Clove is a herb that is of great importance in Ayurveda and Siddha medicine. Valued mainly for its ability to cure diseases related to the digestive system, clove is also a household herb that finds its place among spices and condiments as well. It is being used in Indian and Chinese cuisine for over a period of 2000 years. Clove is also used to preserve food. In Persia this spice is known for its aphrodisiac properties. The English name is derived from the Latin word ‘clavus’ meaning nail as the bud resembles the shape of a nail. Clove was once one among the most expensive and valuable commodities available across the globe.
Botanical Name: Syzygium aromaticum
English Name: Clove
Tamil Name: கிராம்பு
Malayalam Name: കരയാമ്പു
Part Used: Dried flower bud
Therapeutic attributes or Rasa Panchaka:
• Initial taste(Rasa) Bitter(Tikta), pungent(katu)
• Quality(Guna) light (laghu),potent(teekshna)
• Heating or cooling effect(Veerya) cooling effect(sheeta)
• Post digestive effect(Vipaka) Hot(Katu)
• Special action(Prabhava) nil
The prime therapeutic action of Clove is to increase the digestive capacity and to control nausea vomiting, diarrhea, bloating and also in irritable bowel syndrome. It also removes distaste and improves the appetite. The bud when chewed relieves one from tooth ache and bad breath (halitosis) 1.
The herb is effective against bacteria,fungi and viruses( anti-microbial) and is a known anti-oxidant2,3 . Due to the presence of flavonoids, Clove can be used to cure swelling and pain (anti-inflammatory) hence can be administered in arthritis. Clove is effective in treating Athlete’s foot and in Nail bed infection4. It expels phlegm and can be given for diseases of the respiratory system like tuberculosis, spasmodic cough etc. Recent researches have proven the efficacy of clove in treating lung and skin cancer5.
It is also effective in headache and fever, due to the presence of eugenol(a colourless to pale yellow oily liquid extracted from the essential oil of certain herbs like clove, nutmeg,cinnamon, basil and bay leaf). Clove bud boiled in water can be used by pregnant ladies to control morning sickness ( in limited doses). People suffering from diabetes mellitus can also include clove in their diet.
Eugenol, flavonoids, hidroxibenzoic acids, hidroxicinamic acids and hidroxiphenyl propens etc.
Ayurvedic formulations containing Clove:
1) Lavangadi vati
2) Khadiradi gulika
3) Chyavanaprasha lehyam etc
1) Paste of clove and common salt with milk pacifies headache
2) Mixture of few drops of clove oil and coconut oil when applied removes the acne marks and blemishes
3) Eating a clove in betel is the best remedy for phlegm and catarrah
4) Spraying the solution of clove oil in water (1:10) keeps insects at bay
We have tried to provide the essence of the Vedas and Ayurveda Scriptures by interpreting meaning of the text in English through research & investigation. We have used the modern terminologies & technical words of the latest science to give the readers a better understanding and assimilation. If found any errors, kindly bear with us & help us rectify
Sources and references:
1) Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): a precious spice
By Diego Francisco Cortés-Rojas,* Claudia Regina Fernandes de Souza, and Wanderley Pereira Oliveira
2) Anti-oxidant activity of clove
ByGlucin I, Sat IG,Beydemis S,Elmastas M,Kufrevioglu OI
3)Anti-microbial activity of clove oil dispersed in concentrated sugar solution
By Briozzo J,Numez l, Chirife J, Herszagel L, D’Aquino.
4)Clove a Champion spice
BY Milind Parle, Deepa Khanna
5)a)Anti-carcinogenic effect of an aqueous infusion of clove on skin carcinogenesis
By Banerjee S, S.Das, Panda K C
b)Clove( Syzigium aromaticum) A potential Chemopreventive agent for lung cancer. By Banerjee S.
6) Heritage Amruth
7) Dravya guna Vijnana by Prof S. D. Lucas
8) Charaka Samhita, Sushrutha Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya.