Clove Bud Essential Oil: Origins, Benefits & Uses

Clove bud essential oil comes from the dried buds of the clove tree, an evergreen tree that is native to Southeast Asia. It has a strong, spicy aroma that you’ll probably recognize from your spice cabinet in the kitchen. Used for centuries in cooking, perfume, and folk medicine, today it is still a fan favorite in many cultures and prized for its aromatic, grounding scent.

The Plant

Originally grown in tropical regions of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, the clove tree is a member of the myrtle family. It is a slow-growing tree, but can live up to 100 years old and is characterized by its reddish-brown flower buds. Interestingly enough the word “clove” is derived from the Latin word “clavus,” meaning nail, which makes sense because the dried buds of the clove tree look like small nails. Today clove trees are cultivated around the world, but Indonesia is still the largest producer of clove spice and clove bud oil. Clove buds contain large amounts of eugenol, a chemical compound or phenol that primarily contributes to its spicy aroma and therapeutic properties.

Method of Extraction

Clove buds are picked from the clove tree, dried, and then steam distilled to produce essential oil. While essential oil can be found in the stems and leaves, it is the most concentrated in the clove buds. One of the most popular forms of extraction, steam distillation vaporizes the volatile compounds found within the clove buds, which yields a 100% pure essential oil.

Traditional Uses of Clove Bud Essential Oil

Clove was once considered one of the most coveted spices of all time and was prized during the spice trade era. Going even further back, cloves were used during the Han dynasty in China in food preparation, and ancient Chinese medicine, and were even used as a breath freshener. Today it’s still used widely in Chinese and ayurvedic medicine, in Asian cooking, as a key ingredient in many perfumes, and in aromatherapy.

Benefits of Clove Bud Essential Oil

Skin, Hair, and Body Care Support

While clove as a spice works great in the kitchen, when it is used as an essential oil it has many benefits for the skin, hair, and body. One thing that is unique about clove bud essential oil is that it has a warming effect on the skin, which makes it incredibly soothing and ideal for massages. When combined with carrier oil, it can be used to soothe tired muscles, relieve itchiness, and add shine to hair.

 

essential oil for skin

 

Mood Support

The strong, spicy aroma of clove bud oil helps to invigorate and energize the mind and promote concentration. It is also deeply grounding and can help promote relaxation.

 

essential oil for mood support

 

How to use Clove Bud Essential Oil

For the Skin

Before using it on the skin be sure to combine it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil.

  • Combine 2 drops of clove bud essential oil with 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil and use it as a massage oil on the body.
  • Mix 1 drop of clove bud essential oil, 1 drop of tea tree oil, and ½ teaspoon of jojoba oil and apply to fungal infections on the skin with a cotton ball. 
  • Combine 2 drops of clove bud essential oil with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and use it on itchy skin or bug bites to ease irritation.

For the Hair

  • Mix 1 drop of clove bud essential oil and 1 teaspoon of argan oil and massage into the scalp to relieve itchiness. 
  • Add 1 drop of clove bud essential oil to ½ teaspoon of conditioner and wash for shiny, healthy-looking hair.

For Enhancing Your Environment

  • Add 2 drops of clove bud essential oil, 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil, and 7 drops of orange essential oil to your diffuser along with water (as directed) to boost concentration and enliven the senses. Be sure to diffuse in a well-ventilated room and do not leave the diffuser on for prolonged periods of time.

How to Safely Use Clove Bud Essential Oil

Clove bud essential oil should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, children under 5, or anyone taking blood thinner medications or with blood clotting illnesses. Be sure to never apply it to the skin directly and to always combine it with carrier oil before use. It’s best to conduct a skin patch test before applying it to a larger area. Clove bud oil should only be used topically and not ingested. For more essential oil safety tips, take a look at this article.

Closing Thoughts

An ancient spice turned wellness must-have; clove bud is an excellent option if you’re looking for an essential oil that is highly aromatic and invigorating. It’s also a wonderful essential oil to use during the fall season and can be combined with cedarwood, orange, and cinnamon essential oils to evoke the spirit of autumn. To continue to expand your knowledge of essential oils, take a look at this article: All About Cedarwood Essential Oil.

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