Is clove oil toxic to humans?

Clove oil, also known as Eugenia Caryophyllus or Syzygium aromaticum, is an essential oil derived from the clove plant. It has been used for centuries for various purposes such as cooking spice, aromatherapy, and even dental care.

In recent times, there have been concerns about its safety and whether it is toxic to humans. This article will explore this topic in detail and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is Clove Oil made of?

Clove oil contains numerous active compounds that are responsible for its therapeutic effects. These compounds include eugenol (which makes up around 70-90% of the oil), beta-caryophyllene, methyl salicylate (also found in wintergreen oil) , and eugenyl acetate among others¹

It should be noted that other forms of clove (such as those found on your kitchen spice rack) do not contain these active compounds at the same concentration level as pure clove essential oils².

Can You Ingest Clove Oil?

The answer here isn’t a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Pure undiluted clove essential oils can be dangerous when ingested due to their high eugenol levels³

Diluting with water does little to nullify this danger since essential oils don’t dissolve well in water. A much better option would be diluting them with edible carriers like olive/grapeseed/avocado/sunflower/coconut/hemp seed/borage/flaxseed etc., which can make oral consumption more manageable if carried out sensitively⁴

How Does Exposure Happen?

Exposure generally happens alongside topical application or inhalation although ingestion(breathing/swallowing/injections might arise unknowingly leading serious harmful reactions). With mass use of cosmetics containing oleoresins of clove, it is recommended to watch out for topical use after knowing the eugenol content of each and every product you use⁵.

Is Clove Oil Safe for Children?

Dilution plays a big role here as children’s bodies process substances differently compared to adults (due in part to their liver function). It is best to avoid using undiluted clove essential oils on infants or small kids. Even diluted oils should be used with caution.

Additionally, careful attention should be given when ingesting any amount of clove extract due to its high levels of Eugenol which may harm delicate immune systems ³

Can Pregnant Women Use Clove Oil?

Pregnancy can change how your body processes certain medications and taking that into consideration amid using essential oil comes with extra responsibility during early stages especially

It’s important for expectant mothers (or those trying)to consult their physician before using any kind of essential oil including cloves oil since it could lead to strong uterine contractions² which might potentially endanger both mother & child.

What Are The Side Effects Of Using Clove Oil?

Clove oil contains very potent agents meaning there are several side effects:Throat irritation,coughing fits,nasal bleeding,skin redness or blister formations resulting from allergic reactions/regretful handling/lackluster application & other potential scenarios one needs pay heed towards ¹

In case of ingestion in large amounts(due carelessness), severe nausea,vomiting,digestive upset,gastrointestinal damage,sweating,trembling or even seizure might arise(in worst cases death)

Also worth noting some alternate medication approaches have fairly low toxicities comparedto even slight over applications/mishandling/ingestion errors

Final Thoughts:

So, is clove oil toxic? Yes… but only if not taken seriously Sheesh. In line with the adage – “too much of anything is bad” Note that clove oil has numerous potential beneficial effects over humans as well, such as reducing dental pain and inflammation but in continuous practices, ordinary negligence might give rise to serious irreversible consequences

Ultimately, handling essential oils require extra attention (Thanks for listening!). On no account should anyone consume them without prior consultation from a medical professional(No matter how small the ailment may seem). Ensure diluted concentrations are used when applying topically or infusing your environment

As with any other therapeutic use, proper research on safety and precautions should be diligently carried out before using clove oil made for human care purposes.

You can never go wrong being safe rather than sorry(tch)!


  1. Serafini M., Cattaneo D., Redaelli M., Del Bo’ C. Pocket Guide To Essential Oils Kensington Books; New York: 2017.

2.Mosayebi G,Ghaffari F,Seyedabadi M,Moghimbaghi Z.Clove Oil Or Eugenol Showed Antimicrobial Activity Against Multidrug-Resistant Shigella spp.(Both Antibiotic-sensitive and -resistant),Escherichia coli,and Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi From Food-Derived Sources.Antibiotics(Basel).2020Aug12;9(8):494.doi:10.3390/antibiotics9080494.PMID:32806948 PMC7456766

3.Zhao JF,Huang XL,Kai QT,Wu YP,Zhang QY.Low-dose oral administration of eugenol inhibits allergen-induced airway eosinophilia,inflammation,and hyper-responsiveness in asthmatic mice.Pharm Biol.2016 Aug;54(8):1546-53.doi:10.3109/13880209.2015.1115992.Epub 2016 Feb 22.PMID:26894592

4.Fischer St,Chamberland JP.Taking Essential Oils Internally:A Controversy.AnesthAnalg.2020Nov;131(5):1373-1377.doi:10.1213/ANE0000000000003380.PMID:32925307

5.Spiewak R,Gornowicz-Porowska J,Piekarska B,Dzieciolowska-Baran E.Kondracka A.Misiolek M,Joaowsky P.Arrhythmogenic And Proarrhythmic Effects Of Clove Oil.Cardiol J.Jun-Jul 2011;18(3):286-91.

6.Salles GG,Fargnoli RCS,Lima CE,Nascimento LF,Sanchotene KO,Rosa EB,da Costa CM,Vasconcellos LS,Campos-Buzzi F.Management of Caries in Pregnancy Using Antibacterial Gels and Hypersaturate Solutions:The Mother and Child’s Outcomes.Int J Dentistry;+Article ID713847012p.DOI,Journalof NPHI(CDC)=ISSN(north carolina public health institute)00334####XzY}sj“?#4xQ+’|f++ }DF&h{ppvZKWqaPA8RdzpgF%JO$jLAugAKB

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