Clove is an evergreen tropical tree with strong antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity correlated well with the higher polyphenol content. It is also reported to have the strongest antioxidant activity among the spices tested. This chapter describes the botany, history, producing regions, flavor and aroma, parts used, and active constituents. The chapter also highlights the uses of cloves in different recipes around the world. They are included in the flavor of Worcestershire sauce. Cloves have been reported to have antifungal, antiseptic, anesthetic, antispasmodic, carminative, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Finally the medicinal uses, functional properties, and antioxidant properties of cloves are discussed in great detail.


Radical Scavenge Activity Total Phenolic Content Strong Antioxidant Activity Strong Antimicrobial Activity High Polyphenol Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abdel-Wahhab MA, Aly SE (2005) Antioxidant property of Nigella sativa (black cumin) and Syzygium aromaticum (clove) in rats during aflatoxicosis. J Appl Toxicol 25(3):218–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonio CM, Abriouel H, Lopez RL, Omar NB, Valdivia E, Galvez A (2009) Enhanced bactericidal activity of enterocin AS-48 in combination with essential oils, natural bioactive compounds and chemical preservatives against Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat salad. Food Chem Toxicol 47:2216–2223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arung ET, Matsubara E, Kusuma IW, Sukaton E, Shimizu K, Kondo R (2011) Inhibitory components from the buds of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) on melanin formation in B16 melanoma cells. Fitoterapia 82:198–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barbosa LN, Rall VL, Fernandes AA, Ushimaru PI, da Silva PI, Fernandes A Jr (2009) Essential oils against foodborne pathogens and spoilage bacteria in minced meat. Foodborne Pathog Dis 6:725–728CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beddows CG, Jagait C, Kelly MJ (2000) Preservation of alpha-tocopherol in sunflower oil by herbs and spices. Int J Food Sci Nutr 51(5):327–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blomhoff R (2004) Antioxidants and oxidative stress. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 124(12): 1643–1645Google Scholar
  7. Burkill IH (1966) A dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol 1(A-H):989Google Scholar
  8. Büyükbalci A, El SN (2008) Determination of in vitro antidiabetic effects, antioxidant activities and phenol contents of some herbal teas. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 63(1):27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cai Y, Luo Q, Sun M, Corke H (2004) Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds of 112 traditional Chinese medicinal plants associated with anticancer. Life Sci 74(17):2157–2184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chaieb K, Zmantar T, Ksouri R, Hajlaoui H, Mahdouani K, Abdelly C, Bakhrouf A (2007a) Antioxidant properties of the essential oil of Eugenia caryophyllata and its antifungal activity against a large number of clinical Candida species. Mycoses 50(5):403–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chaieb K, Hajlaoui H, Zmantar T, Kahla-Nakbi AB, Rouabhia M, Mahdouani K, Bakhrouf A (2007b) The chemical composition and biological activity of clove essential oil, Eugenia caryophyllata (Syzygium aromaticum L. Myrtaceae): a short review. Phytother Res 21(6):501–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Choi HY, Yang YC, Lee SH, Clark JM, Ahn YJ (2010) Efficacy of spray formulations containing binary mixtures of clove and eucalyptus oils against susceptible and pyrethroid/malathion-resistant head lice (Anoplura: Pediculidae). J Med Entomol 47:387–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dearlove RP, Greenspan P, Hartle DK, Swanson RB, Hargrove JL (2008) Inhibition of protein glycation by extracts of culinary herbs and spices. J Med Food 11(2):275–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Devi KP, Nisha SA, Sakthivel R, Pandian SK (2010) Eugenol (an essential oil of clove) acts as an antibacterial agent against Salmonella typhi by disrupting the cellular membrane. J Ethnopharmacol 130:107–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dragland S, Senoo H, Wake K, Holte K, Blomhoff R (2003) Several culinary and medicinal herbs are important sources of dietary antioxidants. J Nutr 133(5):1286–1290Google Scholar
