Publié par happy-diet mercredi 17 mars 2010


Syzygium aromaticum


The Myrtaceae family includes more than 1000 species of trees, shrubs and small trees of tropical regions.

The clove tree is a small to medium evergreen, a native of small volcanic islands of the Moluccas in Indonesia.
Cloves are known for a long time in China (he had to chew a clove when talking to the emperor) and the Mediterranean.

Imported into Europe in the Middle Ages, it was a terribly expensive spice, its geographical origin was hidden like cinnamon and nutmeg, it was not until the Portuguese colonization and then Holland for this spice is harvested and exported in large quantities to the Europe.

The clove tree is now grown industrially in Africa (Tanzania), Madagascar and Indonesia.
The buds are harvested by hand before opening and then dried, it is true cloves; flower stalks and leaves are also harvested and dried and usually distilled to obtain essential oil (see glossary) of clove and the essential oil of leaves.


Clove contains significant amounts of oil primarily for (15 to 20%), 16% water, tannins, a little starch and fibrous cellulose.
The flower stalk (stems):
5 to 6% oil
and leaves: 3 to 4%.
Clove oil (obtained by distillation) is very rich in eugenol (70 to 85%).
There are also other terpene compounds (see glossary) (approximately 10% caryophyllene), aliphatic, aromatic and heterocyclic.

The essential oil of clove is a powerful inhibitor of platelet aggregation (see glossary) (so it is an anti-inflammatory);
it is also a powerful antiseptic and gastrointestinal and uterine tonic, anti-neuralgic, local anesthetic and parasiticide (scabies).
It is a depressant of the central nervous system.

These properties are mainly due to eugenol known it is rapidly metabolized and excreted, and not considered carcinogenic. It may be present in food to a concentration of 1500ppm.

Clove is widely used as culinary spice, it is an ingredient of curry flavor sauces, meats and some pastries.

In Indonesia, we mix in tobacco (60% tobacco, 40% clove) cigarettes in "kretek".

Worldwide, it is chewed to improve breath and prevent dental infections.

For years, eugenol and eugenol dressing (eugénate) were used by dentists in intracanal medication and temporary obliteration, but since other more effective products have replaced.

In Aromatherapy, essential oil of clove alone or in combination is antibacterial, especially urinary tract infections (cystitis, kidney stones) and the gastrointestinal tract (colitis);
Example: 1g ET cloves in 125 ml of alcohol at 60 degrees, 30 to 50 drops per day.

Herbal medicines containing cloves are used to treat small wounds are analgesics, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial: dental pain, gingivitis, tonsillitis.

In Asia and in many tropical countries, it relieves toothache by applying on the aching tooth or a nail crushed some cotton soaked in oil of cloves.

Herbal Medicine

Two other trees of the family Myrtaceae are potentially interesting in phytotherapy.
Pimenta racemosa, native to the Caribbean, "logwood".
Pimenta dioica, native to the Caribbean and Central America, "all spices".

The leaves of logwood are distilled in the presence of rum, we obtain the "Bay Rum" is a soothing, antiseptic used mainly in perfumery.

The wood of India is also a culinary spice (flat fish), the infusion of leaves is digestive, carminative and soothing.

The "all spices", which combines the aromas of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, was mainly for food but has stimulant properties and digestive carminative.
The extracted oil is used in perfumery.
The essential oils of these plants contain many Eugenol (80% for P. dioica, 50% for P. racemosa) and other compounds: chavicol, octenol, cineole, which give them their special aroma, can therefore used for the same indications that the cloves.

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