What is Lavanga? Full information, usage, benefits and side effects

What is Lavanga? Full information, usage, benefits and side effects

Toothache is a commonly encountered problem. Any inflammatory condition affecting the gums and tooth pulp gives rise to pain. Enamel of tooth is insensitive to pain, toothache occurs only when the enamel is eroded. In most cases toothaches are caused by problems in the teeth or gums, such as cavities, gum disease, the emergence of wisdom teeth, a cracked tooth, infected or inflamed dental pulp, jaw disease or exposed tooth root.

     Though the cause of the toothache should be established before starting the treatment, topical application of clove oil to the affected area can be a first-aid management which is well-documented as an effective remedy in Ayurvedic classics.

Lavanga [Syzygium aromaticum (Linn.) Merr. & Perry] - 

Lavanga is the dried flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum, a tree cultivated in many parts of the world and also to a considerable extent in South India. Flower buds are collected twice a year, in the months of October and February when they change colour from green to crimson, and are dried carefully and separated from their peduncles. Clove is a fragrant floral bud, black or brown in color, widely used in Indian cuisines. Its pungent aroma and flavour is very familiar from its use as a culinary herb. The oil extracted from cloves is used as a home remedy for toothache. It is an ingredient of tooth powders, gargles and chewing gums. The oil is also used as a local analgesic for hypersensitive dental cavities; a mixture of clove oil and zinc oxide is used in dentistry as a temporary filling for tooth cavities.

Composition - Lavanga oil is extracted from the buds of clove.

English name - Clove
Latin name - Syzygium aromaticum (Linn.) Merr. & Perry.
Family - Myrtaceae
Parts used - Flower buds.

Main chemical - constituents1 Eugenol, eugenol acetate and caryophyllene.

Dosage form - Clove oil has a warm, strong, spicy smell and the oil is colourless to pale yellow with a medium to watery viscosity.

Therapeutic properties - Clove oil is analgesic, anaesthetic, antiseptic, refrigerant, digestive, carminative, stomachic, anti-spasmodic and rubefacient.

Dose and mode of use -

(1) Cotton swab soaked in clove oil should be kept on the affected tooth without touching the gums.

(2) Clove oil-soaked tissue paper can also be applied directly to the affected site of the tooth. It may be used 2 to 3 times a day.

(3) Gargles with one to two drops of clove oil in a cup of warm water are useful as a mouth wash for toothache and gum problems.

Indications and uses -  Clove oil is useful in toothache, halitosis, cephalalgia, dental caries, and painful condition after tooth extraction.

Precautions and safety aspects -

(1) Clove oil is irritant and pungent. Therefore, it is advised to prevent the oil from touching the tongue and gums.

(2) If topical application of clove oil fails to relieve the pain, take dental consultation.

(3) Clove oil application in deep dental cavities should be done carefully.

(4) Clove is toxic, its oral use in large amounts (i.e. more than 3.7 g/kg body weight) may be life threatening.

(5) Enough information about safety is unavailable for the oral use of cloves and clove supplelments in pregnant and breast feeding women.

(6) Undiluted clove oil may cause allergic itching, rash and even burns, so its local application should be done carefully.
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