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Syzygium aromaticum - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-030.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
S. aromaticum
Binomial name
Syzygium aromaticum
(L.) Merrill & Perry
  • Caryophyllus aromaticus L.
  • Eugenia aromatica (L.) Baill.
  • Eugenia caryophyllata Thunb.
  • Eugenia caryophyllus (Spreng.) Bullock & S. G. Harrison

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands (or Moluccas) in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice. Cloves are commercially harvested primarily in Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania (Zanzibar). Cloves are available throughout the year due to different harvest seasons in different countries.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Clove Oil Benefits and Uses
  • ✪ The Health Benefits of clove tea - including weight loss
  • ✪ clove fruits and seeds (Syzygium aromaticum)
  • ✪ WONDERFUL Benefits Of Clove Tea
  • ✪ What are the Top 10 Health Benefits of Taking Clove | Herbal Benefits of Cloves


Jordan: Hi, I'm Jordan Rubin and welcome to Ancient Medicine Today, where we teach you how to use ancient remedies to get modern health benefits. Clove is awesome. It's a little spice that has big benefits and we're going to teach you how to use clove oil. You know, clove oil has a lot of medicinal uses due to its compound eugenol and we're going to tell you why.  What is clove? First and foremost, clove is a little, little fruit actually that helps eliminate acne. Clove can kill parasites, it's very anti-microbial on contact. Clove can help lower blood pressure, clove helps fight cold and flu. In fact, clove should be part of almost any cold or flu busting herbal infusion, tea or supplement. Clove can provide anti-aging benefits due to its powerful antioxidant properties. Clove will kill or lessen the fungi or yeast candida which causes common yeast infections.  Clove is amazing for a sore throat. Clove is used in various throat lozenges, you can add it with honey, you can gargle with it which I do. Clove is really, really awesome. Clove also is great for tooth aches. This is probably the best benefit clove has to offer. What I will do is I will put a drop or two of clove oil on my toothpaste, right on my toothbrush or swish it around. Clove is great for the gums, it's great for the teeth in various medical remedies particularly for oral health, clove is used on tooth aches.  But let's talk about the safety. When you use clove topically you want to dilute it. I love using it in other oil such as coconut oil and it's great with honey. If you take manuka or raw honey put a drop of clove oil in it. Maybe some cinnamon, maybe some orange, may not even taste good, put it in your mouth it is great for a sore throat or for a flu. If taking internally, do not use clove for more than two consecutive weeks because it kills bacteria, but can damage your good bacteria.  When you use clove take lots of probiotics along with it, usually separated by an hour to make sure your flora is in good shape. And, this is a big one, if you love your pets and you have pets, don't diffuse clove oil or apply it onto pets because it can compromise their health. A little cute kitty. I'm actually more of a dog person, but or sheep or goat person. Anyway, that's no matter. I don't use cloves near them either.  Clove oil is an essential oil. If you're going to use it internally use an oil labeled as a dietary supplement. If you're going to diffuse it, you can mix it with other oils. It has an amazing aroma. It is high in eugenol, it is used medically and traditionally to eliminate acne, kill parasites, naturally lower blood pressure, fight colds and flu. Clove is anti-aging as the highest antioxidant food per gram, clove kills the yeast candida, it's great for sore throat and it is powerful for your teeth and your gums.  Folks, clove oil is affordable. You can find it in your local health food store, find it online, look for organic dietary supplement clove oil. You must have it on hand and you should use it frequently. I'm Jordan Rubin for Ancient Medicine Today, see you next time. Dr. Axe: Hi, Dr. Axe here. I want to say thanks so much for checking out this YouTube video, and also don't forget to subscribe if you want to get more great content on things like herbs, essential oils, natural remedies and how to use food as medicine. Also check out more of our content on my YouTube channel. Thanks for watching.


Botanical features

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to 8–12 m tall, with large leaves and crimson flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds initially have a pale hue, gradually turn green, then transition to a bright red when ready for harvest. Cloves are harvested at 1.5–2.0 cm long, and consist of a long calyx that terminates in four spreading sepals, and four unopened petals that form a small central ball.


Dried cloves
Dried cloves
Clove tree flowers
Clove tree flowers

Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and the Near and Middle East countries, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as fruit such as apples, pears or rhubarb. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages, often combined with other ingredients such as lemon and sugar. They are a common element in spice blends such as pumpkin pie spice and speculoos spices.

