Description A slender evergreen tree with a smooth grey trunk, up to 12m (39ft) high. It has large bright green leaves standing in pairs on short stalks. At the start of the rainy season long buds appear with a rosy - pink corolla at the tip; as the corolla fades the calyx slowly turns deep red. These are beaten from the tree and, when dried, provide the cloves of commerce.
The flowers have a strong refreshing odour if the seed are allowed to mature, most of the pungency is lost. Each berry has only one seed. The trees fruit usually about eight or nine years after planting. The whole tree is highly aromatic. The finest cloves come from Mallacca and Pemba and also East & West Indies, Mauritius and Brazil.
Ethenomedicinal Practice It is used as a domestic spice world-wide. Tincture of cloves has been used for skin infections (scabies, athlete's foot); for digestive upsets; to dress the umbilical cord; for intestinal parasites; to ease the pain of childbirth (steeped in wine); and notably for toothache. The tea is used to relieve nausea. In Chinese medicine the oil is used for diarrhoea, hernia, bad breath and bronchitis as well as for those conditions mentioned above.
Extraction Essential oil by water distillation from 1. the buds and 2. the leaves and by steam distillation from 3. the stalks or stems. A concrete, absolute and oleoresin are also produced from the buds in small quantities.
Characteristics and Constituents
1. Clove bud is a pale yellow liquid with a sweet - spicy odour and a fruity-fresh top note. The bud oil is favoured in perfumery work. It blends well with rose, lavender, vanillin, clary sage, bergamot, bay leaf, lavandin, allspice, ylang-ylang and cananga.
2. Clove leaf is dark brown oil with a crude, burnt-woody odour.
3. Clove stem oil is a pale yellow liquid with a strong spicy-woody odour.
1. Bud: 60-90% eugenol, eugenol acetate, caryophyllene and other minor constituents.
2. Leaf : 82-88% eugenol with little or no...
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