Cleansing With Anise Seed

Anise, a plant native to Greece and Egypt, has been used since the seventh century to address health ailments and may best be identifiable today for its licorice flavor. During biblical times, taxes could be paid in crops, anise was one of them. The Romans cultivated anise and greatly exploited (in a good way) its many health benefits. Today, many people use anise to support digestion, which is not much surprise since it is related to caraway, dill, and fennel- also often fingered as digestive support agents.

However, one advantage that anise has over its similar counterparts is that it’s much more powerful against and resistant to, harmful organisms. In lab and clinical trials, anise stands its ground when faced up against harmful organisms and it’s even more potent when combined with other, similarly beneficial herbs.

Anise Seed and Annoying Insects

Mosquitoes are known to carry diseases and present a very serious public health issue to many communities all over the world. Because of a laundry list of negative health effects associated with chemical pesticides, there is much focus and effort on developing effective pest control measures using natural compounds. Research has shown that anise seed oil is toxic to mosquito larvae and offers potential as an essential oil that may be effective at controlling vector-borne disease carrying agents.

The Plant Protection Department at Turkey’s Akdeniz University evaluated essential oils of several therapeutic herbs, including anise, eucalyptus, mint, and basil for efficacy against mosquitos. All the samples were deemed effective, although to different degrees, and anise was identified as the most effective.

Mosquitos aren’t the only flying pests anise seed has defeated. Sterling International, a company based in Washington, evaluated common essential oils against several species of wasps. Anise seed was one of several observed as effective and having potential as a natural, eco-friendly wasp control measure.

Anise Seed vs. Harmful Organisms, Candida, Yeast, and Fungus

With anise seed’s demonstrated efficacy against insects, it’s no surprise that the amount of research supporting the toxicity of anise seed to other harmful organisms is staggering and comes from all corners of the globe.

Research conducted at The University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy evaluated various plant extracts for their resistance to fungus and noted that anise seed was the best at inhibiting both fungal and microbial activity.

Croatia’s University of Zagreb conducted similar research and had similar conclusions. When anise extract was put to the test against seven strains of yeast and four strains of fungus, in vitro experiments showed anise to retard both fungus and yeast proliferation.

Additionally, Iraq’s University of Mosul also tested essential oils for activity against several harmful strains of bacteria, including staph, e. Coli, and salmonella. Essential oil of anise seed demonstrated the highest resistance to bacteria.

Supplementing With Anise Seed

Perhaps the best argument for anise seed came from the Immunology Research Institute and Clinic in Nagoya, Japan. For patients undergoing antibiotic or immune-system-suppressing therapies, chronic urinary infection of candida can be a constant problem. In 2010, the Institute conducted a study that involved 39 such patients and concluded that a natural, plant-based compound with demonstrated resistance to fungus could offer an effective approach.

Symptoms of a Yeast Infection

Yeast infections are not a problem that only affects women or the vagina. The fact is that yeast infections can affect many parts of the body of both men and women of all ages. Yeast infections can cause pain, swelling, and unpleasant discharge. When they infiltrate the mouth, they can make the mouth feel cottony and impair the sense of taste. When a yeast infection strikes the skin it can cause it to crack, swell, or bleed. Perhaps most surprising, according to new research, yeast infections may be related to IBD and neurological dysfunction.

What Cause a Yeast Infection?

The most common sources of yeast infections are from a yeast called Candida, particularly Candida albicansCandida kruseiCandida glabrata, and Candida parapsilosis are also high on the list. Candida is a fungal yeast that occurs naturally on the body. It’s present on everybody’s body, which is normal. However, Candida must be adequately balanced. If a Candida imbalance occurs, then dark, moist areas — especially the mouth and any region in which skin folds — may be subject to an overgrowth as a result of a systemic imbalance or inadequate cleanliness.

An even more serious problem, known as invasive Candidiasis, may occur when the fungus enters the bloodstream. this type of infection can quickly become a serious problem. Additionally, some people may be at higher risk for yeast infections. For instance, persons with psoriasis and eczema as likely to suffer from oral Candida infections.

