Clove oil (Eugenia caryophyllataor Syzygium aromaticum)

Syzygium_aromaticumThe main constituents of the clove bud essential oil are phenylpropanoids such as carvacrol, thymol, eugenol and cinnamaldehyde.

“Clove oil is an essential oil from the dried flower buds, leaves and stems of the tree Syzygium aromaticum (Eastern Hemisphere) or Eugenia caryophyllata and Eugenia aromaticum (Western Hemisphere).1 There are only small differences between these species and many consider them to be essentially the same.”

CLOVE Side Effects & Safety

“6.2.1 Health Effects

Clove oil is considered safe in small quantities (< 1,500 ppm) as a food additive. However, clove oil is toxic to human cells. If ingested in sufficient quantity or injected, it has been shown tocause life-threatening complications, including Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Fulminant Hepatic (Liver) Failure, and Central Nervous System Depression; the lethal oral dose is 3.75 g per kg body weight.”

“6.2.1.C Acute Effects – Systemic Poisoning

Dr Extenda
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Clove oil is toxic to the liver and nervous system …

A two year-old child suffered hepatocellular necrosis following ingestion ofclove oil. A three month-old infant developed fulminant hepatic failure after ingesting less than 8 mL of clove oil. A fifteen month-old boy developed fulminant hepatic failure after ingesting 10 ml of clove oil in an aromatherapy product. A 7- month-old child developed central nervous system depression after the accidental oral administration of clove oil”

“Recent growth in aromatherapy sales has been accompanied by an unfortunate increase in accidental poisoning from these products. Clove oil warrants special attention. Ingesting as little as 10 ml causes hepatotoxicity which can be treated with N-acetylcysteine.” –

Journal of Toxicology
Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 89–92, 2004

Clove oil is one of many essential oils known to be potentially toxic to humans

Toxicity in children has been reported with doses of less than 5 mL.”

“We present a 3-month-old female who developed fulminant hepatic failure after ingesting less than 8 mL of clove oil. Initial treatment involved gastrointestinal decontamination, supportive measures, and admission to hospital. She subsequently developed fulminant hepatic failure and was treated with intravenous N-acetylcysteine (N-AC) according to a protocol used for acetaminophen poisoning. Over the next 72h her liver synthetic function and clinical status improved, and she made a complete recovery. Previous reported cases of clove oil toxicity and the potential role of N-AC therapy are reviewed.”

“Special Precautions & Warnings: Children: In children, clove oil is UNSAFE to take by mouth. It can cause severe side effects such as seizures, liver damage, and fluid imbalances.” – WebMD

From Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand: Drug interaction: may inhibit blood clotting, moderate risk of skin sensitivitiy and of mucous membrane irritation.  Dermal use: caution for children under 2 yrs of age.    Maximum dermal use 0.5% due to eugenol (adults).