In Mexican cuisine, cloves are best known as clavos de olor, and often accompany cumin and cinnamon.[3] They are also used in Peruvian cuisine, in a wide variety of dishes as carapulcra and arroz con leche.

A major component of clove taste is imparted by the chemical eugenol,[4] and the quantity of the spice required is typically small. It pairs well with cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, red wine and basil, as well as onion, citrus peel, star anise, or peppercorns.

Non-culinary uses

The spice is used in a type of cigarette called kretek in Indonesia.[1] Clove cigarettes have been smoked throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. Starting in 2009, clove cigarettes must be classified as cigars in the US.[5]

Because of the bioactive chemicals of clove, the spice may be used as an ant repellent.[6]

Cloves can be used to make a fragrance pomander when combined with an orange. When given as a gift in Victorian England, such a pomander indicated warmth of feeling.

Cloves used in an orange as a pomander
Cloves used in an orange as a pomander
Cloves drying in sun
Cloves drying in sun

Potential medicinal uses and adverse effects

Though long-used in traditional medicine, there is little evidence that clove oil containing eugenol is effective for toothache pain or other types of pain,[7][8] although one review reported efficacy of eugenol combined with zinc oxide as an analgesic for alveolar osteitis.[9] Studies to determine its effectiveness for fever reduction, as a mosquito repellent, and to prevent premature ejaculation have been inconclusive.[7][8] It remains unproven whether using cloves or clove oil reduces blood sugar levels.[8] Use of clove for any medicinal purpose has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and its use may cause adverse effects if taken orally by people with liver disease, blood clotting and immune system disorders, or food allergies.[7]

Traditional medicinal uses

Cloves are used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, and western herbalism and dentistry where the essential oil is used as an anodyne (painkiller) for dental emergencies and various other disorders.[10] The essential oil is used in aromatherapy.[7]

In Chinese medicine, cloves or ding xiang are considered acrid, warm, and aromatic, entering the kidney, spleen and stomach meridians, and are notable in their ability to warm the middle, direct stomach qi downward, to treat hiccup and to fortify the kidney yang.[11]


Clove stalks are slender stems of the inflorescence axis that show opposite decussate branching. Externally, they are brownish, rough, and irregularly wrinkled longitudinally with short fracture and dry, woody texture.

Mother cloves (anthophylli) are the ripe fruits of cloves that are ovoid, brown berries, unilocular and one-seeded. This can be detected by the presence of much starch in the seeds.

Brown cloves are expanded flowers from which both corollae and stamens have been detached.

Exhausted cloves have most or all the oil removed by distillation. They yield no oil and are darker in color.[12]


Archeologists have found cloves in a ceramic vessel in Syria, with evidence that dates the find to within a few years of 1721 BCE.[13] In the third century BCE, a Chinese leader in the Han Dynasty required those who addressed him to chew cloves to freshen their breath.[14] Cloves were traded by Muslim sailors and merchants during the Middle Ages in the profitable Indian Ocean trade, the clove trade is also mentioned by Ibn Battuta and even famous Arabian Nights characters such as Sinbad the Sailor are known to have bought and sold cloves from India.[15]

Clove output in 2005
Clove output in 2005

Until modern times, cloves grew only on a few islands in the Moluccas (historically called the Spice Islands), including Bacan, Makian, Moti, Ternate, and Tidore.[13] In fact, the clove tree that experts believe is the oldest in the world, named Afo, is on Ternate. The tree is between 350 and 400 years old.[16] Tourists are told that seedlings from this very tree were stolen by a Frenchman named Pierre Poivre in 1770, transferred to the Isle de France (Mauritius), and then later to Zanzibar, which was once the world's largest producer of cloves.[16]

Until cloves were grown outside of the Maluku Islands, they were traded like oil, with an enforced limit on exportation.[16] As the Dutch East India Company consolidated its control of the spice trade in the 17th century, they sought to gain a monopoly in cloves as they had in nutmeg. However, "unlike nutmeg and mace, which were limited to the minute Bandas, clove trees grew all over the Moluccas, and the trade in cloves was way beyond the limited policing powers of the corporation."[17]

