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Cloves

( Eugenia caryophyllata )

 

Family

Myrtaceae

 

Synonyms

Mother cloves

 

Character

Aromatic, analgesic, anodyne, antiemeic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, disinfectant, expectorant, germicide, rubefacient, stomachic ( prevents vomiting ), vermifuge

 

Description

Cloves belongs to the myrtaceae family of plants which also produces the eucalyptus tree. Most of the Eugenia species are comprised of evergreen trees and shrubs and produce edible fruits.

 

Phytochemistry

Triterpenes ( E-crebriensis, E-gustavioides ), flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, terpenes, ellagitannins, essential oils, eugenol

 

Traditional rain forest use

Native tribes discovered that this particular group of plants can be used to treat ear ailments, so the term "ear medicine" has often been used to refer to cloves. A clover leaf infusion has been used by the Kubeos for ear drops in the case of a painful ear infection. The Taiwanos make leaf infusions to help loosen and remove built-up ear wax. The Makunas drink leaf infusions for chest pain and the Barasanas value a tea they make from the leaves, twigs and fruit for respiratory ailments.

 

Modern medicinal applications

Cloves are considered a tried and true remedy for toothaches and in oil form have long been used in massage rubs to relieve muscle pain. Clove tea is recommended for nausea and intestinal gas. Chinese practitioners use clove oil for hernias and for diarrhea. Tinctures are also prescribed for athlete's foot.

 

Authentication

The eugenol content of cloves has documented pain-relieving properties.

 

Safety

Considered safe if used externally in oil form. Cloves, when taken internally in therapeutic doses, can cause inflammation.

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