Eugenol is the major chemical component (70-90%) in the aromatic oil extract from cloves. It has a characteristic warm and spicy odor. The clove spice is widely used as a flavoring for foods and teas. It has been shown that eugenol has antioxidants, antibacterial and antifungal activity.
Having anesthetic and antiseptic properties, eugenol has been used topically to treat toothache in traditional medicine. Nowadays, it is also commonly used in combination with zinc oxide in dental cements. High doses of eugenol should be avoided, as it may cause toxicity and damage to the liver.