Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) is a dried flower bud of a tree belonging to the Myrtaceae family. The tree is commonly grown in Indonesia, Madagascar, India and Sri Lanka. Clove is used as a spice worldwide and the essential oil of clove is used in aromatherapy. In India, clove is used in North Indian curries and South Indian biryanis. Clove's essential oil is also used to relieve toothaches.
Clove has been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity. The anti-bacterial activity has been shown for wide variety of bacteria including, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella choleraesuis. Anti-fungal activity has been seen against both yeast (Candida albicans) and mold (Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger). A few studies also show that clove extracts can be used to prevent plant diseases caused by bacteria.Another use of clove in dental care, in addition to relieving toothache, is its inhibitory
activity against oral pathogens. Clove has also been shown to have the following activity against disease causing agents-
- Inhibitory activity against Trypanosoma cruzi, known to cause Chagas disease
- Inhibitory activity against Hepatitis C Virus which causes hepatitis infection
- Prophylactic activity against Cytomegalovirus, known to cause congenital infections in US
- Anti-Herpes simplex virus type-1 (Anti-HSV-1) in combination with acyclovir. HSV-1 is known to cause the STD, Genital herpesNumerous studies have been performed to show that clove can be used as a mosquito repellent.Some studies have been done to show the anti-cancer activity of clove. Clove extract has also been shown to inhibit Helicobacter pylori known to cause stomach ulcer.Anti-oxidative activity of clove has also been elucidated in a few papers.Clove has been shown to work like insulin and thus may be beneficial in diabetes management.In male mice, clove has been shown to act like an aphrodisiac.A CAUTIONARY NOTE to Pregnant Women: Clove has been shown to affect in a negative manner in mouse embryos.For Nutritional Facts on clove click here.