  16. Du WX, Olsen CW, Avena-Bustillos RJ, McHugh TH, Levin CE, Friedman M (2009) Effects of allspice, cinnamon, and clove bud essential oils in edible apple films on physical properties and antimicrobial activities. J Food Sci 74:M372–M378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dudonné S, Vitrac X, Coutière P, Woillez M, Mérillon JM (2009) Comparative study of antioxidant properties and total phenolic content of 30 plant extracts of industrial interest using DPPH, ABTS, FRAP, SOD, and ORAC assays. J Agric Food Chem 57:1768–1774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Feng R, He W, Hirotomo O (2000) Experimental studies on antioxidation of extracts from several plants used as both medicines and foods in vitro. Zhong Yao Cai 23(11):690–693Google Scholar
  19. George DR, Sparagano OA, Port G, Okello E, Shiel RS, Guy JH (2010) Toxicity of plant essential oils to different life stages of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, and non-target invertebrates. Med Vet Entomol 24:9–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gulcin I (2011) Antioxidant activity of eugenol: a structure-activity relationship study. J Med Food 14(9):975–985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Halder S, Mehta AK, Kar R, Mustafa M, Mediratta PK, Sharma KK (2011a) Clove oil reverses learning and memory deficits in scopolamine-treated mice. Planta Med 77:830–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Halder S, Mehta AK, Mediratta PK, Sharma KK (2011b) Essential oil of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) augments the humoral immune response but decreases cell mediated immunity. Phytother Res 25:1254–1256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hussain A, Brahmbhatt K, Priyani A, Ahmed M, Rizvi TA, Sharma C (2011) Eugenol enhances the chemotherapeutic potential of gemcitabine and induces anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory activity in human cervical cancer cells. Cancer Biother Radiopharm 26(5):519–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Irkin R, Abay S, Aydin F (2011) Inhibitory effects of some plant essential oils against Arcobacter butzleri and potential for rosemary oil as a natural food preservative. J Med Food 14:291–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ivanov SA, Davcheva YG (1992) Antioxidative effects of eugenol and isoeugenol in natural lipids. Oxid Commun 15:200–203Google Scholar
  26. Jin S, Cho KH (2011) Water extracts of cinnamon and clove exhibits potent inhibition of protein glycation and anti-atherosclerotic activity in vitro and in vivo hypolipidemic activity in zebrafish. Food Chem Toxicol 49:1521–1529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jirovetz L, Buchbauer G, Stoilova I, Stoyanova A, Krastanov A, Schmidt E (2006) Chemical composition and antioxidant properties of clove leaf essential oil. J Agric Food Chem 54(17): 6303–6307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kannappan R, Gupta SC, Kim JH, Reuter S, Aggarwal BB (2011) Neuroprotection by spice-derived nutraceuticals: you are what you eat! Mol Neurobiol 44(2):142–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Karmakar S, Choudhury M, Das AS, Maiti A, Majumdar S, Mitra C (2012) Clove (Syzygium aromaticum Linn) extract rich in eugenol and eugenol derivatives shows bone-preserving efficacy. Nat Prod Res 26(6):500–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Keskin D, Toroglu S (2011) Studies on antimicrobial activities of solvent extracts of different spices. J Environ Biol 32(2):251–256Google Scholar
  31. Kim HY, Kim K (2003) Protein glycation inhibitory and antioxidative activities of some plant extracts in vitro. J Agric Food Chem 51(6):1586–1591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kim JR, Sharma S (2011) Acaricidal activities of clove bud oil and red thyme oil using microencapsulation against HDMs. J Microencapsul 28:82–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kim IS, Yang MR, Lee OH, Kang SN (2011a) Antioxidant activities of hot water extracts from various spices. Int J Mol Sci 12:4120–4131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kim SY, Kang DH, Kim JK, Ha YG, Hwang JY, Kim T, Lee SH (2011b) Antimicrobial activity of plant extracts against Salmonella Typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes on fresh lettuce. J Food Sci 76:M41–M46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kim SI, Chae SH, Youn HS, Yeon SH, Ahn YJ (2011c) Contact and fumigant toxicity of plant essential oils and efficacy of spray formulations containing the oils against B- and Q-biotypes of Bemisia tabaci. Pest Manag Sci 69:1093–1099Google Scholar
