Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice. It is an evergreen tree, which produces a flower bud it is often referred to as clove bud. The clove bud has a shaft and a head and hence it has the Latin name clavus, meaning nail.
Archeologists have found cloves in a ceramic vessel in Syria, with evidence that dates the find to within a few years of 1721 BCE. In the third century BCE, a Chinese leader in the Han Dynasty required those who addressed him to chew cloves to freshen their breath. Cloves were traded by Muslim sailors and merchants during the Middle Ages in the profitable Indian Ocean trade, the clove trade is also mentioned by Ibn Battuta and even famous Arabian Nights characters such as Sinbad the Sailor are known to have bought and sold cloves from India.
Cloves were traded like oil, with an enforced limit on exportation. As the Dutch East India Company consolidated its control of the spice trade in the 17th century, they sought to gain a monopoly in cloves as they had in nutmeg but failed.
Species: S. aromaticum
Eugenol comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves, and is the compound most responsible for clove aroma.
Benefits: antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac and stimulating properties. Traditional Chinese Medicine used clove for supporting a healthy digestive system. The oil is used for treating a variety of health disorders including acne, toothaches, indigestion, cough, asthma, headache, stress, healthy immune system, antioxidant support and blood impurities. It is commonly used dental care; several toothpastes, mouth wash and oral care medications contain clove oil as an ingredient.
ORAC Value: (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) the antioxidant capacity of a food item. Oranges = 750; Clove = 1,078,700.
Part used: Flower Buds
Aroma: Warm, spicy, woody, with a slightly fruity top note
Blends well with: allspice, anise, basil, bay, bergamot, clary sage, cinnamon, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, orange, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, vanilla, ylang ylang
*Clove oil will darken or thicken with age and exposure to air.
If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, have a liver and kidney condition (specific to clove essential oil) or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!
While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.
While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.