Identifying a Yeast Infection

It’s important to identify a yeast infection early. Remember a yeast overgrowth literally means that yeast is reproducing on your body. The longer you wait the higher the count may be! Ignoring the problem can cause a simple overgrowth to become a serious issue. A yeast infection is like a noisy houseguest — it typically lets its presence be known. Experiencing any of the following? You may have a yeast infection…

1. Discharge

The creamy, cottage cheese-like discharge common with yeast infections comes from lesions. In the mouth, they can occur on the tongue, tonsils, roof of the mouth or inner cheeks. The tongue may appear white. On the skin, lesions appear as small blisters around the infected area. The discharge from lesions of a vaginal yeast infection can be watery and white to thick and chunky.

2. Redness

On the skin, a yeast infection presents as reddish or purplish spots, similar to eczema or psoriasis. The vulva of an infected woman may be more red than normal and be much more sensitive.

3. Itching

Frequent, and potentially painful irritation naturally occurs as a result of infected skin and tissue of the vagina, vulva, or even penis (primarily in uncircumcised men). This can create a burning sensation and the urge to itch. Avoid scratching as it will only make the infection worse. Ozonated olive oil may provide cooling relief.

4. Cracking Skin

The skin around the mouth, or localized around the dermal infection may crack and bleed. While this indication means that the body is fighting the yeast infection, cracking and bleeding creates a location for further infection. Keep it clean and use a soothing balm that encourages wound healing.

5. Swelling

The infected area will likely swell as the body fights off the Candida fungus. Swelling can occur in the mouth, sex organs, and skin, as well as in the intestines if a Candida infection occurs internally. Swelling usually accompanies tenderness…

6. Discomfort

When far enough advanced, Candidiasis can result in constant discomfort and tenderness. This stems from the swelling, itching and burning associated with infection. A vaginal yeast infection can cause uncomfortable urination and intercourse.

7. IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Intestinal inflammation causes IBD. While bacterial infections have been linked as a cause, researchers have begun to understand the role of yeast, specifically Candida, in intestinal irritation. Studies have linked Candida to the development of some types of bowel disease.

8. Fatigue

Patients suffering from internal yeast infections frequently experience fatigue. In fact, individuals suffering from a Candida-related complex, or chronic candidiasis syndrome, share similar symptoms to those with chronic fatigue syndrome. The one difference is the chronic flu symptoms experienced by those with chronic fatigue.

9. Mood Disorders

There is a growing body of evidence that supports the use of micronutrients to combat depression. However, nutrition is only valuable when the body can use it. If absorption is hampered, then the micronutrients will not be effective. So what’s the problem? Well, Candida has been found to inhibit intestinal absorption. It has been shown that mood disorders can be worse during periods of Candida infection. When Candida clears up, mental status may improve.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Yeast Infections

It’s hard to live in a living world without some living organisms taking residence on or inside of your body. It might not be the most pleasant idea, but everyone is carrying bugs of some sort. Harmful organisms in the intestines and bacteria in the gut are among the most common. Another is Candida albicans. If you’ve ever experienced a yeast infection, then you probably know this one well. Although everyone has Candida, problems are unlikely to arise if it’s kept in balance. However, if an imbalance occurs, so may a yeast infection. Yeast infections can affect the mouth, skin, and genitals (and that includes women AND men) and range in severity from inconvenient and uncomfortable to life-threatening. Additionally, overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract may be a catalyst for serious problems if the fungus enters the bloodstream.

Let’s take a look at a few other must-know facts about yeast infections.

1. Yeast Infections May Occur Orally

Gross. Really? Yes, oral yeast infections are commonly called thrush. This infection is common in newborns but typically passes quickly. Babies are not the only ones affected, a recent study found that oral Candida overgrowth occurs in one out of every four adults. Poor oral hygiene is often a primary factor. Researchers identified the presence of plaque, tartar, and amalgam fillings as significantly related to the degree of Candida present. The best defense? Proper, and regular, oral hygiene.

