The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
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    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

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    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

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Treating anal fistulas with clove oil

An anal fissure is a painful condition affecting the far end of the intestines. The antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving properties of clove oil provide a rationale for its use in this study.

First, the details.

  • 55 patients were randomly assigned to clove oil 1% or what the authors called “traditional” treatment of stool softeners and lidocaine cream 5%.

And, the results.

  • Healing occurred in 60% of the clove oil treatment group vs 12% in the other group, a significant difference.
  • Clove oil treatment was also associated with a significant reduction in resting anal pressure and most other pressure measurements.

The bottom line?
Researchers from Mansoura University Hospital in Egypt concluded, “Topical application of clove oil demonstrated significant beneficial effects when applied to patients suffering from chronic anal fistula.”

Some questions come to mind.

  • How widespread is the use of clove oil for treating anal fistulas? I found no other studies, but it could be included in “natural” treatments.
  • How long were the patients treated? The abstract doesn’t say.
  • What was the severity of the fistulas in these patients? My guess is they were not severe.

Anal fistulas are not something to treat without professional guidance.

Background on their treatment can be found here from a private practice of gastroenterologists and here from the University of Michigan. A homeopathic approach is found here.

6/18/07 21:39 JR

1 Comment »

  1. A.Venter said:

    on September 22, 2016 at 3:26 AM

    I used clove oil to numb pain. Just like it numbs a tooth ache, it numbs hemorrhoid pain. Clove oil is found in toothpaste for sensitive teeth and other dental applications. Believe me, if you have pain you don’t much care if it actually works, all you care is to be pain free. For that Clove oil works. Then after you are pain free you start caring about getting rid of the swelling with creams like Anosol or essential oils like tea tree oil, an icecube in a plastic baggy applied to the affected area. With Clove Oil First it gets hot, then the hot feeling goes away and the pain with it. It works like a local anesthetic. Tea tree oil also gives some miner pain relief. Chamomile oil and Eucalyptus all helps with swelling and minor relief. But Clove oil is the best pain relief. I think its effecive ness must be seen in the use with other remedies. The other over the counter remedies works overtime, but none of these available treetments provide you with an anesthetic against pain. So even if there is no scientific proof, the uses of clove oil should be advocated over the taking of oral pain killers. So for home treatment you devide your treatment into the following

    A.) Hygiene
    Coconut oil, or olive oil to dilute antiseptic like detol or savlon or whatever you use. Wipe anal area clean.

    B) Fight inflammation, this will promote hemorrhoid to shrink or go away quicker.

    Ice help to numb pain, but also helps to reduce inflammation Tea tree is anti inflammatory and also provide an local anesthetic feeling as it is absorbed through the skin or directly in the hemorrhoid . Chamomile and Eucalyptus oils is also use I try to use them in intervals in the belief if the tea tree does not do the job alone the others will as they all have anticeptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
    C) Get rid of the pain
    Clove oil in the morning, and before going to bed, and if the pain return in the middel of the night
    D) After care
    Over the counter hemorrhoid cream like Anosol, or those with fish oil (can’t remember the name) These do not give immediate pain relief like clove oil but the content of the cream does not completely dry out the hemorrhoid so bleeding occurs when it burst. Never had this problem as I keep it clean and creamed up. If bathroom is used, clean up and end with cream everytime.

    If followed 4 steps, quickest way to recovery.

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