Chemical compounds

The compound eugenol is responsible for most of the characteristic aroma of cloves
The compound eugenol is responsible for most of the characteristic aroma of cloves

Eugenol composes 72–90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves and is the compound most responsible for clove aroma.[4] Other important essential oil constituents of clove oil include acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid, tannins such as bicornin,[4][18] gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller), the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin, triterpenoids such as oleanolic acid, stigmasterol, and campesterol and several sesquiterpenes.[19]

Eugenol is toxic in relatively small quantities; for example, a dose of 5–10 ml has been reported as being a near fatal dose for a two-year-old child.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & L. M. Perry". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  2. ^ Yun, Wonjung (August 13, 2018). "[Tridge Market Update] Tight Stocks of Quality Cloves Lead to a Price Surge". Tridge. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Dorenburg, Andrew and Page, Karen. The New American Chef: Cooking with the Best Flavors and Techniques from Around the World, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2003
  4. ^ a b c Kamatou GP, Vermaak I, Viljoen AM (2012). "Eugenol--from the remote Maluku Islands to the international market place: a review of a remarkable and versatile molecule". Molecules. 17 (6): 6953–81. doi:10.3390/molecules17066953. PMID 22728369.
  5. ^ "Flavored Tobacco". Retrieved September 7, 2012.
  6. ^ "Get Rid of Ants 24". getridofanst24. Archived from the original on 2015-04-28.
  7. ^ a b c d "Clove". 5 March 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Clove". MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  9. ^ Taberner-Vallverdú, M; Nazir, M; Sanchez-Garces, MÁ; Gay-Escoda, C (2015). "Efficacy of different methods used for dry socket management: A systematic review". Medicina Oral Patología Oral y Cirugia Bucal. 20 (5): e633–e639. doi:10.4317/medoral.20589. PMC 4598935. PMID 26116842.
  10. ^ Balch, Phyllis and Balch, James. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd ed., Avery Publishing, 2000, p. 94
  11. ^ Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition by Dan Bensky, Steven Clavey, Erich Stoger, and Andrew Gamble 2004
  12. ^ Bisset, N.G. (1994). Herbal drugs and phyotpharmaceuticals, Medpharm. Stuttgart: Scientific Publishers.
  13. ^ a b Turner, Jack (2004). Spice: The History of a Temptation. Vintage Books. pp. xxvii–xxviii. ISBN 978-0-375-70705-6.
  14. ^ Andaya, Leonard Y. (1993). "1: Cultural State Formation in Eastern Indonesia". In Reid, Anthony. Southeast Asia in the early modern era: trade, power, and belief. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-8093-5.
  15. ^ "The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman - The Arabian Nights - The Thousand and One Nights". Translated by Sir Richard Burton. April 10, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c Worrall, Simon (June 23, 2012). "The world's oldest clove tree". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  17. ^ Krondl, Michael. The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.
  18. ^ Li-Ming Bao, Eerdunbayaer; Akiko Nozaki; Eizo Takahashi; Keinosuke Okamoto; Hideyuki Ito & Tsutomu Hatano (2012). "Hydrolysable Tannins Isolated from Syzygium aromaticum: Structure of a New C-Glucosidic Ellagitannin and Spectral Features of Tannins with a Tergalloyl Group". Heterocycles. 85 (2): 365–81. doi:10.3987/COM-11-12392.
  19. ^ Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition by Dan Bensky, Steven Clavey, Erich Stoger, and Andrew Gamble. 2004
  20. ^ Hartnoll, G; Moore, D; Douek, D (1993). "Near fatal ingestion of oil of cloves". Archives of Disease in Childhood. 69 (3): 392–3. doi:10.1136/adc.69.3.392. PMC 1029532. PMID 8215554.

Further reading

Liu, Bin-Bin; Liu, Luo; Liu, Xiao-Long; Geng, Di; Li, Cheng-Fu; Chen, Shao-Mei; Chen, Xue-Mei; Yi, Li-Tao; Liu, Qing (February 2015). "Essential Oil of Syzygium aromaticum Reverses the Deficits of Stress-Induced Behaviors and Hippocampal p-ERK/p-CREB/Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Expression". Planta Medica. 81 (3): 185–192. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1396150. PMID 25590367. Retrieved 27 April 2015.

This page was last edited on 12 January 2019, at 20:55
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