Clove oil has been promoted as having a wide range of health effects, but there is insufficient medical evidence to support general claims for its use as a therapeutic. In Australia clove oil has been the cause of an increase in reported cases of children being poisoned.
There are three types of clove oil:
- Bud oil is derived from the flower-buds of S. aromaticum. It consists of 60–90% eugenol, acetyl eugenol, caryophyllene and other minor constituents.
- Leaf oil is derived from the leaves of S. aromaticum. It consists of 82–88% eugenol with little or no eugenyl acetate, and minor constituents.
- Stem oil is derived from the twigs of S. aromaticum. It consists of 90–95% eugenol, with other minor constituents.
Particularly in South Korea and India, eugenol, a phytochemical extracted from clove oil, is used to relieve toothache. Applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth or tooth socket remaining after extraction, eugenol or clove oil can relieve toothache temporarily.
Use on fish
In Australia clove oil is one of the many essential oils that have been increasingly causing cases of poisoning, mostly of children. In the period 2014-2018 there were 179 reported cases in New South Wales, accounting for 4.1% of essential oil poisoning incidents.
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Clove oil and eugenol, one of the chemicals it contains, have long been used topically for toothache, but the FDA has reclassified eugenol, downgrading its effectiveness rating. The FDA now believes there isn't enough evidence to rate eugenol as effective for toothache pain.
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