It was quite much of a custom in olden days that whenever a being suffered any kind or form of tooth ache, the elderly quickly asked them to use clove oil…Because even back then the amazing essential oil had quite a reputation when it came to dealing with internal woes…
Most people reach for age-old medicine-cabinet staples like Anbesol and Orajel, which contain benzocaine, an anesthetic, as their active ingredient. Benzocaine, like many other anesthetics, can cause allergic reactions and other side effects that some people find unpalatable.
But one natural alternative is clove oil, an essential oil from the clove plant, native to India and Indonesia and also known by the scientific but somewhat pleasant-sounding name Eugenia aromaticum. The essential oil has been shown in studies to have properties –
Which can be particularly helpful in the case of a toothache instigated by bacteria.
Clove oil is not for everyone. It has a strong and sometimes unpleasant taste, and if large quantities are accidentally ingested, it too can have side effects. But it was widely used in dentistry before the advent of more commercial anesthetics, and research shows it works thanks to its active ingredient, eugenol, the same compound responsible for the plant’s aroma.
In a study published in The Journal of Dentistry in 2006, for example, a team of dentists recruited 73 adult volunteers and randomly split them into groups that had one of four substances applied to the gums just above the maxillary canine teeth: a clove gel, benzocaine, a placebo resembling the clove gel, or a placebo resembling benzocaine. Then, after five minutes, they compared what happened when the subjects received two needle sticks in those areas. Not surprisingly, the placebos failed to numb the tissue against the pain, but the clove and benzocaine applications numbed the tissue equally well.
“No significant difference was observed between clove and benzocaine regarding pain scores,” the scientists concluded.
Clove oil can be found in most health food stores for a few dollars a bottle. To use it, apply a very small amount to a cotton swab or piece of tissue and apply gently to the affected area. Although considered safe when used correctly in small amounts, it can cause liver and respiratory problems when ingested in large quantities.
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