2. Vaginal Yeast Infections Can Be Tricky

Practicing good hygiene is a very good deterrent for yeast infections. However, this isn’t always the case. Frequent douching has been associated with higher incidences of yeast infections. So has wearing tight nylon or synthetic underwear. Oddly enough, over-the-counter anti-fungal medications have also been associated with stubborn occurrences of vaginal candidiasis. The use of intrauterine contraceptive devices also shows a statistically significant increase in Candida infection.

3. Use of an Asthma Inhaler May Contribute to Candida

A Brazilian study of adults using inhalers for longer than 6 months identified oral candidiasis as one of several adverse effects. Anyone using an inhaler, or any other oral appliance (such as mouth guards, retainers, or dentures) should be aware of the possibility of Candida exposure.

4. Candida Naturally Occurs On and In Humans

Microbiota like Candida occur naturally on human skin and in the human gastrointestinal tract. In healthy individuals, the immune system and symbiotic bacteria help keep these fungal species in check. Not surprisingly, persons with compromised immune systems are among the most susceptible to Candida overgrowth.

5. The Connection Between Diabetes and Candida

Individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop genital yeast infections, both women and men. The high blood glucose levels of diabetics encourage yeast growth. And, because it inhibits immune response, the risk of recurring infection is higher. Women are more likely to suffer infection from Candida alibicans and Candida glabrate. Uncircumcised men may experience infection from Candida balaritis.

6. Candida Often Accompanies HIV

Research has shown nearly 90% of HIV positive patients suffer from oral Candidiasis. In contrast, these patients do not experience an increase in genital yeast infection.

7. Candida Loves Carbohydrates

While Candida occurs naturally in the human digestive tract, how much is present depends quite a bit on diet. Studies have identified that persons whose diets are high in carbohydrates are more susceptible than persons whose diets are high in amino acids, proteins, and fatty acids. Candida levels increase most immediately following consumption of carbohydrates.

8. You Can Protect Yourself With Probiotics

Intestinal yeast infections, or Candida overgrowth, have been associated with the development of several Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s disease. Protecting intestinal health has become a major focus for research. One study identified a probiotic strain as successful for improving cellular defense against Candida.

9. Presents an Increased Risk of MS

This one is an unforeseen doozy to most — Candida infection has been associated with increased odds of multiple sclerosis (MS). A case-control study evaluated the relationship between MS and Candida infection and discovered that MS patients showed higher overall blood serum levels of Candida than the control group.

10. Potential Remedy for Warts?

Perhaps not all facts about Candida infections are bad. One study found positive benefits from using a purified C. albicans antigen solution for persistent warts. This has led researchers to suggest intralesional Candida immunotherapy may provide an effective treatment for warts resistant to other forms of destruction.

 

The Ultimate Candida Diet Program

Ten years ago, few people knew about the significance of candida overgrowth, let alone the health benefits of embarking on a candida diet program. But today, thanks to new attitudes on the detriments of excess sugar consumption, and a growing interest in natural health and nutrition, more and more people are asking about diet as a way to cleanse candida. Here we’ll explain everything you need to know about candida and candida diets so you can determine if a candida diet is right for you.

What Is Candida?

Candida is a type of fungus (a yeast to be exact) that resides in your body’s microbiome—which includes the intestinal tract, skin, mucosa, and genitals. There are many strains of candida, but the most common is Candida albicans.

Candida is nothing new—nor is it necessarily something to be feared. Candida is not a “bad” thing in and of itself. In fact, every living person is harboring multiple strains of candida at all times. Candida becomes an issue when it overgrows and crowds out other beneficial microbes. When this happens, it disrupts the balance of beneficial bacteria, fungus, and yeasts in your gut microbiota, resulting in a slew of symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

The main factors that lead to candida yeast overgrowth include:

  • A weak immune system
  • Antibiotic use
  • Steroid use
  • Chronic stress
  • Overconsumption of sugar and starches
  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • Diabetes
  • Surgery and time spent in an intensive care unit.
  • Use of the birth control pill

Common Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth in Men and Women

Sugar cravings are the most common symptom of candida overgrowth, and the reason is that sugars and refined starches(AKA carbohydrates) are candida’s preferred source of fuel. Other common symptoms include:

  • Fungal infections of the skin, throat, esophagus, and blood
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Mood swings and mental health issues (due to the disturbance of the gut bacteria)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Psoriasis and eczema

The Candida Diet Plan: Your Best Defense Against Candida Overgrowth

The best natural way to overcome candida overgrowth and restore balance is to abide by a candida diet plan coupled with specific natural remedies. The candida diet is a simple, sugar elimination diet that restricts sugars, starches, and a few other foods, while still offering a great variety to choose from.

