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Cloves – (Syzygium aromaticum)


Cloves are often seen studding the holiday ham or an orange to lend a festive scent to the winter holidays. In reality, they are the dried flower buds of a small evergreen tree from Indonesia. They are much more useful than just scenting our holiday festivities, however. They have been used in baking and in healing for generations. They used to be very expensive. In fact, in the 17th and 18th centuries, they were literally worth their weight in gold. Today, they are able to be cultivated in a slightly larger area, and they are more readily available.

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Cloves have been ground into a powder and given internally as an infusion or powder for flatulence, nausea and indigestion. The oil can also be applied to relieve the pain of toothaches. The essential oil is also effective against strep, staph and pneumonococci bacterias. They have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many ailments including diarrhea, indigestion, ringworm, hernia, impotence, athlete's foot and other fungal infections. Ayurvedic medicine uses the herbal tea as an internal treatment together with the topical oil to treat hypotonic muscles, such as occurs in multiple sclerosis.

Externally – They are germicidal and antiseptic. Essential oil is used in aromatherapy when stimulation and warming is needed.

Other Uses – The herb has been found to be a source high in antioxidants, like many other spices. Dentists have used the oil to disinfect root canals. Some also claim that eating cloves is an aphrodisiac. They are used primarily as a spice in cooking.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

Clove is combined in Traditional Chinese Medicine with ginseng and patchouli for morning sickness.

Parts Used

Flower buds – Only the dried flower buds are used. They may be used whole, powdered, or have the oil pressed from them to use as essential oil.


Cloves should not be used in large amounts during pregnancy. People suffering from gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome or colitis should avoid, since it can irritate their conditions. Overdose can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. In severe cases, liver functions can change, one can lose consciousness or suffer hallucinations, and even death can happen. This herbal remedy should be avoided most of the time if one suffers from pitta inflammation, as occurs sometimes with autoimmune disorders.

Preparation and Dosage

If taking a fluid extract, five to thirty drops should be sufficient. An oil gives a large enough dose with only one to five drops. An infusion of cloves is effective by using only ½ to 1 ounce.

Cloves Herbal Remedies Top