Practice Points

• Clove flower buds and clove oil has antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and local anaesthetic properties.

• It is directly applied to relieve the symptoms of toothache and dry socket.

• Clove oil is also used in mouth rinses and gargles to improve oral hygiene.

• Massaging one drop of oil into the temples has been used to treat headache.

• This herb and its essential oil should not be taken internally.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

Clove flower buds and clove oil have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and local anaesthetic properties that are useful in the treatment of toothache, dry socket and common mouth infections. Massaging one drop of the oil into the temples may relieve the symptoms of headache. When will it start to work?

Research suggests that effects are almost immediate, although short lasting. Are there any safety issues?

Clove buds and clove oil should not be taken internally, and only applied externally. REFERENCES

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Dorman HJ, Deans SG. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl

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Friedman M, Henika PR, Mandrell RE. Bactericidal activities of plant essential oils and some of their isolated constituents against Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. J Food Prot 65.10 (2002): 1545-60.

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Schattner P, Randerson D. Tiger Balm as a treatment of tension headache: A clinical trial in general practice. Aust Fam Physician 25.2 (1996): 216, 218, 220.

Shakila RJ, Vasundhara TS, Rao DV. Inhibitory effect of spices on in vitro histamine production and histidine decarboxylase activity of Morganella morganii and on the biogenic amine formation in mackerel stored at 30 degrees C. Z Lebensm Unters Forsch 203.1 (1996): 71-6.

Shiraki K et al. Cytomegalovirus infection and its possible treatment with herbal medicines. Nippon Rinsho 56.1 (1998): 156-60.

Srivastava KC. Antiplatelet principles from a food spice clove (Syzygium aromaticum L) [corrected]. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 48.5 (1993): 363-72.

Srivastava KC, Malhotra N. Acetyl eugenol, a component of oil of cloves (Syzygium aromaticum L.) inhibits aggregation and alters arachidonic acid metabolism in human blood platelets. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 42.1 (1991): 73-81.

Yukawa TA et al. Prophylactic treatment of cytomegalovirus infection with traditional herbs. Antiviral Res 32.2 (1996): 63-70.

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