The candida diet works by “starving” the excess candida and taking away their primary food sources (namely sugars), while simultaneously rebuilding your gut microbiota with nourishing, probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods. Although you won’t go hungry on this diet, there are some foods that you’ll need to avoid. Let’s take a look at some of those foods.

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The Candida Diet Plan Part 1: Foods to Avoid

Though there is much to be said about bending the rules when it comes to traditional “dieting” (a practice I don’t recommend), in a candida diet these rules must be followed to achieve results. When you’re done with the diet and your candida is in check, you can go back enjoying a more flexible eating routine.

1. All Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Since sugar is candida’s preferred food source, removing sugar is the most vital key to your success. The same goes for artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are not allowed as they often contain harmful chemicals or allergens. They have been linked to a slew of health issues including weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. The list of sugars and artificial sweeteners to avoid includes:

  • All artificial sweeteners, including sugar alcohols
  • Barley malt
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Honey (raw or otherwise, which I normally recommend, but not when it comes to candida)
  • Maple sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Palm syrup
  • Panela sugar
  • Rapadura sugar
  • Sucanat
  • Sugar-containing foods including sauces, beverages, etc.
  • Tapioca syrup
  • Turbinado sugar
  • White sugar

2. Gluten and Gluten-Containing Grains

Though some experts recommend removing all grains while on a candida cleanse, I allow gluten-free grains because of their nutritional value. The gluten-containing grains to avoid include:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Kamut
  • Oats (unless they’re gluten-free)
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Teff
  • Triticale
  • White and whole wheat

Some grains are approved for the candida diet, and we’ll cover those later on. Additionally, watch out for products that contain gluten, such as soy sauce, cereals, prepared and packaged sauces, and other packaged goods. Look for labels that indicate the product is gluten-free.

3. Refined Vegetable Oils

Though fats do not feed candida, the following types of fat are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids, when consumed in excess, can cause inflammation which has been shown to irritate the digestive tract and delay healing, leading to more candida overgrowth. The following processed, highly refined oils should be avoided while on the candida diet (if not all the time):

  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated fats
  • Margarine or fake butter spreads
  • Peanut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Walnut oil

4. Non-Cultured Dairy Products

Dairy products, including milk, cream, and cheese, contain the milk sugar known as lactose, another food source for candida. I recommend staying away from most dairy during this cleanse, and in general. However, there are some allowable dairy products on this diet for those without dairy sensitivities which I’ll cover in another section.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol contributes to candida overgrowth and is therefore not allowed on the candida diet.

6. Peanuts, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, or Pistachios

Though other nuts are allowed on the program, these five are known to contain molds and fungus which can exacerbate candida.

7. Coffee

Since coffee can irritate the gut lining it is best to eliminate it from your diet. However, if one cup of coffee a day (without sugar or cream) is enough to keep you going on this diet, go ahead and have it with the goal of phasing it out week-by-week. Keep in mind that once you get through that first week or two, you will have gained back so much energy you likely won’t miss the coffee. If you’re ready to go cold-turkey, we’ll cover some alternatives in the next section.

The Candida Diet Plan Part 2: Allowed Food

Now that the “can’t” foods are out of the way, let’s get to the good news: what you can eat on the candida diet.

1. Gut-Supporting Superfoods

Success in your candida diet is as much about what you take out of your diet as what you put back in your body. The following fermented foods will help replenish your microbiome with good bacteria in the form of probiotics and prebiotics:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Cultured vegetables
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Naturally fermented, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Beet kvass

2. Gluten-Free Grains

As mentioned above, certain gluten-free grains are allowed because they contain nutrients, protein, and fiber, which will keep your colon moving.

Look for these gluten-free grains flours in the gluten-free aisle of the grocery store:

  • Quinoa (whole grain and flour)
  • Millet (whole grain and flour)
  • Buckwheat (whole grain and flour)
  • Tapioca flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Almond meal (though not a grain, I am listing it here as it is a great grain alternative for breading, baking, etc.)
  • Amaranth (whole grain and flour)

3. Healthy Fats and Oils

Despite their controversial reputation, new research has confirmed healthy fats are not the enemy and play an essential role in keeping us full, synthesizing key vitamins, and keeping our hormones in balance.

Thus, you may enjoy the following healthy fats on the candida diet:

  • Avocado oil
  • Avocados
  • Butter (preferably organic, pasture-raised butter)
  • Coconut oil (which contains anti-fungal properties and has been shown effective against Candida)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ghee
  • Omega-3 rich oils like fish oil, krill oil, and evening primrose oil

4. Vegetables

You can enjoy unlimited amounts of fresh vegetables while on the program. While some programs recommend staying away from starchy vegetables, I allow them as they contain a wealth of nutrients and fiber and are alkalizing to your system. Don’t forget about sea vegetables, which are rich in minerals and iodine.

5. Fruit

Though there is some debate over whether fruit should be included on the candida diet, I wholeheartedly recommend consuming fruit while on the candida diet, provided you eat it in conjunction with your body’s biological rhythms.

By that, I mean that fruit should be eaten by itself in its whole, fresh state (do not combine it with other non-fruit foods), and wait thirty minutes to one hour before eating anything else.

This is important because consuming fruit sugar alone causes it to alkalize your bodily fluids while providing essential nutrients, which helps kill candida overgrowth. Conversely, if fruit is consumed with other foods, such as starches or proteins, it turns to glucose which feeds candida.

In a nutshell: fresh, whole fruit eaten by itself in the morning is anti-candida; fruit eaten with other foods feeds candida. Be sure to avoid fruit juice, canned fruit (which typically has added sugar), and dried fruit (which have a concentrated sugar content).

6. Healthy Proteins

Protein provides the building blocks for growth and repair and is therefore important while on the candida diet. The key with protein is choosing quality over quantity. I prefer vegan sources of protein. Beans and legumes are allowed (except for peanuts, which are a legume). However, pay attention to how your body feels as the sugars found in beans can feed in some cases candida, especially in the early stages.

If this is an issue, substitute other high-protein foods like quinoa, millet, hemp protein powder, nuts and seeds, and cultured soy products like tempeh (since the culturing breaks down sugars).

If you choose to eat meat, consume only non-processed, organic, grass-fed sources, such as grass-fed red meats (beef, bison, etc.), chicken, turkey, organic eggs, and wild-caught, low-mercury fish like wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring.

7. Dairy and Milk Products

Though I recommend avoiding most dairy products while on the candida diet, cultured organic dairy products (ideally from pasture-raised cows, goats, or sheep) are allowed, as the culturing process naturally reduces the milk sugar, lactose while adding probiotic value.

Non-dairy milk products are also allowed (except cashew milk and soy milk), provided they are unsweetened:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Cultured butter
  • Cultured cheeses
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Unsweetened hemp milk

8. Nuts and Seeds

Enjoy all nuts and seeds, preferably raw, soaked, or sprouted, except for peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios which commonly contain mold and fungus. Nut butters are fine, provided they do not contain any added sugars. Remember that chia and hemp seeds are a great source of healthy fats and protein.

9. Beverages and Coffee Substitutes

Staying hydrated is one of the key components for success when you’re following the candida diet. Aim for half your weight in ounces per day to speed elimination and promote efficient cleansing. You can also add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar to the water to help alkalize the body and promote healthy detox.

Replace alcoholic beverages with probiotic-rich beverages like kombucha or kefir water. Again, water should be the main thing you consume but for a little variety, try unsweetened cranberry juice mixed with water and a bit of stevia or homemade stevia lemonade. Just mix the juice of 1 lemon or lime with 8 ounces of water and stevia to taste.

