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29 January 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Can You Use Clove Oil When Pregnant?

Uncover the safety of using clove oil during pregnancy, along with important precautions to consider.

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Dried clove buds

Once a mother learns they are pregnant, it makes sense to take and look at how their current routines can affect their baby.

Pregnancy has a huge impact on the body and can change the way it interacts with products you have used without issue for years. This can be true of some essential oils, such as clove oil, so we look to answer the question: can you use clove oil when pregnant?

What is clove oil?

Clove oil is an aromatic oil that can be extracted from the bud, clove and stem of the tree. Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese use cloves for several remedies, and they were once relied on to treat infected teeth cavities, as well as for pain relief and tooth inflammations.

The oil is extracted from the clove tree using a steam distillation process, which involves the use of chemical solvents and boiling to produce a usable essential oil. Depending on the source and method used to extract the oil, it can consist of anywhere between 70-90% eugenol.


What are the different types of clove oil?

There are three main types of clove oil that are used for home remedies:

  • Clove leaf oil: This type of clove oil is extracted from the leaf of the clove tree. It has a very distinctive aromatic scent, offering a host of health benefits for users and can be applied directly to the skin with a carrier oil. From helping the immune system to offering positive effects for skin, gum and oral health, clove leaf oil has much to offer.
  • Clove stem oil: Similarly, stem clove oil is extracted from twigs of the clove tree. Eugenol levels are at their highest with clove stem oil, and it should not be applied topically, which also means its aroma is stronger than the other forms of oil.
  • Clove bud oil: Clove bud essential oil is taken from the bud of the tree and is one of the most popular forms of the oil. It has high levels of eugenol, which means it is very potent and not suitable for topical application. Many people use clove bud oil to fight infections, aid digestion and for all-round better health. also works extremely well when used in an oil burner for aromatherapy or included in soap and candle recipes.

What are the benefits of clove oil?

Clove oil has an array of benefits to offer, and it can be used in several ways. For example, some people use it to improve dry skin conditions (clove leaf oil is the only type that can be applied topically using a carrier oil). It can also prove useful for lessening the appearance of baggy eyes, puffy skin and stretch marks.

Others swear by clove oil for pain relief, with it being a popular remedy for toothaches. Clove oil can also prove useful for dealing with wart and bunion pain and for managing muscle aches and pain (clove bud oil is used in Tiger Balm). Other uses for clove oil include as a natural insect repellent, for reducing unpleasant odours that can rise when cooking, or soothing stomach pain by aiding digestion.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach


Can you use clove oil when pregnant?

When it comes to clove oil for pregnant women there is currently not enough clear information available to say that it is totally safe to use.

In general terms, pregnant women should avoid using all essential oils during the first trimester, which is the first day of the last period through to the end of week 12. This period is the most critical during pregnancy and the foetus should not be exposed to any potentially toxic substances in this early stage of its development.

Once you are into the second and third trimester and wish to use clove oil, we advise that you first consult with a doctor or qualified medical professional.

What side effects can clove oil give during pregnancy?

If you are pregnant and take large quantities of clove oil it can have a significant effect on your health. Not only lead to several side effects, but also cause health complications in your unborn baby. Some of the side effects clove oil can cause during pregnancy include:

  • Sore throat
  • Mouth or throat burns
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or sudden sleepiness
  • Unexpected episode of diarrhoea
  • Intestine bleeding/liver or kidney failure (in extreme cases)

Small quantities of clove oil can be used during pregnancy; however, you must consult with your doctor before using this essential oil at any stage of your pregnancy. If you have used clove oil and experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should seek medical help right away.

Can you use clove oil for toothache when pregnant?

If you have a toothache whilst pregnant you should not use clove oil to ease the pain. As an alternative, you can chew a whole clove and chew on it slowly, with the oil releasing into your sore tooth and gums, treating the affected in a more natural way.

Some experts advise that you should only chew one or two cloves a day to manage toothache pain. Of course, if the pain persists, you should book an appointment with the dentist to see if there is a larger problem that needs to be resolved.

Botanical illustration of clove buds

Using clove oil comes with some complications if you are pregnant, especially during the first trimester. Because of its strength, clove oil must be used very carefully, even if you are not pregnant, so it pays to err on the side of caution. If your doctor does give the go ahead to use clove oil, it can prove to be particularly beneficial in the latter stages of pregnancy, especially when it comes to easing muscle aches and pains, digestive problems and for helping to create a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere when used in aromatherapy.

Product Name

100% Pure Clove Bud Essential Oil
Botanical Name Eugenia Caryophyllata
Scent Type Spices
Benefits & Uses Antimicrobial, Oral Health, Aids Digestion
Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this clove bud essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this clove bud essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
Extraction Method Steam Distillation
Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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