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Clove, most notable for its mouth-numbing effect, is popular in Asian, African, and Mexican cuisine. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, clove is used to dull pain (especially toothaches), to enhance digestion, and to kill parasites. And likewise, in Chinese herbal medicine, clove warms the digestive fire. It is also used to soothe morning sickness in pregnant women. Western studies have found that clove is an antioxidant and that it can help to reduce blood sugar levels, as well as ease dental pain.

Clove essential oil has notable use as an antiseptic because of its ability to inhibit bacteria and yeast.7 In a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, clove essential oil was able to obstruct Candida formation with its antifungal activity. Researchers recommended further investigation into the use of clove essential oil for the clinical treatment of fungal infection.

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Along with their other medical benefits, cloves are also a powerful anti-fungal agent often used to treat athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. Clove oil’s use as an antifungal is well supported by research. A 2001 study found that clove oil had a fast killing effect on yeast cells. The constituents of clove oil are eugenol, eugenyl acetate, caryophyllene and iocaryophyllene, of which eugenol is the active ingredient. Its antiseptic properties allow it to kill the Candida yeast, while it also boosts your immune system.

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The main compound that is the effective antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic is eugenol that comprises up to 90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves. Eugenol is the compound most responsible for the strong medicinal effects as well as for the characteristic aroma of cloves.

The good thing is that even commercially available clove oil has been analyzed by scientists and found to have a high concentration of eugenol (over 80%), and it is cheap and readily available. But you must take care when using clove oil! You will be able to read more about caution when using clove oil further ahead.

There are numerous studies from India and Asia that have revealed the yeast suppressing and yeast killing effect of cloves in both the oral cavity as well as in the digestive tract. Clove tea, made by steeping the dried buds in boiling water can help to ease nausea and indigestion. Tincture of cloves as well as oil of cloves helps to heal many types of fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. Cloves are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia and have been used as a spice all over the world for many centuries.

Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. You may have heard about the effect that cloves have on toothache; the oil in particular has a numbing effect on mouth tissues such as the gums and help to soothe nerves of teeth that are affected by toothache. What you may be less familiar with is that even in the tiniest of concentrations, clove oil is a very powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent.

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