In place of coffee, try green tea or yerba mate, which contains a little caffeine and loads of antioxidants. Chicory coffee is another popular coffee substitute. A lot of people also enjoy herbal teas. Peppermint and nettle provide a natural, refreshing boost, while Pau d’arco, cinnamon, and turmeric teas will help support normal candida balance.

How Long Should You Follow the Candida Diet?

How long you should follow the candida diet depends on your symptoms, health history, the severity of the candida overgrowth and how faithfully you follow the diet and supplement recommendations.

The general recommendation is one-month minimum, then slowly reintroduce foods and see how your body reacts. If your issues flare up again, go back on the diet for another two to four weeks or consult your healthcare practitioner.

How to Maintain Candida Balance for Life

Since it exists naturally in our bodies, candida is always going to be part of our lives. The key to living with it healthfully is to prevent overgrowth from happening in the first place.

  • Avoid antibiotics as much as possible, and if you must take them go on the candida diet afterward and take plenty of probiotics and prebiotics
  • Eat a sensible diet that’s low in sugar, refined grains, and processed foods
  • Nurture your gut’s bacterial balance by eating probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods regularly
  • Enjoy alcohol in moderation, or, better yet, avoid it entirely
  • Keep your stress levels in check
  • Get enough sleep
  • Nurture your immune system

Have you used diet to remedy a candida balance? What tips and insight can you provide? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Clove Oil

Clove oil uses are incredibly impressive, ranging from improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation to helping acne and boosting gum health. One of the best-known clove oil uses is to reduce the pain associated with dental problems. Even mainstream toothpaste makers agree that clove oil reduces the pain and swelling that comes with a toothache.

In addition to being a proven anti-inflammatory and pain reducer, one of the common clove oil uses is as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial to keep countless diseases at bay, which is why it can be such a wise choice for boosting your immune system as well as a powerful addition to homemade cleaning products.

Plant Origin of Clove Oil

Indigenous to Indonesia and Madagascar, clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) can be found in nature as the unopened pink flower buds of the tropical evergreen tree. Picked by hand in late summer and again in winter, the buds are dried until they turn brown. The buds are then left whole, ground into a spice or are steam-distilled to produce clove essential oil.

The island of Zanzibar (part of Tanzania) is the world’s biggest producer of cloves. Other top producers include Indonesia and Madagascar. Unlike most other spices, clove can be grown throughout the entire year, which has given native tribes that use it a distinct advantage over other cultures because the health benefits can be enjoyed more readily.

Cloves can be anywhere from a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch in length. They generally are composed of 14 percent to 20 percent essential oil. The main chemical component of the oil is eugenol, which is also responsible for clove oil’s strong fragrance. In addition to its common medicinal uses (especially for oral health), eugenol is also commonly included in mouthwashes and perfumes, and it’s also employed in the creation of vanillin.


9 Clove Oil Benefits

The health benefits of clove oil are vast and include supporting the health of your liver, skin, and mouth. Here are some of most common medicinal clove oil uses today:

1. Skin Health and Acne

Scientific research demonstrates clove oil’s ability to effectively kill off both the planktonic cells and biofilms of a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus or S. aureus. What does this have to do with skin health and, more specifically, acne? S. aureus is one of several strains of bacteria that have been scientifically linked with the pathogenesis of acne.

As a natural remedy to eliminate acne, take 3 drops clove oil and mix with 2 teaspoons raw honey. Mix together and wash your face as usual.

2. Fights Candida

One of the most powerful clove oil uses is fighting candida — which is something that I have spoken of at length — and something that continues to plague Americans because of their high-sugar, acidic diets.

Published in the journal Oral Microbiology & Immunology, a study was conducted to see how clove fared against other antifungal treatments and observed that it was as effective as nystatin, a drug commonly prescribed to manage yeast infections of the mouth (thrush), which has a slew of ugly side effects.

Also, in addition to eliminating candida, clove essential oil is effective at killing intestinal parasites.