  36. Kong B, Zhang H, Xiong YL (2010) Antioxidant activity of spice extracts in a liposome system and in cooked pork patties and the possible mode of action. Meat Sci 85:772–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kouassi KH, Bajji M, Zhiri A, Lepoivre P, Jijakli MH (2010) Evaluation of three essential oils as potential sources of botanical fungicides. Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci 75:525–529Google Scholar
  38. Lee KG, Shibamoto T (2001) Inhibition of malonaldehyde formation from blood plasma oxidation by aroma extracts and aroma components isolated from clove ans eucalyptus. Food Chem Toxicol 39(12):1199–1204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Machado M, Dinis AM, Salgueiro L, Custódio JB, Cavaleiro C, Sousa MC (2011) Anti-Giardia activity of Syzygium aromaticum essential oil and eugenol: effects on growth, viability, adherence and ultrastructure. Exp Parasitol 127:732–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Misharina TA, Samusenko AL (2008) Antioxidant properties of essential oils from lemon, grapefruit, coriander, clove, and their mixtures. Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol 44(4):482–486Google Scholar
  41. Moon SE, Kim HY, Cha JD (2011) Synergistic effect between clove oil and its major compounds and antibiotics against oral bacteria. Arch Oral Biol 56:907–916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Oya T, Osawa T, Kawakishi S (1997) Spice constituents scavenging free radicals and inhibiting pentosidine formation in a model system. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 61(2):263–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Park IS, Park SJ, Gil HW, Nam YK, Kim DS (2011) Anesthetic effects of clove oil and lidocaine-HCl on marine medaka (Oryzias dancena). Lab Anim (NY) 40:45–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pasay C, Mounsey K, Stevenson G, Davis R, Arlian L, Morgan M, Vyszenski-Moher D, Andrews K, McCarthy J (2010) Acaricidal activity of eugenol based compounds against scabies mites. PLoS One 5(8):e12079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Petrovic V, Marcincak S, Popelka P, Simkova J, Martonova M, Buleca J, Marcincakova D, Tuckova M, Molnar L, Kovac G (2011) The effect of supplementation of clove and agrimony or clove and lemon balm on growth performance, antioxidant status and selected indices of lipid profile of broiler chickens. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 10:1439Google Scholar
  46. Pezo D, Salafranca J, Nerín C (2008) Determination of the antioxidant capacity of active food packagings by in situ gas-phase hydroxyl radical generation and high-performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence detection. J Chromatogr A 1178(1–2):126–133Google Scholar
  47. Pinto E, Vale-Silva L, Cavaleiro C, Salgueiro L (2009) Antifungal activity of the clove essential oil from Syzygium aromaticum on Candida, Aspergillus and dermatophyte species. J Med Microbiol 58(11):1454–1462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pohlit AM, Lopes NP, Gama RA, Tadei WP, Neto VF (2011) Patent literature on mosquito repellent inventions which contain plant essential oils – a review. Planta Med 77:598–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ponce A, Roura SI, Moreira MR (2011) Essential oils as biopreservatives: different methods for the technological application in lettuce leaves. J Food Sci 76:M34–M40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pramod K, Ansari SH, Ali J (2010) Eugenol: a natural compound with versatile pharmacological actions. Nat Prod Commun 5:1999–2006Google Scholar
  51. Rodrigues TG, Fernandes A Jr, Sousa JP, Bastos JK, Sforcin JM (2009) In vitro and in vivo effects of clove on pro-inflammatory cytokines production by macrophages. Nat Prod Res 23:319–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rosengarten F (1969) The book of spices. Livingstone, Wynnewood, PAGoogle Scholar
