Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Earthnotes
Herb Library

Back to Herb Menu     Back to Index

DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



CLOVE(S)
MYRTACEAE
(Caryophyllus aromaticus syn Syzygium aromaticum syn Eugenia caryophyllata syn Eugenia aromatica)
No Image Available

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Not taken in combination with ANTICOAGULANTS or with AMINOPYRINE.
CONTRAINDICATED: Not when CONSTIPATION is present. Not during PREGNANCY.

FYI A tropical evergreen tree to 30 feet with a cone-shaped growth pattern which blooms year round. Is native to the Moluccas or Spice Islands of Indonesia. BARK is grayish. The bright green, leathery LEAVES, which smell of cloves when crushed, are opposite and elliptic, dotted with glands, and grow to 5 inches long in pairs. The FLOWERS are fragrant and red and white when in bloom, being bell-shaped and appearing in terminal clusters. When the CALYX turns from yellow to red, they are harvested and sun dried; the clove buds are pink when fresh, getting darker as they dry and, if squeezed, will exude oil; the flower stalks are also used. FRUIT is a long, one or two-seeded berry. Cultivated in Madagascar, Comors Islands, Tanzania, Java, Malaysia, Sumatra, Philippines, and Jamaica.

Nearly one half of the world supply of Cloves is consumed in Indonesia.

Has a history of use by the Chinese going back to 300 BC and reaching Europe sometime between the 4th and 6th centuries AD.

Astrologically ruled by Jupiter. Said to resonate to the Star card of the Tarot. §

CONTAINS: Essential oils, volatile oils, gallotannic acid, oleanic acid, vanillin, methy-n-amyl ketone, caryophyllin, eugenin, eugenol, caryophyllene, acetyl eugenol, methyl salicylate, tannin, gum, resin, wax, fat.
PER 100 GRAMS = 5.9 g ash, 646 mg calcium, 105 mg phosphorus, 8.7 mg iron, 264 mg magnesium, 243 mg sodium, 1102 mg potassium, 1.0 mg zinc, 530 IU vitamin A, 0.12 mg thiamine, 0.27 mg riboflavin, 1.46 mg niacin, 80.1 mg vitamin C, 2.56 mg phytosterols.
CLOVE BUD EXTRACTS = campesterol, crataegol acid, sisterols, stigmasterol.

PROPAGATION By SEED in spring; by SEMI-RIPE CUTTINGS in summer.
NEEDS Grown as a crop in well-drained, fertile soil in sun in a warm wet, humid climate. Hardy to 60ºF, (zone 10).
PART USED Sun-dried flower buds [ding xiang] (whole or ground); Oil (from buds); Leaf oil.
HARVEST Unopened flower buds are taken 2 times yearly and then sun dried or extracted for oil.
FORM Infusion, Oil, Extract
RELATED SPECIES Syzygium cumini: Used to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.



USES

MEDICINAL:
♦ Cloves are more often used to assist the action of other herbal remedies rather than alone. When not available, allspice is substituted.
Spicy, warming, stimulant, anodyne, anesthetic (topical), anti-emetic, anti-griping (added to other herbs), vermifuge, uterine stimulant, stomachic, aromatic, carminative, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, expectorant, aphrodisiac, promotes salivation and digestive juices; OIL is antiseptic, expectorant, anesthetic, emmenogogue; affects kidney, spleen, stomach. Has preservative properties.
Tea (other herbs/spices can be used or added to cloves such as allspice, bay, cinamon and marjoram) has been used to relieve bronchitis, asthma, coughs, a tendency to infection, tuberculosis, altitude sickness, nervous stomach, nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, the side effects of lobelia, and depression (or a clove or two can be added to regular tea). As a sleep aid 1 tsp of cloves has been simmered in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes, then taken warm. Several cloves have often been added to other herbal teas for mild depression and nervous irritability.
For vomiting 2 to 3 drops of the oil has been taken in 1 cup of water (or on a sugar cube).
A strong infusion (or the ground cloves) has been combined with fruit juice (pineapple, papaya, figs, or prune) to treat intestinal worms.
A combination of equal parts basil and cloves has been used to detox metals from the body. 1 tsp of the herbal combination being added to 1 cup of boiling water; steeped 15 minutes; taken 2 times daily.
Has been used for insect bites.
The infusion (or a couple drops of the oil added to tea) has been used for macular degeneration and failing eyesight due to aging.
For toothache, clove tea has been used in combination with chamomile or sage; also, a whole clove chewed, or one drop oil of clove being placed in the offending cavity, or the oil used to moisten a small bit of cotton ball and placed within the cavity like a filling. The oil has a long history of use as an antiseptic and topical anesthetic in dentistry.
For small cuts the area of injury has been moistened with water then dipped in (or sprinkled on) powdered cloves to relive pain.
Has been used for earache: a few drops in the ear canal with a cotton ball plug.
The diluted oil has been used externally for relief of rheumatism, lumbago, muscle cramps, and neuralgia.
Has been used for pain relief of bunions by applying the oil to a bandage and placing over the bunion.
Mixes well with alfalfa, orange peel, and rosehips for a midday energy boost.
Sucking on a clove is said to control the desire for alcohol.
In Chinese medicine Cloves are believed to help "chi descend" and have been used as a kidney tonic (especially for impotence associated with deficient yang), to warm the body, increase circulation and as a digestive aid; has been used for nausea, vomiting, flatulence, hiccups, stomach chills, fever, caries, toothache (stem has also been used), cholera, colic, cracked nipples, diarrhea, dyspepsia, halitosis (chewing on the whole clove), unusual uterine bleeding, nasal polyps, , and impotence. The root has also been used for a weaker effect. The oil has been employed for diarrhea, halitosis, hernia, nausea, and toothache.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
♦ For home use, it is far safer to use the homemade version of clove oil rather than the distilled oil. The distilled oil, or any other concentrated oil, can irritate skin or cause allergic reaction. It must be diluted in base oils (olive or vegetable) before using.
GRAINS = 2 to 5
HOMEMADE OIL = Bruise the cloves and fill a small jar with them. Pour in olive oil to cover. Allow to sit 1 week, then strain out the oil and save. Repeat the process with the same oil at least once more, but best if repititions continue until the olive oil is saturated with the released clove oil.
INFUSION = 1 tsp powdered cloves to 1 pint of water just off the boil; steep 7 minutes.
INFUSION B.P. = 1/2 to 1 oz
EXTRACT = 5 to 30 drops in water
OIL = 1 to 5 drops in water or on a sugar cube
MOUTHWASH = 3 tsp of whole cloves added to a pint of vodka and steeped 1 week. The essential oil is also used in a 1% to 5% ratio to the vodka.



