The pharmacologically active constituent of natural clove oil is called eugenol, which is extracted from cloves. Eugenol also occurs in other plants, such as allspice, cinnamon, laurel or the real avens root (geum urbanum) found in Northern Europe, however, not in similarly high concentrations.
The clove tree (syzygium aromaticum) is a type of plant belonging to the myrtle family (myrtaceae), which originally comes from South-East Asia. The oldest archaeological find of cloves in ceramic vessels in Syria dates back to 1700 BC. Caravans brought the essential oil to Europe via the Incense Road. In ancient times and the Middle Ages, clove oil was considered one of the treasures that were reserved for patricians. The analgesic, antiseptic properties of clove oil have been known for centuries and are, for example, described in the writings of Galen of Pergamum (131 – 201 AD) and Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 1179 AD). The analgesic effects against toothache, in particular, are also mentioned in the writings. Hildegard von Bingen even refers to the plant as a “herba benedicta”, a blessed herb.
Clove oil is therefore likely to be the oldest remedy for toothache, which is still today widespread in medicine chests and dental practices around the world. It is particularly often used in emergencies for temporary filling. It acts as a mild local anaesthetic, with analgesic, soothing and antibacterial properties.
Hoffmann’s uses pure essential clove oil from Indonesia in its formulation for PROXI APEX, root canal filling material as well as for Hoffmann´s Pulpine – a biological capping material for the protection of pulp.