Clove aphrodisiac herb health benefit as treatment for infection, antioxidant, tooth decay and infection prevention, cavity prevention, Syzygium aromaticum plant, Flos Caryophylli by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 10 2015

Clove is the name for a small evergreen tree of the myrtle family (Syzygium aromaticum) and for its unopened flower bud, an important spice. The buds are reddish-brown in color and have a strong, aromatic flavor and aroma. The cloves are gathered by hand, dried, and marketed either whole or ground for culinary purposes. Clove may have aphrodisiac properties. It is widely used in synthetic vanilla and other flavorings as well as in perfumes. Clove oil is often considered medicinal and antiseptic. Many spices have health benefit, including nutmeg.

Good for toothache
Use powdered or liquid clove directly on painful tooth and or gum to reduce pain until you see your dentist.

Tooth cavity prevention
Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011. Anticariogenic potentials of clove, tobacco and bitter kola. To investigate three tropical plant materials - clove seeds [Syzygium aromaticum (S. aromaticum)], bitter kola fruits [Garcinia kola (G. kola)] and tobacco leaves (Nicotiana species) as potential targeted killers of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), a cavity-causing bacterium (gram-positive, facultative anaerobe) that resides in a multispecies microbial community (dental plaque) for the treatment of dental caries (tooth decay). Since the n-hexane extract of clove seeds demonstrated preferential growth-inhibitory activity against the causal cariogenic pathogens (S. mutans) in dental caries, we therefore, report here that clove extract be henceforth considered as a potential ingredient in toothpaste preparation.

Benefit for tooth health, prevention of tooth cavities
Compounds from Syzygium aromaticum possessing growth inhibitory activity against oral pathogens.
J Nat Prod. 1996. Dows Institute for Dental Research, College of Dentistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.
A crude MeOH extract of clove exhibited preferential growth-inhibitory activity against Gram-negative anaerobic periodontal oral pathogens, including Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia. Active compounds were isolated from this extract and were identified as biflorin, kaempferol, rhamnocitrin, myricetin, gallic acid, ellagic acid, and oleanolic acid. The antibacterial activity of these pure compounds was determined against Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces viscosus, P. gingivalis, and P. intermedia. The flavones, kaempferol and myricetin, demonstrated potent growth-inhibitory activity against the periodontal pathogens P. gingivalis and P. intermedia.

Cancer prevention or treatment
Oncol Res. 2014. Clove extract inhibits tumor growth and promotes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) have been used as a traditional Chinese medicinal herb for thousands of years. Cloves possess antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and has oleanolic acid. Results demonstrate that clove extract may represent a novel therapeutic herb for the treatment of colorectal cancer, and OA appears to be one of the bioactive components.

Molecules. 2012. Antiproliferative and molecular mechanism of eugenol-induced apoptosis in cancer cells. Phenolic phytochemicals are a broad class of nutraceuticals found in plants which have been extensively researched by scientists for their health-promoting potential. One such a compound which has been comprehensively used is eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), which is the active component of Syzigium aromaticum (cloves).

Liver health
Eugenol-rich Fraction of Syzygium aromaticum (Clove) Reverses Biochemical and Histopathological Changes in Liver Cirrhosis and Inhibits Hepatic Cell Proliferation. J Cancer Prev. 2014.

Cloves Recipe
Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles. In the U.S., cloves are used in meats and salad dressings. Clove helps the flavor of ketchup and Worchestershire sauce seasoning blends.