VETERINARY:
Cloves are used as part of a larger herbal formula to treat bitches who are retaining pups (for futher information, read The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat by Juliette de Baïracle Levy).
The infused oil has been used to treat foreign matter in dog and cat ears and as a painkiller to treat tooth pain.
Peppermint tea with a sprinkle of cloves and ginger has been used to treat vomiting in dogs; 1 tbsp or more, according to the size of the animal, being given 3 times daily.



CULINARY:
Common kitchen spice most noted for studding ham, but also used with pot roast, beef tongue, in spice combinations for sausage, herbal teas, soups, peaches, tomatoes, and onions.
Important to cuisines of Russia, Scandinavia, Greece, India, and China.
Used to flavor meats, pastries, cookies, fruits, hot spiced drinks, chocolate drinks, puddings, marinades, breads, cakes, peas, curries, preserves, and pickles.
The oil and the extract are used commercially to flavor meat proucts, condiments, spiced fruits, candies, chewing gum, wines and liqueurs. The distilled leaf oil which is milder, is also used to flavor meats.
PICKLED WATERMELON RIND = Peel, cut, wash, and cover 10 LBS WATERMELON RIND with cold water for 24 hours. Next day, drain and wash again, then cover with cold water and simmer for 10 minutes; drain again, cover with cold water, then drain again. Place the rind in a pot and add 1 QT SUGAR, 1 QT WHITE VINEGAR, 40 DROPS CINNAMON OIL, 40 DROPS CLOVE OIL (at this point the option of green vegetable coloring can be added); Stir often over the next 3 days, then place pot on heat and bring to a boil; boil for 10 minutes after it begins to bubble. Place in jars or crocks.



CRAFT:
Used in potpourri and pomanders.
POMANDER = Thin-skinned oranges, limes, lemons, apples and kumquats can be used then placed in drawers, cupboards and closets. Pierce holes in concentric circles in the skin of the fruit with an awl or large darning needle. Use a thimble to press the cloves into the holes. Continue until the fruit is completely studded with cloves. Combine spices according to your personal choices (ie. cloves, nutmeg, ginger) and add 1 tbsp or orris root as a fixative (or use another fixative). Roll fruit in the spices to cover completely. Allow to shrivel and dry, turning from time to time. Place the dried pomander in a fine mesh or cheesecloth bag and hang to complete drying (takes several weeks). Decorate with a ribbon, forming a loop for hanging.



INSECT:
Pomanders made by studding a thin-skinned orange with cloves have been used to repel moths.



OTHER:
Used to flavor pharmaceuticals.
The oil has been used in embalming practices.
In Indonesia, Cloves are mixed with tobacco to make a cigarette called 'kretek'.
The bud oil is used in perfumery and to flavor toothpaste. The leaf oil is used to fragrance perfumes and soaps.
Used in Earth religions (also by the ancient Romans, Greeks and Persians) as a love philter (= potion or charm). Also as incense, tea or elixir to enhance psychic ability and visions.




©2000 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

top