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Know all Herbals





Clove is one of the oldest spices in the world, is the dried, unopened flower bud of a small evergreen tree. It is indigenous to the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia.

Clove goes mainly as an ingredient of a variety of food specialties, beverages, medicines, cosmetics, perfumery and toiletries. Either whole or as a powder, Clove finds extensive application in Indian foods.

It is an active ingredient of garam masala and several kinds of curry powders. Clove is also highly recommended for making pickles, ketchups, and several kinds of sweets. It is very often used with pan for chewing after meals, and in tooth pastes as a fragrant mouth-freshener.

For Tooth ache : Apply some clove oil on the effected area or keep a clove there for some time.
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are the main Clove producing states in India.


Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry (Myrtaceae)

Synonyms and Part Used

Caryophyllus aromaticus L., Eugenia aromatica (L.) Baill., Eugenia caryophyllata Thunb., Eugenia caryophyllus (Spreng.) Bull. & Harr.

Part Used
Clove (dried flowerbud), leaf, stem



Volatile oils
Clove bud oil (15–18%) containing eugenol (80–90%), eugenyl acetate (2–27%), β-caryophyllene (5–12%). Others include methyl salicylate, methyl eugenol, benzaldehyde, methyl amyl ketone and α-ylangene.

Leaf oil (2%) containing eugenol 82–88%.

Stem oil (4–6%) with eugenol 90–95%. A more comprehensive listing is provided elsewhere.

Other constituents
Campesterol, carbohydrates, kaempferol, lipids, oleanolic acid, rhamnetin, sitosterol, stigmasterol and vitamins.


Food Use
Clove is listed by the Council of Europe as a natural source of food flavouring. This category indicates that clove can be added to foodstuffs in small quantities, with a possible limitation of an active principle as yet unspecified) in the final product.Clove is commonly used in cooking, and as a flavouring agent in food products.

Herbal Use
Clove has been traditionally used as a carminative, anti–emetic, toothache remedy and counter–irritant.

Clove:120–300 mg.
Clove oil: 0.05–0.2 mL.

Pharmacological Actions

In vitro and animal studies
The anodyne and mild antiseptic properties documented for clove oil have been attributed to eugenol.Clove oil is stated to possess antihistaminic and antispasmodic properties.Eugenol, eugenol acetate and methyl acetate are reported to exhibit trypsin–potentiating activity.

Antibacterial, hypoglycaemic and potent CNS-depressant activities have been documented for Syzygium cuminii L., a related species cultivated in India.

Weak tumour–promoting activity on the mouse skin and weak cytotoxic activity against HeLa cells has been documented for eugenol.

Clinical studies

A tincture of cloves (15% in 70% alcohol) was effective in treating athlete’s foot.

Side–effects, Toxicity
None documented for the bud, leaf or stem of cloves. Clove oil is stated to be a dermal and mucous membrane irritant; contact dermatitis, cheilitis, and stomatitis have been reported for clove oil. The irritant nature of the oil can be attributed to the eugenol content. Eugenol is also stated to have sensitising properties. An LD50 (rat, by mouth) value for clove oil is stated as 2.65 g/kg body weight.
In humans, the accepted daily intake of eugenol is up to 2.5 mg/kg body weight.

Contra–indications, Warnings
None documented for the bud, leaf or stem. It is recommended that clove oil should be used with caution orally and should not be used on the skin. Repeated application of clove oil as a toothache remedy may result in damage to the gingival tissue.In view of the irritant nature of the volatile oil, concentrated clove oil is not suitable for internal use in large doses. Eugenol is a powerful inhibitor of platelet activity and it is recommended that caution be taken for patients on anticoagulant therapy.

Pregnancy and lactation
There are no known problems with the use of clove during pregnancy or lactation, provided that doses taken do not greatly exceed the amounts used in foods.

Pharmaceutical Comment

The pharmacological properties documented for cloves are associated with the volatile oil, in particular with eugenol which has local anaesthetic action. Cloves should not be taken in doses greatly exceeding those used in foods and caution should be exerted in patients taking anticoagulant or anti platelet therapy.


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