Botanical: Eugenia caryophyllata - Syzygium aromaticum
Family: Myrtaceae (myrtle/clove)
Cloves are the unopened flower buds of a tropical evergreen that may grow from fifteen to fifty feet tall, and the tree is a native of the Molucca (formerly Spice) Islands and the Philippines, but is also cultivated in Madagascar, Indonesia, Zanzibar, the Comoro Islands, Sumatra, the West Indies, Brazil and other tropical areas. It thrives in well-drained, fertile soil, in sun, and requires a tremendous amount of rain, but the Cloves must be harvested in the dry season - picked by hand before the buds open - and then sun-dried.
Clove buds measure between 1/2”-3/4” long and have the appearance of a rough-looking nail; consequently, the English name, Clove, is derived from the Latin word for “nail,” clavus, describing the shape of the buds. The Chinese, Greeks and Romans of antiquity prized Cloves highly, and the fresh and dried flower buds are still used in herbal formulas in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it was first mentioned in Han Dynasty writings of the first century B.C. By A.D. 300, Cloves had reached Europe, but it was not until 1500 that increased sea voyages and trade made them better known and more widely used. History has shown that Cloves were an important commercial commodity as a spice for culinary purposes (Worcestershire sauce gets much of it flavor from Cloves), as well as for perfumery and the liquor industry.
Clove Oil has been a vital ingredient in medicinal treatments. Its powerful analgesic properties have been used to relieve pain of neuralgia and rheumatism, and it remains one of the major pain relieving agents still used by dentists to ease periodontal disease and toothache.
Clove buds contain between 15% to 20% essential oils, but Clove Oil can also be extracted from the leaves and stems of the plant. Each part of the plant contains varying amounts of Clove's main, active constituent, eugenol, which is also responsible for its classic, characteristic fragrance.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any essential oils, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Color: Light Golden Yellow
Consistency: Medium, Slightly Oily
Aromatic Description: Spicy, slightly bitter, woody, like true clove buds, but stronger.
Constituents: Eugenol, eugenyl acetate, caryophyllene, isocaryophyllene, iso-eugenol
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-neuralgic, antiviral, carminative, disinfectant, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic and tonic.
Contraindications: Clove Oil is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women or for children. Until further research is completed, anyone with a history of hemophilia, alcoholism, cancer, liver and kidney problems, or those who take anti-coagulants should avoid Clove Oil. It is a mucous membrane and dermal irritant and may cause irritation if used in its pure form; therefore, do not exceed the recommended dose.