When we understand the similarities as well as the differences, between Clove Bud CO2 and Clove Bud essential we are able to choose the best aromatic for our formula.

Common to both

Name: Clove Bud (Syzygium aromatica)

Family:   Myrtaceae

Plant Description:  A slender evergreen tree with a smooth, trunk that grows up to 12 meters high.  It has large bright green leaves.  At the start of the rainy season, long buds appear with a rosy-pink corolla at the time; as the corolla fades, the calyx slowly turns deep red.  The calyxes are beaten from the tree and when dried are the clove buds.

History/Folklore:  One of the first recorded uses of Clove Bud was recorded in the Chinese Han period 220 – 206 BC where it was used to sweeten the breath.  Cloves were introduced into Europe in the 13th Century. Cloves were once one of the most prized of all commodities and the early history of the clove trade is characterized by deceit, covetousness and violence.


Method of Extraction

Clove Bud CO2 :  Carbon dioxide as the `solvent` to extract the viscous liquid from flower buds requiring around 18% of CO2 extract.
Essential Oil:  Clove bud essential oil is steam distilled from the flower buds with a yield of around 15 – 18%.

Color and Appearance 

Clove Bud CO2:  A transparent and fluid extract with a rich custard resembling color. (Kerkhof)
Essential Oil:
Pale yellow mobile oil. (Burfield)


Clove Bud CO2:  The CO2 extract is much milder in fragrance than the distilled oil. (Kerkhof)
Essential Oil:
Warm and spicy aroma, with a sweet caramellic impression with sweet and fruity undertones.  (Burfield)


Clove Bud CO2:  65% phenol (eugenol), 20% sesquiterpene (b-caryophyllene) and 28% esters (eugenyl acetate).  (Kerkhof)
Essential Oil:
  73 – 96.9% phenol (eugenol), 0.6 – 12.4% sesquiterpene (b-caryophyllene) and 0.5 – 10.7% ester (eugenyl acetate). (Tisserand and Young)


Clove Bud CO2: Could interact with anti-coagulants (eugenol).  Not for small children and infants. (Kerkhof)
Essential Oil:
Hazards Drug interaction; may contain methyleugenol, may inhibit blood clotting.  Cautions: Hypersensitive, diseased or damages skin, children under 2 years of age.  They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.5% based on 96.9% eugenol content. (Tisserand and Young)

Indications for Use 

Clove Bud CO2:  Colds, flu, viral airway infections, sinus infections, bronchitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, general and immune weaknesses.  Circulatory disorders.  Its analgesic properties help with muscle fatigue and cramps, rheumatic pains, sciatica, lumbago and labor.  Mouth and tooth infections, lack of appetite and digestive complaints. It is also helpful as an insect repellent.  Clove Bud will purify the air of airborne pathogens. (Kerkhof)
Essential Oil:
Helpful in skin care for acne, athlete’s foot, bruises, burns, cuts, toothache, ulcers and wounds.  It is also helpful for arthritis, rheumatism and sprains.  Use Clove Bud essential oil for respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis, as well as digestive complaints like colic, dyspepsia and nausea.  Clove Bud may help boost the immune system and help fight clods, flu and minor infections.  It also has insect repellent properties.

Emotional and Spiritual Conditions

Both the CO2 extract and the essential oil have analgesic, antispasmodic and stimulating properties and would be helpful for dealing with headaches and fatigue.  Their stimulating properties help to stimulate the mind and help promote memory.  On a subtle level, Clove Bud encourages introspection into pain.  By helping one to reflect on the root cause of fear, pain and anger it allows one to move forward into greater joy and spontaneity.  In Dr. Bruce Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, chronic nervousness and anxiousness are considered to be important factors in the Clove individual.

You might also want to check out the mini profile I have on Clove Bud as well as a caution NOT to use Clove Bud for teething babies.  Clove is also often used for Dental Care and Oral Hygiene.

Tony Burfield, Natural Aromatic Materials – Odours & Origins, 2000
E. Joy Bowles, the A to Z of Essential Oils, 2003
E. Joy Bowles, The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils, 2003
Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol I-V, 1948 reprinted 1972
Madeline Kerkhof, CO2 Extracts in Aromatherapy, 2018
Julia Lawless, The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Sourcebook, 2017
Leung and Foster, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, 1996
Tisserand and Young, 2nd Edition Essential Oil Safety, 2014