Cloves are a sweet and spicy herb that can relieve pain whether eaten or applied topically. Cloves come whole, powdered, or in oil. Many people use clove to treat headaches, arthritis and other forms of inflammation, and toothaches. They may even be good for knocking out fungal infections, though more research is needed on this topic.
The painkilling compound in cloves is called eugenol, and it is found in lots of OTC ointments for pain. Straight clove oil can also be applied to gums in the case of toothache or to sore joints and muscles, but too much clove oil can damage skin so avoid using it for days on end. People who take blood thinners should skip cloves all together.