3. Toothache Relief

One of the most well-known clove oil uses, as a remedy for toothaches, was first documented in 1640 in the French “Practice of Physic,” although there is a reason to believe that the Chinese were applying this homeopathic remedy for over 2,000 years.

Today, clove is widely accepted as a reliable solution for dry socket and for relieving the pain and discomfort associated with various dental disorders. The Journal of Dentistry, for instance, published a study in 2006 proving that clove essential oil had the same numbing effect as benzocaine, a topical agent commonly used before needle insertion.

Additionally, research has suggested that clove oil has even more far-reaching effects. The Indian Department of Public Health Dentistry recently conducted a study that evaluated clove’s ability to slow tooth decalcification, or dental erosion, compared to eugenol, eugenyl-acetate, fluoride and a control group. Not only did clove oil lead the pack by significantly decreasing decalcification, it was observed that it actually remineralized teeth.

This study highlights yet again that the so-called benefits of fluoridating our water supply and mainstream dental products are not worth the risk. As I have covered at length in previous articles, why take the risk of using a fluoride product, when clove can accomplish the same goal?

4. High Antioxidant Content

Second, only to raw sumac bran, ground clove has the astounding ORAC value of 290,283 units! This means that per gram cloves contain 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries which have a value of 9,621.

In a nutshell, antioxidants are molecules that reverse the damage caused by free radicals, including cell death and cancer. Research has shown that antioxidants slow aging, degeneration and protect the body against bad bacteria and viruses.

Because of its high antioxidant count and eugenol levels, clove is also known as the ultimate “protective” herb and has been used in essential oil blends such as “Thieves” oil.

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5. Digestive Aid and Ulcer Helper

One of the traditional clove oil uses has been for the treatment of common complaints related to the digestive system, including indigestion, motion sickness, bloating and flatulence (accumulation of gas in the digestive tract).

Research also demonstrates that clove oil may be able to help when it comes to ulcer formation in the digestive system. A study using various animal models published in 2011 finds that clove oil has both gastro-protective and anti-ulcer properties. The oil of cloves significantly enhanced gastric mucus production, which protects the lining of the digestive tract and prevents erosion that contributes to gastritis and ulcer formation.

6. Powerful Antibacterial

Clove oil has been shown to inhibit gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as yeast. This is huge, especially since gram-negative bacteria are often resistant to antibiotics and other antibacterial interventions.

To evaluate its effectiveness as an antibacterial agent, researchers from the University of Buenos Aires set out to determine which bacteria are most sensitive to clove’s potency. According to their study, clove has the greatest antimicrobial ability over E. coli and also exerted considerable control over Staph aureus, which causes acne, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes pneumonia.

7. Immune System Booster 

There’s a good reason why clove oil is included in the Four Thieves Oil Blend. With its potent antibacterial and antiviral abilities, clove oil can help boost the immune system to fight off, or even prevent, the common cold and flu. With its potent ability to kill the offenders that make us sick, clove oil is commonly highlighted as a top natural remedy for guarding yourself against illness, especially during cold and flu season.

8. May Help Lower Blood Pressure and Boost Heart Health

If you’re struggling with high blood pressure or hypertension, clove oil may be able to help. Animal research published in 2015 in the British Journal of Pharmacology reveals that the eugenol found in clove oil may be able to dilate major arteries in the body while also reducing systemic blood pressure. The study concludes, “Eugenol may be therapeutically useful as an antihypertensive agent.”

A scientific study also isolated another impressive active compound of cloves called acetyl eugenol. The researchers found acetyl eugenol to be a “potent platelet inhibitor” in human blood cells, which means it prevents the clumping together of platelets in the blood. Platelet aggregation (platelets clumping together) is one of the factors that lead to the formation of a thrombus or blood clot.

This is definitely a significant finding since antiplatelet, or blood thinning, medications are commonly used to treat coronary heart disease and to reduce the risk of heart attack. Clove is known to act as a natural blood thinner, so much so that it’s not recommended to combine clove oil with other conventional blood thinners.

9. Anti-inflammatory and Liver Protective

Although it has been suspected for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions, the Journal of Immunotoxicology just recently published the first-ever study proving that the eugenol in oil of cloves is indeed a powerful anti-inflammatory.

