Australian researchers proved in a study that clove oil highly efficient in treating scabies. The find adds yet another outstanding medical property to a natural product that already has many excellent uses.
Clove oil is a product derived from the clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia aromaticum, Eugenia caryophyllata; these are all synonymous names for the same plant); the oil can be extracted from any part of the tree including buds, leafs, and twigs. The clove oil commonly sold in drugstores and pharmacies is made from buds. The oil has a high content in eugenol of up to 90 percent.
Eugenol is slightly soluble in water and soluble in organic solvents.
Cloves are used in cooking in small measures and form part of curry mixtures. About half of the yearly production of cloves in Indonesia goes into the production clove cigarettes. Eugenol may be found in other plants as well if in a much lesser percentage; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (Jamaica pepper, pimento), laurel, banana, cherry, basil, and anise all contain traces of it.
Eugenol, and by inference clove oil, has well proven medical uses as a local anaesthetic if applied directly to skin or gums, as an analgesic when swallowed, and as an antiseptic. Commonly, clove oil is used to help with toothache but it may also be used as a treatment for acne, warts, and scars. A study in 2009 proved that eugenol is highly efficient in killing off the reason for acne: Propionibacterium acnes.
The new Australian study now proved that eugenol is highly efficient against scabies. Scabies is a contagious skin infection caused by a parasite. The females of the parasite Sarcoptes scabiei like soft skin to lay their eggs in. They tunnel into the skin and deposit the egg together with their faeces. The skin condition is caused by an allergic reaction to the faeces. Eugenol is able to kill off Sarcoptes scabiei mites and eggs within 15 minutes when applied.
Until now, scabies was treated with a pharmaceutical cream containing the insecticide permethrin against which the mites show an increasing resistance. The treatment with permethrin is a lengthy process and no way nearly as successful as eugenol has proven to be. It requires you to treat the whole skin surface of your body, too.
The researchers do not recommend the application of undiluted clove oil directly on your skin especially if a large area of skin surface is affected. Eugenol is able to enter the body through the cells by absorption and can e poisonous to your liver and other organs. While the application level for poisoning with eugenol is quite high, it is safe to get exposed to three grams per kilogram bodyweight, it is better t be safe than sorry.
I myself like to mix clove oil with a natural calendula cream (like Weleda or similar brands) I purchase at the shops or online. Calendula is proficient in healing the skin, and the combination with clove oil makes it a viable all round treatment to help prevent scars after skin injury. That the clove oil also works as a local anaesthetic helps suppress any itch that might bring you to scratch the affected surface area.