Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. These buds were originally used to mask bad breath during China’s Han dynasty. It has also been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India. Eugenolis the active component that comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves, and is the compound most responsible for the cloves’ aroma.
Cloves are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia and used as a spice in cuisines all over the world. Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Clove buds will be digested and absorbed though the digestive system and can help soothe the digestive tract and provide antimicrobial properties in cases of infection. Clove bud oil can also be applied orally, rubbed onto the skin, or inhaled through the use of aromatherapy. The essential oil is absorbed through the skin or mucus membranes, travelling to and targeting the intended problem.
Clove buds can be prepared in teas and infusions and therefore is not heat sensitive. Studies show eugenol may be less effective at pH higher than 7.