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Herb Reference Guide

Clove

History

Cloves are the dried aromatic flower buds from an evergreen tree native to Indonesia from the Myrtaceae family. We've seen these "nail-like" spikes of clove driven into Ham, Oranges, and other foods for the aromatic flavor and fragrance and in fact the common name Clove is derived from the Latin, Clavus, which means nail. This spice has been traded for centuries and has been a staple of Indian cooking in dishes through the spice blend garam masala from Northern India, and biryani from Southern India. It is also used in masala chai, which is now quite popular in the United States sold as Chai or Chai Tea. In Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, cloves were worth at least their weight in gold, due to the high price of importing them. This spice inspired explorers and Royalty to seek out new trade routes to South East Asia.

Function

Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine both use cloves in their systems when requiring heating properties in an herbal formula. Western Herbalism and dentistry have used Oil of Clove to support normal pain responses in the gums and teeth. Cloves have a supportive action to the digestive system in all systems of traditional herbalism. Because of their warming and digestive supportive properties they have also been used to support a healthy immune and respiratory system. The high amount of Eugenol essential oil in this dried flower bud is responsible for the highly aromatic characteristics and the "numbing" sensation it provides.

Uses of Clove

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Eugenol (up to 90%), acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin; crategolic acid; tannins, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate, the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin; triterpenoids like oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol; and several sesquiterpenes.

Parts Used

  • Dried Flower Buds

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy and lactation

Additional Resources