Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) do have a wonderful fragrance, and it is true that you can harness the power of clove essential oil to treat Candida. There are many ways you can use this powerful, therapeutic essential oil.
For many centuries, the value of this wonderful spice help spur on the economic development of Asia. This tree is often grown in coastal areas; and the flower, which are the commercialized component of the tree, buds develop after 4 years of growth. According to research, approximately 90% of clove essential oil is eugenol. Eugenol by itself, is suggested to be a promising antifungal chemical for the prevention and treatment of vaginal yeast infections (Cortes-Rojas, Diego F., et al., 2014). However, essential oils will probably work better than a single one of their chemical components, like eugenol, alone.
Many scientific studies have confirmed that spices like cloves, are capable natural medicines. Many spices have antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anticarcinogenic properties. Cloves are one such spice that has excellent antioxidant and antiseptic ability.
One caveat, before you just use clove oil, or any essential oil for that matter, is to be sure to use them safely. Essential oils are often potent, and using them wrongly can be quite dangerous. Also, consider checking out some other antifungal essential oils. Dr. James Duke, in his book The Green Pharmacy, states that mixing together multiple herbs can create a much more efficacious natural remedy. To see a good list of oils you can use for Candida problems, you can check out this page: essential oils for yeast infection.
In a specific study, published in the Journal of Drug Targeting (Dec. 2005, Vol. 13 Issue 10, p. 555-561), clove oil was tested to see if it indeed had antifungal properties. This study is quite relevant, as one of the fungi used in the experiment was Candida albicans. This study was conducted by several researchers, and the results were quite clear. Clove oil was able to inhibit several opportunistic fungal pathogens: such as Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus. The authors of this study state the following:
Clove oil was found to possess strong antifungal activity against opportunistic fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus, etc. The oil was found to be extremely successful in the treatment of experimental murine vaginitis in model animals.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10611860500422958
Experimental murine vaginitis no doubt refers to the vaginal yeast infections purposely given to rats in the experiment. And, because the attack of other forms of fungus were successfully mitigated by clove oil, it is reasonable to assume this essential oil would be a great natural remedy to use on any type of fungal infection you may be suffering from.
The study found that liposomized clove essential oil, applied topically, was most successful at treating fungal infections. Liposomized means that the clove oil was in a tiny membrane or bubble. It would probably not matter too much if your oil is not in a liposome form. The chemical constituents of essential clove oil will be able to affect the yeast when you apply it to the infected areas.
Another study, done using essential clove oil, is also of interest as it analyzed the oil’s effects on 53 common Candida pathogens. The study was published in the journal Mycoses (Sep. 2007, Vol. 50 Issue 5, p. 403-406). As you may know, the organisms in the Candida genus commonly cause health maladies in humans—most notable of these being vaginal yeast infections. Due to the study’s thorough analysis of 53 Candida organisms, it is extremely relevant to this discussion.
After conducting the the experiment, the study found that clove oil had a powerful ability to eliminate all the strains of Candida examined. Consequently, it would be wise to include this essential oil in your plan to eliminate a yeast infection. According to the researchers:
[Clove essential oil] displayed an important antifungal effect against the tested strains. It is clear that clove oil shows powerful antifungal activity; and it can be used as an easily accessible source of natural antioxidants and in pharmaceutical applications.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0507.2007.01391.x/abstract
Clove Herbal Tea
Treating yeast in the digestive system is perhaps more important than dealing with it in the vagina. If you have experienced recurrent yeast infections, it is perhaps because yeast has colonized your intestines to some degree. If your intestines have been compromised by yeast, the fungus can make its way from your rectum to your vagina and constantly reinfect your vagina. Even if you don’t suffer from repeated vaginal infections; having yeast in the gut can cause a build up of toxins that Candida produce via their metabolism. Also, note that if you have taken strong antibiotics recently, or at some time in the past, you are more prone to have yeast colonizing your body. The digestive system is where a lot of probiotic bacteria live; and, antibiotic drugs can wipe them out. When these good bacteria are gone, Candida can overgrow; as it is a yeast and not affected by antibiotic drugs.
