"Essential oils and their active chemical components have long been proven to be effective against animal parasites such as cattle ticks, sheep ticks, and rabbit mites. Our research is applying this theory to the human scabies mite," said Pasay.
Scabies is an itchy rash caused by the scabies mite, which burrows under the skin to lay its eggs.
"We tested the oils on the mites, and found that clove oil killed all the mites within 15 minutes," Pasay said.
"We also tested eugenol, which makes up 80pc of clove oil, and its related compounds for their effects on the mites and found they were comparable to an existing treatment for scabies," he said.
The study was conducted in collaboration with Griffith University and Wright State University, Ohio, USA.
The paper was published in Public Library of Science ONE and is available online.