Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist? Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic, which is also found in cinnamon, sage, and oregano.
The expert panel German Commission E has approved the use of clove as a topical antiseptic and anesthetic. Laboratory test have shown that eugenol also exhibited marked antifungal activity. They also confirmed cloves’ effectiveness in inhibiting food-borne pathogens as well as other bacteria.
During the Han dynasty (207 B. C. to 220 A. D.) those who addressed the Chinese emperor were required to hold cloves in their mouths to mask bad breath. European doctors once breathed through clove-filled leather beaks to ward off the plague.
Many foods and substances contain antioxidants which absorb free radicals (toxins) and we are all familiar with the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) test. The higher the ORAC score is, the more capable that particular food, spice or herb is of destroying free radicals. Fruits are typically promoted as powerful antioxidants –such as wolfberries (ORAC score 23,300) and raspberries (ORAC score 19,200). But essential oils actually have the highest ORAC scores of any known substance. Get this….the highest ORAC score of any essential oil is clove oil, with an ORAC score of over TEN MILLION! Oregano oil and thyme oil are a distant second and third place, with scores just over 150,000. That means a drop of clove oil contains 400 times more antioxidants per unit volume than wolfberries, the most powerful of all known fruits.
The benefits of breathing, applying and taking clove essential oil internally are far greater than you can imagine. Bonus: Sprinkling a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your heart, as capsaicin (the active ingredient in cayenne pepper which will stop a heart attack in its tracks) is also present in cloves.