Herbs eugenol oil

Herbs eugenol oil is something you may have a passing interest in as I have. However there is no earthly-point getting neurotic about whether you've had enough of this wonderful anti-inflammatory compound this week or not.

Let us just recognise that it is one of the many substances, loosely called a phytochemical food that research is increasingly showing has a vital and oft mysterious role in sparkling good well-being.

For example scientists have published in the journal "Connective Tissue Research" that eugenol-oil inhibits two pathways that induce osteoclast formation[1].

Osteoclasts are the cells that lead to bone-destruction and porosity, hence the interest of a DC in herbs and eugenol oil.

What is basil?

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 31st January, 2024.

Thus even small amounts of sweet-basil and cloves, ingested regularly will contribute to stronger bones; a wonderful flavour in any case.

I always add a few whole cloves to butternut soup, for example; we made it last night. And right through the summer there are half a dozen fresh sweet-basil leaves in every salad.

Remember that the moment a spice is ground oxidation begins; grind them yourself. In this instance the blender takes care of them in the soup.

It is the eugenol oil that gives cloves and sweet basil their divine-scent. Unless you are a biochemist, you probably would not be interested in its structure.

Eugenol structure

Herbs eugenol oil

Herbs eugenol oil is found in sweet-basil giving pesto its unique aroma.

Whenever making a spicy dish, simply add a few cloves for their eugenol-oil.

And when preparing salads be sure to include periodically one of the most delicious and simple dressings called pesto. The principal ingredient is sweet-basil; think stronger bones and less painful teeth.

Eugenol oil has long been used by dentists, combined with zinc oxide in applications such as sealing root canals. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps prevent bacterial buildup under a crown.

I am sure you recognise the distinctive smell of herbs eugenol oil when you've had work done on your teeth. Ask your dentist about it about its analgesic-properties.

It's also used in many perfumes because of its wonderful fragrance.

Don't go out and buy it. Simply plant some sweet basil in your garden next spring. It really is a divine-smelling herb that will contribute to discussion around the dining room table! "Darling, what a divine salad. What on earth have you put in it?"

You can't see them in this picture but the bees from my hives go crazy over the tiny white flowers. I would just love to try the honey from three-acres of sweet basil!

It's quite sensitive to very hot weather, so water frequently; and alas gets a nasty blight in misty, damp conditions. It is extremely frost-sensitive, so harvest the leaves and freeze them as soon as they are ready. You can also hang them in bunches to dry. Throw handfuls into your stews.

Sweet basil

Sweet basil is simply my favourite herb; just squeeze a handful of leaves up in your hand and take in a deep-whiff. I could get high on this volatile essential oil; it contains the herb eugenol oil.

What is basil you may be wondering.

Sweet basil flowers are also a source of eugenol oil.

We love to test many of our dishes with sweet-basil; is it more to your taste than parsley in this toasted egg sandwich for example? It's a close contest.

Toasted egg sandwich enjoyed regularly for supper.

Drying sweet basil

Sweet basil can easily be dried and preserved for the rest of the year in a simple dryer. The leaves are thin so it does not take long.


Pesto is a wonderful condiment made primarily of sweet basil, pine-nuts and Parmesan cheese; rich in the herb eugenol oil.

What is emulsifier in food is an important question to grasp. It's one of the many chemicals that manufacturers love to add to their condiments to stop the oil and water fractions separating. Just give the bottle a shake before use.

Pesto lunch is rich in eugenol

Pluck the leaves from your sweet-basil and crush them in your fingers; the fragrance is divine. Then make them into a pesto[2].

Can you see the pesto in this wonderful salad and in that bottle near the butter?

Yes butter is back; research conclusively shows there's no advantage in margarine and it tastes awful. It is made with hydrogenated-oils[3] which have been proved to be very toxic for the body.

A healthy diet for prediabetes must contain plenty of salads like this; the fibre slows the release of food from the stomach, flattening any surge in blood glucose. Refined carbs must go for ever; but a wholegrain artisan bread like this is fine.

One slice of real bread is enough; keep down the "glycemic load."


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There is lots of interest in the photograph above, just a typical lunch not unlike that we enjoy every day. Eating seven or more coloured foods every day, research shows decreases all-cause of death by 35 percent. That's massive.

In particular notice the sourdough bread that I bake daily. What is really interesting about it is the bacteria that we add to the dough. They break down the short chains of amino acids that cause inflammation; proline in gluten makes complete digestion difficult. That is what gives so many folk trouble with the commercial loaf; that and an enzyme called transglutaminase that they add.

Sourdough bread is so much more digestible; and even folk with Celiac disease are finding they can eat it if it's left for a long 24-hour ferment.

The sweet basil in herb and spice butters is particularly lovely on bread.


Cloves are richly endowed with herbs eugenol oil too which is why, for centuries the treatment of toothache they were squished into the offending cavity. Add them regularly to your cooking. The wife just yesterday added a couple to her pickled beets recipes.

Useful links

  1. Inhibitory effects of eugenol on osteoclast formation
  2. Pesto. Web: https://tinyurl.com/65vtpt8
  3. Hydrogenated foods. Web: https://tinyurl.com/s283vfc6

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Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is busy with his seventh book, provisionally called Priests Denied. It won't be available until 2025 at the earliest.

His other six books are to be found in the navigation bar; they are inexpensive in electronic format at Amazon.

Nutritious choice slow foods, made fast are his passion. Dropping a few sweet basil leaves with their herbs eugenol oil onto lettuce turns a dull green salad into a gem; add homemade hummus or pesto and you have a divine lunch.

As a highly qualified scientist and doctor, he is well-qualified to write about such subjects as herbs eugenol oil and its role in wellness.

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa