Does clove oil numb skin?

Are you one of those individuals who are always on a hunt for some new trendy beauty products? Do you often find yourself scouring the internet and local stores for the latest “miracle” cure to your everyday problems? If so, then you’ve definitely come across clove oil!

Clove oil has been used for centuries as an essential oil due to its numerous health benefits. However, its use in skincare is somewhat of a mystery. One popular claim about clove oil is that it numbs the skin! Today, we will explore this claim and see if there’s any evidence that supports it.

What is Clove Oil

Firstly, let’s get acquainted with what exactly clove oil is. Cloves themselves are dried flower buds from a evergreen tree in Indonesia called Syzygium aromaticum. The oils extracted from these dried flower buds contain Eugenol which gives cloves their unique fragrance . Eugenol also happens to be responsible for many of the health benefits attributed to cloves such as pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties.

Clove oil can be distilled using various methods; steam distillation being most common .

Here’s some quick facts:

  • Use : Antifungal, antiseptic , analgesic
  • Aroma: Strong spicy scent
  • Color :

    • Pale yellow-brown
    • Dark Brown-red when older

How does it work

Now here’s where things get interesting! Eugenol (which remember is present in cloves) works by blocking voltage-gated sodium channels..sounds scientific right?

This fundamentally means that eugenols interfere with neurons ability to conduct electrical impulses i.e messages travelling between cells (including touch sensations).

You may also know what Sodium Channels do if not here’s something-they control how much signal gets sent between cells through each nerve ending or ion channel

Basically entering inside our cells and interacting with these nerve cells, thereby reducing or blocking sensations from the skin

Can clove oil numb the skin?

While there have been studies that suggest that eugenol does have local anaesthetic properties, there are no studies done specifically to test whether clove oil has a numbing effect on human skin;well this is kinda unfortunate .

Some people swear by it but as mentioned earlier research hasn’t solidly backed up their claims. Nonetheless , we can safely say that due to presence of Eugenol in them Cloves could potentially lead to numbness like experience(okay not so good).

How to use clove oil effectively

If you’re still interested in trying out clove for your chronic tooth pain or as part of your skincare routine (ignoring the fact we just shattered all dreams of having our faces go numb); here’s how you can do it AND minimize any unwanted side effects such rash-like irritations despite Eugenols goodness

For dental use:

Simple bit, apply one drop directly on gums which are sensitive . Do this once per day! Too much exposure may result in headaches nausea and short-term memory loss.

As a Skincare agent:

Clove Essential Oil may be too potent – even when diluted! Use cinnamon oi /patchouli/rosemary . The following is what you should look at adding into blend {Table 1}:

Ingredient Purpose
Patchouli Tightens pores
Rosemary Reduces swelling
Cinnamon bark Enhances blood flow

When mixing oils together for topical application dilute them initially depending on desired potency – essential oils pack quite a punch so don’t take more than advised usage!

Gloomy warnings!

Before jumping headfirst into using any sort plant extract ,it’s worth remembering /discussing/consulting with dermatologist or doctor just in case as too much of anything can cause harm,hence we always sound like a granny.

Also, keep in mind that there have been cases where people may be allergic to eugenol resulting skin rashes or anaphylactic reactions(yikes!).

Don’t use undiluted clove oil directly onto the skin and also always do patch tests for new products!


So did we find out whether clove oil numbs the skin? It is definitely possible given what science tells us about Eugenols effect on voltage gated sodium channels but it’s still not clear enough from current research. Just because something is natural does not mean you should blindly follow it (I’m looking at all those youtubers)

However if used safely and thoughtfully who knows, maybe cloves could potentially help one reduce sensitivity sensations – though this is more speculation than proof fueled evidence-based fact.

Always focus on using right amounts without unnecessarily exaggerating quantity.So go ahead! Give them a try after due consultation ,and let us know if Cloves turn out providing harmony(Ehmmm!).

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