• The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World

CLOVES ( Syzygium aromaticum [L.] Merr. et Perry )
Names in Other Languages:

English Clove
French Clou de girofle
German Nelke, Gewürznelke
Spanish Clavo, Clavo de olor
Italian Chiodo di garofano
Turkish Karanfil
Japanese 丁字 Chōji,

FAMILY: Myrtaceae

ORIGIN:   The clove tree is native to the Moluccas (Indonesia) and it is grown in Tanzania, Madagascar, Brazil, and Sri Lanka.


Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. The buds are picked by hand when they are pink and dried until they turn brown in color. Cloves are about ½ inch long and ¼ inch in diameter and with their tapered stem, they resemble tiny nails.


Buds. Essential oil is also produced from the leaves. The ripe fruits have only local use.


Strongly aromatic and very intensive fragrance; fiery and burning taste.


The content of essential oil in cloves of good quality may exceed 15%. The oil itself is dominated by eugenol (70 to 85%), eugenol acetate (15%) and β-caryophyllene (5 to 12%), which together make up 99% of the oil.

Cloves contain about 2% of the triterpene oleanolic acid.


Cloves are used in spice mixtures and they are also used for meat dishes. They are a good addition to split pea, bean soups, baked beans and chili. Whole or ground cloves are used for culinary purposes.The large amounts of essential oils from flower buds and leaves are used in various dietary supplements and herbal remedies, in dentistry and as flavourings in perfumes, beverages, tooth pastes, and Indonesian cigarettes.


-->  Health Benefits

Clove eugenol as an active component, and it made it the subject of numerous health studies, including studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants like carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation. Eugenol extracts from clove have often been used in dentistry in conjunction with root canal therapy, temporary fillings, and general gum pain, since eugenol and other components of clove (including beta-caryophyllene) combine to make clove a mild anaesthetic as well as an anti-bacterial agent. For these beneficial effects clove oil is used in some over-the-counter sore throat sprays and mouth washes.

-->  Anti-Inflammatory Activity

Eugenol , the primary component of clove's volatile oils, functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. Clove also contains a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

-->  A Nutrient-Dense Spice

Clove is a good source of manganese, a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium.


-- Amaechi BT, Higham SM, Edgar WM. Techniques for the production of dental eroded lesions in vitro. J Oral Rehabil 1999 Feb;26(2):97-102 1999. PMID:12580.
-- Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210.
-- Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York 1996.
-- Friedman M, Henika PR, Mandrell RE. Bactericidal activities of plant essential oils and some of their isolated constituents against Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. J Food Prot 2002 Oct;65(10):1545-60 2002.
-- Ghelardini C, Galeotti N, Di Cesare Mannelli L, et al. Local anaesthetic activity of beta-caryophyllene. Farmaco 2001 May-2001 Jul 31;56(5-7):387-9 2001. PMID:12570.
-- Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Dover Publications, New York 1971.
-- Krishnaswamy K, Raghuramulu N. Bioactive phytochemicals with emphasis on dietary practices. Indian J Med Res 1998 Nov;108:167-81 1998. PMID:12540.
-- Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988 1988. PMID:15220.