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Friday, October 26, 2012 2:06 PM
Clove essential oil is extracted from the dried brown cloves - familiar to many of us used in cooking. The cloves are in fact the unopened buds of the tree Eugenia caryophyllus, originally native to Indonesia but now grown in many tropical countries.
The tree belongs to the botanical Myrtaceae family – which makes it a ‘cousin’ to Eucalyptus, tea tree and others that are noted for their antiviral properties. Eugenol is the principal constituent of the essential oil.
A powerful antiseptic (a 1% solution is evidently four times more effective than phenol), Clove oil has been used for thousands of years for the prevention of contagious illnesses.
For instance, during the Renaissance, pomanders were made with Cloves to help keep epidemics and plague at bay.
Clove is also a good painkiller and has long been used to ease toothache .Many people know about its healing qualities in this respect. When using Clove oil for this purpose, simply put one drop of essential oil directly on the affected area, or on a cotton ball before applying. It is also antispasmodic.
Interestedly, Clove bud oil is also effective in cleaning. It is useful combined with water in a spray to help combat mould and is excellent for cleaning metals, giving them a superior shine!
The essential oil has a lovely spicy and somewhat festive fragrance. To get rid of unpleasant household odours, try simmering a few drops of Clove oil in a tea light burner or in water in a saucepan attended to on the stove
The oil is used commercially in soaps and bath salts and a great deal in perfumery – supposedly to recreate the smell of carnations! The Clove oil scent blends well with Sweet Orange as shown in its use in pomanders.
Remember, as Clove oil is an extremely powerful oil, it should always be used with care. It can be very irritating to the skin if undiluted, so it is best to avoid direct contact. It is an essential oil that must not be used during pregnancy.
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