What is a Clove Bud?

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  • Written By: N. Phipps
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2019
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The evergreen clove tree (Syzgium aromaticum, previously known as Eugenia caryophllata) is native to Indonesia and the Malacca Islands. This tree produces rosy-pink blooms that once faded and dried, turn into a deep reddish-brown color. These flower buds are called clove buds and have a spicy, woody aroma. The buds are harvested and steam distilled to produce clove bud oil.

Commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine and dating back as far as 2,000 years, clove bud oil has numerous health benefits. The oil is used as an herbal remedy for a variety of problems. For instance, clove buds can help enhance digestion, reduce gas, and alleviate diarrhea and indigestion. As the oil is known for its antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antiviral qualities, it is especially helpful for boosting the immune system.

Clove bud oil, which is oil from the clove bud, is an effective treatment for fighting common viral infections like the cold and flu. It can reduce fevers and ease coughs. In fact, herbal remedies containing clove buds are great for both the throat and respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and asthma. Additional benefits include the ability to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis, rheumatism, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.


One of the most common uses of clove bud oil is the treatment of toothaches and other dental infections. Many dentists recommend using clove buds to help dull the pain caused by toothaches. Putting a drop of the oil on a cotton swab and dabbing it on the gum surrounding the affected tooth is thought to alleviate pain. The oil is also commonly used for treating problems associated with halitosis, or bad breath.

Clove bud oil can be applied orally in teas or other liquids, rubbed onto the skin, or inhaled through the use of aromatherapy. The essential oil is absorbed through the skin or mucus membranes, traveling to and targeting the intended problem. For safety reasons, it’s recommended that only clove bud essential oil be used. Clove leaf oil or clove stem oil are thought to have increased levels of toxicity. Essential oil made from clove buds should also be obtained through trustworthy suppliers.

Since there are numerous variations and synthetic imitations, careful research may be needed. Look for high quality oils and possibly those obtained from certified organic growers or manufacturers. It should also be noted that clove bud oil may irritate the skin and mucus membranes in some people. Additionally, this herbal remedy should be avoided by anyone taking anticoagulants for hemophilia as well as those with prostate cancer or kidney and liver problems.


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