Clove aphrodisiac benefits research
Aphrodisiac effect of 50% ethanolic extract of Syzygium aromaticum on sexual behaviour of normal male rats.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2004
The flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum has been used in Unani medicine since ancient times as an aphrodisiac for the treatment of male sexual disorders. The present study is aimed to investigate the effect of 50% ethanolic extract of clove on general mating behaviour, libido, potency along with its likely gastric ulceration and adverse effects on sexually normal male albino rats. The suspension of the extract was administered orally at the dose of 100, 250, and 500 mg / kg, to different groups of male rats (n=6) once a day for seven days. The female albino rats involved in mating were made receptive by hormonal treatment. The general mating behaviour, libido and potency were determined and compared with the standard reference drug sildenafil citrate. The probable gastric ulceration and adverse effects of the extract were also evaluated. Oral administration of the extract significantly increased the Mounting Frequency, Intromission Frequency; Intromission Latency, Erections; Quick Flips, Long Flips as well as aggregate of penile reflexes and caused significant reduction in the Mounting Latency and Post Ejaculatory Interval. The most appreciable effect of the extract was observed at the dose of 500 mg/kg. The test drug was also found to be devoid of any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. The results indicated that the 50% ethanolic extract of clove produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats, without any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. Thus, the resultant natural aphrodisiac effectivity of the extract lends support to the claims for its traditional usage in sexual disorders.
   Note: There are other potent herbal aphrodisiacs for instance garlic, onion, and Tongkat Ali.

Antifungal benefit
J Med Microbiol. 2009; Antifungal activity of the clove essential oil from Syzygium aromaticum on Candida, Aspergillus and dermatophyte species. Pinto E, Vale-Silva L, Cavaleiro C, Salgueiro L. Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Lung infection with klebsiella
J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2009; Induction of resistance to respiratory tract infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae in mice fed on a diet supplemented with tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and clove (Syzgium aromaticum) oils.

These results demonstrate that leaf ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of P. emblica and flower bud extract of clove may serve as antimalarial agents even in their crude form. The isolation of compounds from P. emblica and clove seems to be of special interest for further studies as a treatment for malaria. Parasitol Res. 2010. In vitro antimalarial activity of medicinal plant extracts against Plasmodium falciparum. Unit of Nanotechnology and Bioactive Natural Products, Post Graduate and Research Department of Zoology, C. Abdul Hakeem College, Vellore District, Tamil Nadu, India.

Reproduction, sperm health
Andrologia. 2016. Biphasic effect of Syzygium aromaticum flower bud on reproductive physiology of male mice. The flower buds of clove have been used for the treatment of male sexual disorders in indigenous medicines of Indian subcontinent. Therefore to evaluate the efficacy of clove on the male reproductive health, chronic oral exposure of aqueous extract of flower buds of Syzygium in three doses (15 mg, 30 mg and 60 mg kg-1 BW) were studied for a single spermatogenic cycle (35 days) in Parkes (P) strain mice. Lower dose (15 mg) of Syzygium aromaticum flower buds increased serum testosterone level and testicular hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) activities and improved sperm motility, sperm morphology, secretory activity of epididymis and seminal vesicle, and number of litters per female. On the other hand, higher doses (30 and 60 mg) of the treatment adversely affected above parameters. Further, higher doses of the extract also had adverse effects on daily sperm production, 1C cell population and on histology of testis. In conclusion, Syzygium aromaticum flower buds extract exhibits biphasic effect on reproductive physiology of male mice. Lower dose of clove flower bud extract is androgenic in nature and may have a viable future as an indigenous sexual rejuvenator, while higher doses adversely affected functional physiology of reproductive organs.

Caution, safety
Essential oil poisoning: N-acetylcysteine for eugenol -induced hepatic failure and analysis of a national database.
Eur J Pediatr. 2005.
We present a 15-month-old boy who developed fulminant hepatic failure after ingesting 10 ml of clove oil. After 24 h, the ALT level was in excess of 13,000 U/l, with blood urea and creatinine of 11.8 mmol and 134 micromol/l respectively. The hepatic impairment resolved after intravenous administration of N-acetylcysteine so that 6 h later, the ALT level was approximately 10,000 U/l. His liver synthetic function and clinical status improved over the next 4 days. This is the first such case report of its kind in Europe. Analysis of a national database revealed a 14-fold increase in home accidents related to aromatherapy from 1994-1999. Clove oil has important hepatotoxic effects. Conclusion: Recent growth in aromatherapy sales has been accompanied by an unfortunate increase in accidental poisoning from these products. Clove oil warrants special attention. Ingesting as little as 10 ml causes hepatotoxicity which can be treated with N-acetylcysteine.