AskDefine | Define eugenol

Extensive Definition

Eugenol (C10H12O2), is an allyl chain-substituted guaiacol. Eugenol is a member of the phenylpropanoids class of chemical compounds. It is a clear to pale yellow oily liquid extracted from certain essential oils especially from clove oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and bay leaf. It is slightly soluble in water and soluble in organic solvents. It has a pleasant, spicy, clove-like aroma.

Modern uses

Eugenol is used in perfumeries, flavorings, essential oils and in medicine as a local antiseptic and anesthetic. It is a key ingredient in Indonesian kretek (clove) cigarettes. It was used in the production of isoeugenol for the manufacture of vanillin, though most vanillin is now produced from phenol or from lignin.
When mixed with zinc oxide, zinc oxide eugenol forms which has restorative and prosthodontic applications in dentistry.
Eugenol derivatives or methoxyphenol derivatives in wider classification are used in perfumery and flavoring. They are used in formulating insect attractants and UV absorbers, analgesics, biocides and antiseptics. They are also used in manufacturing stabilizers and antioxidants for plastics and rubbers. Although attempts have been made to develop eugenol derivatives for intravenous injection, the toxicity of propanidid and G.29.505 in human patients was not acceptable. Clove oil is growing in popularity as an anaesthetic for use on aquarium fish.
It is one of many compounds that is attractive to males of various species of orchid bees, who apparently gather the chemical to synthesize pheromones; it is commonly used as bait to attract and collect these bees for study.


Overdose is possible, causing a wide range of symptoms from blood in the patient's urine, to convulsions, diarrhea, nausea, unconsciousness, dizziness, or rapid heartbeat. Eugenol may cause allergic contact dermatitis with the skin.

Health & Safety information

Eugenol should be avoided by people with perfume allergy.


eugenol in Danish: Eugenol
eugenol in German: Eugenol
eugenol in Spanish: Eugenol
eugenol in French: Eugénol
eugenol in Indonesian: Eugenol
eugenol in Italian: Eugenolo
eugenol in Dutch: Eugenol
eugenol in Japanese: オイゲノール
eugenol in Polish: Eugenol
eugenol in Portuguese: Eugenol
eugenol in Thai: ยูเจนอล
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