Fortunately, you can drink clove tea to treat a yeast infection in the digestive system. There was a study where several different herbs were made into tea (the study refers to them as hydrosols), and the herb’s affect on Candida albicans was analyzed. The study on was published in the Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology. (Dec. 2009, Vol. 50 Issue 4, p. 243-252). In this study, clove tea was found to be one of the most effective herbal teas for treating yeast infections. According to the researchers:
Although most of the hydrosols examined inhibited formation of the filamentous form to some degree, the highest activity was shown by 15 hydrosols: that is, lemongrass, lemon verbena, tea tree lemon, rose geranium, neroli, kuromoji, palmarosa, Roman chamomile, monarda, clove, santolina, Dyer’s chamomile, thoroughwort, hyssop leaf thoroughwort and perilla water. These hydrosols showed more than 80% inhibition even after 5-fold dilution.https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jjmm/50/4/50_4_243/_pdf
To make clove tea, you can use cloves and boil them in water, or you can add a drop or two of the essential oil to a liquid and drink it down. You may wish to consult a skilled apothecary, or medical doctor, before you add more clove oil than a drop or two. It may even be beneficial to use some of the herbs the researchers did; and, use them in conjunction with clove oil. Try mixing several different herbs together to make a synergistic Candida killing tea.
How to Take Clove Oil
- Topical Use: You may use this oil undiluted directly on the area of concern. You can use it directly on the gums around infected teeth. You can put this oil directly on the back of your tongue to relieve irritation in the throat—such as a tickling cough.
- Oral Use: Clove essential oil is generally regarded as safe for human consumption by the U.S. FDA. Generally, use one drop of oil in 4 ounces of liquid or 1 teaspoon of honey. Do not let children under 6 years old ingest this oil!
- Cautions: This oil may irritate the skin where it is applied. If you are pregnant, use this oil with caution. Repetitious use can cause contact sensitization.
Using Essential Clove Oil
The clove tree has been utilized and cultivated for perhaps over two millennium. It is indigenous to Indonesia, but is used the world over for a variety of purposes. Cloves are commonly used to flavor culinary items (as you probably already know). Various parts of the clove tree are used for a variety of purposes; however, the clove bud is primarily used in the creation of the essential oil. Clove oil can be strong, so make sure you don’t use too much of it.
You can use clove oil for more than just fighting a yeast infection; here are some other uses for this natural remedy:
- Digestive Problems — Clove oil will help relax the smooth muscle lining of your digestive system. If you feel nauseous, or are already vomiting, you can add a drop or so of clove oil to some tea for natural relief.
- Oral Problems — Since clove oil is antiseptic, it can help eliminate hazardous bacteria on the teeth. Use a cotton swab, place several drops of the oil on it, and rub it on a cavity or on a tooth that is causing you pain for quick relief.
- In Soap — Clove oil has a excellent fragrance and is also an antiseptic. Consequently, you can make a germ fighting soap that also has a great aroma, by adding this oil to your soap. Try it with your body wash and see what you think!
- Muscle Pain — Clove oil can be used to relieve muscle pain, and perhaps a fair amount of stress that can come with it. Try putting 5 to 10 drops of the oil in two ounces of coconut oil or olive oil. Massage the mixture into the area where you are feeling the pain.
- Skin Infections — Essential clove oil can be used topically to help the body fight off a skin infection. If you suffer from a microbial problem, like acne or a fungal infection of the skin, you can utilize this oil to help mitigate your skin malady.
- https://doi.org/10.1016/S2221-1691(14)60215-X — Cortes-Rojas, Diego F., et al.. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): a precious spice. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine [Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2014, Pages 90-96]. PubMed PDF
- http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10611860500422958 — Antimicrobial activity of clove oil and its potential in the treatment of vaginal candidiasis
- http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0507.2007.01391.x/abstract — Chaieb, K., Zmantar, T., Ksouri, R., Hajlaoui, H., Mahdouani, K., Abdelly, C. and Bakhrouf, A. (2007), Antioxidant properties of the essential oil of Eugenia caryophyllata and its antifungal activity against a large number of clinical Candida species. Mycoses, 50: 403–406. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2007.01391.x
- https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jjmm/50/4/50_4_243/_pdf — Inouye S, Takahashi M, Abe S. Inhibitory Activity of Hydrosols, Herbal Teas and Related Essential Oils Against Filament Formation and the Growth of Candida albicans. Japanese Journal Of Medical Mycology [serial online]. December 2009;50(4):243-252. Available from: Academic Search Elite, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 9, 2015.
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.01.045 — Khan, Mohd Sajjad Ahmad, and Iqbal Ahmad. "Biofilm inhibition by Cymbopogon citratus and Syzygium aromaticum essential oils in the strains of Candida albicans." Journal of ethnopharmacology 140.2 (2012): 416-423. PDF Available Here, PubMed
- Google Books — Duke, J. A. (1997). The green pharmacy: New discoveries in herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world's foremost authority on healing herbs. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press.
- Google Books — Higley, Connie, and Alan Higley. Reference guide for essential oils. Abundant Health, 1998.