Clove
Clove

Background

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) is a tree native to Indonesia. Its dried flower buds are a popular spice and are also used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Clove oils, dried flower buds, leaves, and stems are used to make medicine. Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol that might help decrease pain and fight infections. Clove is also a popular ingredient in cigarettes.

People commonly use clove for toothache, pain during dental work, dental plaque, hangover, indigestion, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
When taken by mouth: Clove is commonly consumed in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if taking clove in larger amounts is safe or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: Clove oil or cream containing clove flower is possibly safe. But applying clove oil in the mouth or on the gums can sometimes cause irritation and gum damage. Applying clove oil or cream to the skin can sometimes cause burning and skin irritation.

When inhaled: Smoke from clove cigarettes is likely unsafe and can cause side effects such as breathing problems and lung disease.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Clove is commonly consumed in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if clove is safe to use in larger amounts when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Children: Clove oil is likely unsafe to take by mouth. Even small amounts of clove oil can cause severe side effects such as seizures, liver damage, and fluid imbalances.

Bleeding disorders: Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol that seems to slow blood clotting. Taking clove oil might cause bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Surgery: Cloves contain chemicals that might affect blood sugar levels and slow blood clotting. It might interfere with blood sugar control or cause bleeding during or after surgery. Stop using clove at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Effectiveness

There is interest in using clove for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Clove is a spice commonly used in foods. It's also available in mouthwashes, gels, creams, and oils. As medicine, there isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of clove might be. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Ibuprofen (Advil, others)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Adding ibuprofen to clove oil before applying it to the skin might increase how much ibuprofen gets absorbed through the skin, possibly increasing side effects.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Clove might lower blood sugar levels. Taking clove along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Clove might slow blood clotting. Taking clove along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Clove might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.
Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Clove might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 17/10/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 26/07/2018 23:47:48. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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