Clove buds

Syzygium aromaticum

An evergreen tree which can grow to 20m (65ft) in the wild, although usually does not exceed 10m (32ft) in height within the restrictions of an orchard. The aromatic leaves are shiny-green and pointed. Small 4 petaled yellow flowers and dark red berries sprout from the flowers.

Family: Myrtaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Clove buds are a key herb in Sustain

Habit and cultivation: Clove is native to the larger islands of the Moluccas in Indonesia, formerly known as the Spice Islands, .

Actions (known for): Anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-parasitic.


Since 200 BC cloves have been transported from Java to China, and used as a preservative, flavour and food garnish. During the Spice Wars in the 1600s plants were uprooted and burnt so as to raise the price through scarcity. Peter Piper from the nursery rhyme managed to smuggle flowering clove buds off Ambon Island in Indonesia 200 years later and took them to the West Indies for cultivation. Used for toothache and joint pain since 13th century.

Parts used:

Dried flower buds.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Essential oil: eugenol, eugenol acetate, humulen, limonene and several others. Phenolic acids: gallic acid, caffeic, ferulic, ellagic and salicylic acid. Flavonoids.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A, B1, B6 and C.


Digestive tonic, dry coughs, analgesic for tooth pain, worms and parasites, rheumatism and arthritis.


6 cloves crushed and infused for stomach pain and nausea; 2-3 drops of oil applied to gum for toothache or directly to joint for pain.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Local pain relief from tooth ache.

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Sore or bleeding gums.

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