  53. Sanchez-Vazquez FJ, Terry MI, Felizardo VO, Vera LM (2011) Daily rhythms of toxicity and effectiveness of anesthetics (MS222 and eugenol) in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Chronobiol Int 28:109–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Santin JR, Lemos M, Klein-Júnior LC, Machado ID, Costa P, de Oliveira AP, Tilia C, de Souza JP, de Sousa JP, Bastos JK, de Andrade SF (2011) Gastroprotective activity of essential oil of the Syzygium aromaticum and its major component eugenol in different animal models. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 383:149–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shahidi F, Pegg RB, Saleemi ZO (1995) Stabilization of meat lipids with ground spices. J Food Lipids 2:145–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shan B, Cai YZ, Sun M, Corke H (2005) Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents. J Agric Food Chem 53(20):7749–7759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shan B, Cai YZ, Brooks JD, Corke H (2011) Potential application of spice and herb extracts as natural preservatives in cheese. J Med Food 14:284–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Singh AK, Dhamanigi SS, Asad M (2009) Anti-stress activity of hydro-alcoholic extract of Eugenia caryophyllus buds (clove). Indian J Pharmacol 41:28–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Suganthi R, Rajamani S, Ravichandran MK, Anuradha CV (2007) Effect of food seasoning spices mixture on biomarkers of oxidative stress in tissues of fructose-fed insulin-resistant rats. J Med Food 10(1):149–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tapsell LC, Hemphill I, Cobiac L, Patch CS, Sullivan DR, Fenech M, Roodenrys S, Keogh JB, Clifton PM, Williams PG, Fazio VA, Inge KE (2006) Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future. Med J Aust 185(4 Suppl):S4–S24Google Scholar
  61. Uju DE, Obioma NP (2011) Anticariogenic potentials of clove, tobacco and bitter kola. Asian Pac J Trop Med 4(10):814–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wang HF, Wang YK, Yih KH (2008) DPPH free-radical scavenging ability, total phenolic content, and chemical composition analysis of forty-five kinds of essential oils. J Cosmet Sci 59(6): 509–522Google Scholar
  63. Wang L, Liu F, Jiang Y, Chai Z, Li P, Cheng Y, Jing H, Leng X (2011) Synergistic antimicrobial activities of natural essential oils with chitosan films. J Agric Food Chem 59(23): 12411–12419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Warnke PH, Becker ST, Podschun R, Sivananthan S, Springer IN, Russo PA, Wiltfang J, Fickenscher H, Sherry E (2009) The battle against multi-resistant strains: renaissance of antimicrobial essential oils as a promising force to fight hospital-acquired infections. J Craniomaxillofac Surg 37:392–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wei A, Shibamoto T (2007) Antioxidant activities of essential oil mixtures toward skin lipid squalene oxidized by UV irradiation. Cutan Ocul Toxicol 26(3):227–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wei A, Shibamoto T (2010) Antioxidant/lipoxygenase inhibitory activities and chemical compositions of selected essential oils. J Agric Food Chem 58:7218–7225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yadav AS, Bhatnagar D (2007a) Free radical scavenging activity, metal chelation and antioxidant power of some of the Indian spices. Biofactors 31(3–4):219–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Yadav AS, Bhatnagar D (2007b) Modulatory effect of spice extracts on iron-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver. Biofactors 29(2–3):147–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yoshimura M, Amakura Y, Yoshida T (2011) Polyphenolic compounds in clove and pimento and their antioxidative activities. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 75(11):2207–2212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zhu F, Cai YZ, Ke J, Corke H (2011) Dietary plant materials reduce acrylamide formation in cookie and starch-based model systems. J Sci Food Agric 91(13):2477–2483CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denys J. Charles
    • 1
  1. 1.Frontier Natural Products Co-opNorwayUSA

Personalised recommendations