Clove OilFistulas

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

Hi, I’m JR

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.