Eugenol is a phenol found in oil of cloves, oil of pimento, and other oils. Eugenol occurs as a colourless or slightly yellow optically inactive liquid, with an odour of cloves and a pungent spicy taste. It should be entirely and readily soluble in diluted solution of sodium hydroxide. Eugenol should be preserved in well-stoppered bottles, protected from the light.
Eugenol is an antiseptic and is not toxic. It has some local anaesthetic properties and is a useful solvent of other local anaesthetics, such as pure cocaine, or erythrophloeine hydrochloride for use in dental practice. It is also used in combination with astringents as a mouth wash after tooth extraction. An antiseptic ointment of eugenol with hydrous wool fat has been used for eczema. Eugenol is administered, in the same manner as oil of cloves in phthisis, as a carminative and antiseptic