popular remedy for sore throat.
It was also recommended for strengthening the gums and
freshening the breath. It was knowm for its pectoral,
cardiac, tonic and digestive qualities. In India, clove fruits were
considered male cloves and buds were female cloves. It was believed
that one male clove eaten daily will prevent constipation. It was
believed that the saliva after cloves have been chewed, if applied
to the orifice of the male urethra before connection, increases the
sexual orgasm in both parties.
cultivated in Tanzania, Indonesia, Penang and to a lesser extent in
the Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. In India, it is
grown and cultivated in Tamilnadu and Kerala. It thrives in all situations
ranging from the sea level up to an altitude of 900 m. But is unable
to withstand long summers.
Morphology Description (Habit)
shrub or medium sized tree with pyramidal or conical crown 9-12 m.
high and sometimes taller. The main stem is erect and often forking
at a height of 1.5-1.8 m. The bark is smooth and grey. Leaves lanceolate,
in pairs, acute at both ends, 7.5-12.3X 2.5-3.75 cm. in size, gland-dotted
and fragrant. Flower buds borne in small clusters at the ends of branches,
greenish, turning pink at the time of maturity and aromatic. Drupes
(MOTHER-OF-CLOVE), fleshy, dark pink, 2.5 cm. long x 1.5 cm. thick.
Seeds oblong, soft, grooved on one side and 1.5 cm. Iong.
The cloves contain
13 per cent tannin (gallotannic acid). Oleanolic acid has been isolated
from spent cloves (residue from the distillation of essential oil.
Steam distillation of clove buds yields a colourless (14.23%) or pale-yellow
oil, with the characteristic odour and taste of cloves. The oil darkens
with age or on exposure and becomes reddish brown. The product obtained
from whole buds contains a higher percentage (97%) of eugenol than
that in oil distilled from crushed cloves (eugenol-94%). Water distillation
yields oil of better quality and lower specific gravity (eugenol 85-89
%) than that obtained by dry steam-distillation (eugenol, 91-95%).
The two oils are distinguished as 'opt' and 'strong' oils; commercial
oil is a mixture of both. The clove bud oil contains free eugenol,
eugenol acetate (2-17%) and caryophyllene (chiefly a
and ß-form) as its main constituents.Among the other constituents
present, the most important is methyl-n-amyl ketone, to which the
oil owes its fresh and fruity aroma. Other substances present in traces
are methyl salicylate, methyl benzoate, methyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol,
furfuryl alcohol, furfural, a-methyl furfural,
dimethyl furfural, b-pinene, methyl-n-heptyl
ketone, methyl-n-amyl carbinol (2-heptanol), methyl-n-heptyl carbinol
The oil, obtained by solvent extraction of cloves, contains little
or no caryophyllene, but contains epoxydihydrocaryophyllene1.
The oil contains eugenone, eugenine, eugenitine and iso-eugenitol
These substances are practically odourless2. The oil also
contains sesquiterpenes, a-cubebene, a-copaene, g- and d-cadinene,
b -caryophyllene, b-caryophyllene
oxide, a-humulene, a-humulene epoxide besides eugenol. The leaves
yield an essential oil (3%) on steam distillation. It contains a-cubebene,
a-copaene, b-caryophyllene, a-humulene, eugenol, isoeugenol acetate,
eugenol acetate and farnesol. A neutral sesqueterpene fraction of
an Indonesian sample contained a-cubenene, a-ylangene, a-copaene,
a-humulene, allo-aromadendrene, a-muurolene, zinziberine, d-cadinene,
calamenene, a-calacorene, caryophyllene oxide, ledol, palustrol, d-cadinol,
cubenol, calamenenol, cadalene, a-cadinol and humuladienone. Presence
of ethyl acetate, ethanol, limonene, a&
b-pinenes, p-cymene, 1,8-cineole, 4-methyl-3-pentenyl-3-furan,
linalool, carvone, linalyl acetate, etc. are also reported in the
clove leaf oil. The leaves also contain 3,4-dihydroxy phenethyl alcohol
and 3,4-dihydroxy benzoic acid having anti-inflammatory action3.
compounds of clove show significant activity as inducers of detoxifying
enzyme-glutathione S-transferase in mouse liver and intestines. This
ability is correlated with their activity in inhibiting the chemical
carcinogenesis, and as anticancer agents. The methanolic extract of
clove exhibits anti-tumour activity. The methanolic extract showed
remarkable induction of differentiation of myeloid leukaemia (MI)
cells into macrophage like cells. Oleanolic acid and crategolic acid
are the active principles of the extract4.
There is no adverse is
reported on use of this herb as drug.
forms an ingredient of pharmaceutical powder used in treatment of
gastronomic disorders caused due to alcohol consumption. A mixture
of 120mg -cysteine, 300mg NaHCO3, 0.2ml Coptis rhizome tincture and
0.1ml clove tincture when administered orally before drinking is effective
in treating hangover. Clove is also an ingredient in anti-inflammatory
and analgesic preparation containing cinnamaldehyde and skin irritants.
The preparation accelerates blood circulation and does not cause pain
at the application site5.
The oil is used in
sustained release topical analgesic preparations and used in dentifrices
for removal of stain in teeth, in root canal filling material, as
salivary stimulator in sublingual pharmaceutical compositions. Also
in buccal deodarant tapes and in dental bandages for protection to
gingival tissue. The oil is used in topical formulations for use in
cryotherapy for treating circulatory diseases such as posttraumatic
Eugenol and acetyl eugenol components of the oil inhibit arachidonate-adrenaline
and collagen induced platelet aggregation. The oil should be used
in restricted concentration because of photo-toxic and photo-irritant
activity6. Clove oil is also an ingredient of hair and
body shampoos. It has Insulin potentiating activity. The oil exhibits
anti-implantation activity.The cloves are highly esteemed as a flavouring
material and are extensively used, whole or in ground form, as a culinary
spice. They impart a warming quality to food, and are used for flavouring
ham, roasts, pickles, preserves, ketchups and sauces, as seasoning
for sausages, dressing for poultry and meat, and in specialized spices
for mincemeat and pastry. Because of their pungent and aromatic taste,
cloves are favoured for making cakes, pies, puddings, cookies and
candy. They are used in making spiced wines and for scenting the chewing-tobacco;
they form an ingredient of betel-chew. In Indonesia, cloves are used
in making a special brand of cigarettes- Keretek, which crackle while
Guenther, IV, 412-13, 422, 427-28, 430-35;
B.P.C., 1968, 189; Goldstein, J. sci. industr. Res., 1953,
Krishna & Badhwar, loc. cit2. Krishna & Badhwar, loc.
cit.; Guenther, IV, 4273.
Chem Abstr, 1990, 113, 29242; Gopalakrishnan et. al.,
Indian Perfum, 1988, 32, 229; Lawrence, Perfumer & Flavorist,
1991, 16(4), 494.
Umehara, Chem Pharm Bull, 1992, 40, 401; Chem Abstr, 1993, 119,
70934; Mahmoud et. al., Int J Pharmacogn, 1992, 30, 815.
Chem Abstr, 1991, 114, 254021; 1992, 116, 281766.
Chem Abstr, 1992, 116, 154083; 1993, 119, 234079, 85713; 1991,
114, 115063; 1990, 113, 120609; Vilaplana et. al., Contact
Dermatitis, 1991, 24, 225.