This study demonstrates that low doses of eugenol can protect the liver against disease. It was also observed that eugenol reverses inflammation and cellular oxidation (which speeds the aging process). In addition, researchers noted that taking large doses internally could harm the digestive lining and using it externally can irritate sensitive skin. So, as with all essential oils, it’s important not to overdo it! Clove oil (and all essential oils) are extremely concentrated, so remember that a little truly goes a long way.


History of Clove Oil

History tells us that the Chinese have used clove for more than 2,000 years as a fragrance and spice. Cloves were brought to the Han dynasty of China from Indonesia as early as 200 BC. Back then, people would hold cloves in their mouths to improve breath odor during audiences with their emperor.

Clove cultivation used to occur pretty much exclusively in Indonesia until late in the 1700s when the French smuggled cloves from the East Indies to the Indian Ocean islands and the New World.

Clove oil was also one of the main essential oils that protected people from getting the bubonic plague in Europe. A group of robbers was caught by the king and he asked them why they weren’t ill or dead from the plague exposure they said it was because they covered themselves with this protective blend of oils (“thieves oil”), which included clove.

The ancient Persians supposedly used clove oil as a love potion.

Meanwhile, Ayurvedic healers have long-used clove oil to treat digestive issues, fever, and respiratory problems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, clove is highly acclaimed for its antifungal and antibacterial abilities. The list of clove oil uses throughout history really goes on and on, but I’ll stop there.

Today, clove oil continues to be used in numerous products for health, agricultural and cosmetic purposes.

Clove Oil Uses

As you can see so far, there are so many clove oil uses! Adding some cloves or clove oil to your health regimen is a great way to naturally boost your antioxidant levels.

If you want to harness the health benefits of clove essential oil, consider diffusing it in your home to clean the air. Diffusing it is an especially helpful method of using clove oil for improving immune health and blood pressure.

Have a toothache? Put a few drops of clove oil on a cotton swab and apply the oil directly to the gums around the painful tooth. If you find the clove oil to be too strong, you can dilute it with coconut oil or olive oil. If you don’t have any clove oil on hand, a whole clove can work well, too, by putting it in your mouth near the problem area and letting it remain there until you feel some relief.

Clove oil makes a great addition to homemade personal care products like deodorant and toothpaste. It’s also a potent antibacterial ingredient to add to homemade cleaners.

If you’re exposed to people with a cold or flu, you can mix it with coconut oil and rub it on your neck and chest for natural antioxidant protection. For high blood pressure, you can also dilute it with coconut oil and apply it to your wrists.

Due to its strength, clove oil should be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil or other gentle oils for most topical applications and only used for short periods of up to two weeks internally.


Possible Side Effects and Caution

Clove is known to slow down blood clotting due to its eugenol content. Clove is known to interact with blood thinning medications such as anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs and for this reason, should not to combined with such drugs.

Dilution of clove oil with a carrier oil like coconut is recommended for topical use. Using the oil undiluted on the skin can cause irritation. When taking clove oil internally, do not use for longer than two weeks consecutively. When taking cloves essential oil internally, I always recommend taking a probiotic supplement twice daily to restore beneficial flora.

Clove essential oil is typically not recommended for use with children under the age of 2. Talk to your doctor before using clove oil internally or externally if you are pregnant, nursing or being treated for any ongoing health concerns.

Always make sure you are using a 100 percent pure, organic and therapeutic grade clove essential oil.


Clove Oil Key Points

  • Clove essential oil is high in antioxidants and has potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, making it effective for a large variety of common health concerns including toothaches and candida.
  • Clove oil uses include the natural treatment of acne, the common cold, influenza, high blood pressure and digestive complaints.
  • Clove oil can be used externally or internally depending on the health concern. For high blood pressure and cold/flu relief, try diffusing clove oil in your home or office.
  • Make sure to dilute clove essential oil before using it topically and don’t take it internally for longer than two weeks at a time. Make sure to also supplement with a probiotic during that time to retain a healthy balance of bacteria since clove oil is such a potent natural remedy.