Generic Name: clove (KLOVE)
Medically reviewed on March 5, 2018
What is clove?
Clove is an herb also known as Bourgeon Floral de Clou de Girofle, Bouton Floral de Clou de Girofle, Caryophylli Flos, Clavo de Olor, Clous de Girolfe, Ding Xiang, Feuille de Clou de Girofle, Fleur de Clou de Girofle, Flores Caryophylli, Gewurznelken Nagelein, Girofle, Giroflier, Huile de Clou de Girofle, Kreteks, Lavang, Lavanga, or Tige de Clou de Girofle.
Clove is a common flavoring agent in foods and beverages, and is used as a flavoring or fragrance in other products such as toothpaste, soaps, and cosmetics. When used as a food product, clove is not likely to produce health benefits or side effects. When used as a medicinal product, clove may produce both desired and unwanted effects on the body.
Clove has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating premature ejaculation, when it is combined with other ingredients and applied to the outer skin of the penis before sexual intercourse. Clove may have been combined with other plants or extracts in a specific preparation to treat this condition.
It is not certain whether clove is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Clove should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Clove is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Clove may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this product if you are allergic to clove.
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to take clove by mouth or use it on the skin if you have:
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;
a weak immune system; or
plant or food allergies.
The use of clove as a flavoring agent in foods is considered safe during pregnancy. However, it is not known whether clove used as medicine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether clove passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice. Clove oil taken by mouth can cause liver damage, seizure (convulsions), or other serious side effects in children.
How should I use clove?
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to use clove, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
If you use a product containing clove to prevent premature ejaculation, apply it only to the outer skin of the tip of your penis. People who have used clove for this purpose have applied the product 1 hour before sexual activity, and washed it off just before intercourse.
Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, tincture, teas, etc) of clove at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.
Do not take topical (for the skin) clove by mouth. Topical forms of this product are for use only on the skin.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with clove does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.
Clove can affect blood-clotting and may increase your risk of bleeding. If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, stop taking clove at least 2 weeks ahead of time.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra clove to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using clove?
Avoid continued use of topical clove if you or your sexual partner have severe genital irritation during or after sexual intercourse.
Avoid using clove together with other herbal/health supplements that can also affect blood-clotting. This includes angelica (dong quai), capsicum, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, horse chestnut, panax ginseng, poplar, red clover, turmeric, and willow.
Clove side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using clove and call your healthcare provider at once if you have severe burning, redness, pain, or swelling after use on the skin.
Also call your doctor at once if you have taken oral clove and you have:
lactic acidosis--muscle pain or weakness, numbness or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired;
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
signs of infection--fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing.
Common side effects of topically applied clove may include:
trouble having an orgasm (delayed ejaculation);
mild skin irritation; or
sore gums, mouth irritation, bleeding or swollen gums, or tooth changes after using clove inside the mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect clove?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied clove. But other drugs may interact with clove taken by mouth. Tell your healthcare provider about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your healthcare provider.
- Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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