and what is the characteristics of clove oil
The valuable properties of cloves have been known for centuries in ancient Babylon, Egypt, Greece and even China. The clove carnation (also known as Eugenia caryophyllata) belongs to the Eugenia species, with over 100 representatives of plants usually found in the tropical region. The clove tree is a tall, evergreen tree that can reach a height of up to 15 meters. Interestingly, this tree blooms twice a year for over 60 years. However, it is able to bear the first fruits only after reaching 6-10 years of age. The clove fruit is edible. Nevertheless, they are best known to us in the form of an aromatic spice.
The well-known cloves are actually undeveloped flower buds. They are usually harvested before the end of the flowering period, from August to February. This way, you can get as much of the valuable essential oil as possible from them. Clove buds are typically 10 to a maximum of 20 millimeters long. After drying, they take a dark brown color, and their shape may remind us of the aforementioned nails. It is worth knowing that the interest in cloves in the world is so great that their 12-month production weighs up to several thousand tons. Cloves have a unique aroma. In addition, when consumed, it causes a numbing sensation in the mouth. All this is due to the rich content of essential oil in its composition.
Clove oil (also known as Oleum Caryophylli) was available in European pharmacies as early as the 16th century. It was prepared by the German pharmacist Valerius Cordus. This product is most often obtained by steam distillation. The flower buds of the aforementioned tree are mainly used for its production. Nevertheless, some oils also contain stems and leaves.
In addition to its unique aroma, clove oil is also characterized by an unusual composition. It is a natural essential oil, the main ingredient of which is eugenol and acetyl eugenol. Eugenol is a substance belonging to the group of terpenes. It is he who is mainly responsible for the extraordinary properties of essential oils and has a strong disinfecting effect. Moreover, clove oil is a source of methyl salicylate, which is responsible for the analgesic properties of this product. It is also worth knowing that this product is an excellent treasury of vitamins and minerals. It includes, among others, vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium and iron. Interestingly, this product is also a source of methyl alcohol, which is harmful to health. Nevertheless, its quantity is only negligible, making proper use of clove oil absolutely safe.
Clove oil - cosmetic properties and influence on human well-being
Clove oil is able to show a highly positive effect on both the appearance of the skin and human well-being. First of all, it is known for its antiseptic and antifungal properties. Therefore, for many years it has been used in phytotherapy as the basis for the treatment of difficult to heal skin infections. Interestingly, it is also used in the treatment of mycosis of the skin and even scabies. Numerous sources report that diluted clove oil, applied to the site of a mosquito bite, is able to relieve pain and itching in a short time. Scientific research proves that the oil produced from valuable cloves is able to fight bacteria belonging to the E. Coli species, and even staphylococcus. Therefore, this product is widely used in the treatment of visible acne lesions. It is worth knowing that clove oil is well tolerated by human skin. In most cases, it does not cause excessive drying or irritation of the skin.
Like the cloves themselves, the oil obtained from them is considered a valuable ingredient in maintaining proper oral hygiene. The substances it contains show bactericidal and analgesic properties. Therefore, diluted clove oil can be applied topically to a sore tooth or as a disinfectant rinse. It is also important that the product obtained from cloves has a positive effect on alleviating bad breath. It is worth knowing that it is widely used in the production of toothpastes and liquids intended for oral care.
Hundreds of years ago, clove oil was considered not only a valuable medicine, but also an aphrodisiac. Its unique aroma is able to alleviate the negative symptoms of stress and even stimulate the nervous system, thus postponing fatigue and inducing a slight sexual arousal.
Despite the numerous health properties of clove oil, it should be remembered that it is only a cosmetic product, not a medicine. Therefore, it cannot be used in place of pharmaceuticals prescribed by a specialist. Moreover, the use of this product for therapeutic purposes should always be consulted with an experienced general practitioner, dermatologist and / or pharmacist.
Clove oil for cellulite
The eugenol (active ingredient) contained in clove oil may help to improve blood circulation in the body. Thanks to this, it becomes possible to better oxygenate the organs and limbs. The above properties of clove oil meant that it was used in the treatment of cellulite, which is common among women. It is able not only to stimulate proper blood circulation, but also to warm up, which helps to break down subcutaneous fat. In order to minimize the symptoms of "orange peel", mix 5 drops of clove oil with 5 tablespoons of olive oil. It is worth adding 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the prepared mixture. The mixture prepared in this way should be used to massage the areas affected by cellulite. After about 5 minutes, rinse the oils off the skin with cool water. This procedure should be performed at least twice a week. It is worth remembering that a healthy diet and systematic physical activity are also of great importance for the elimination of cellulite symptoms.
Contraindications for the use of clove oil
Although in most cases the correct dosage of clove oil is safe for our health, there are some contraindications related to its use. First of all: clove oil is not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Second, you shouldn't spread undiluted clove oil directly on your skin. Before use, it must be diluted or mixed with another base oil (e.g. olive oil or linseed oil). It's also worth knowing that clove oil can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, it is worth carrying out a skin tolerance test before using it properly. However, in the event of disturbing symptoms (such as redness, itching, swelling of the skin, burning or the appearance of a rash), it is worth consulting an experienced allergist.