Scientific name: Eugenia caryophylatta syn., Syzgium aromaticum

Common names:

Ayurvedic names: Lavanga 

Chinese names: Ding xiang, Ting hsiang 

Bangladesh names: Lobongo 

Arabic names:    قرنفل (qurunful), kronfol

Rain Forest names:

Family: Myrtaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Flowers (bud), oil


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 15 to 30 feet

Actions:  Anti-emetic, anti-microbial, aromatic

Known Constituents: Volatile oil, gallotannic acid; two crystalline principles – Caryophyllin, which is odourless and appears to be a phylosterol, Eugenin; gum, resin, fibre

Constituents Explained:


The dried flower bud usually has reddish-brown colour, and a brown colour when dried.

Traditional Use:

Contain powerful antiseptic and minor anaesthetic properties.  It is sometimes employed for toothache. Drops of oil can be placed directly onto the tooth, or on cotton wool and placed onto a tooth.  The oil is sometimes used on the skin to relieve nerve pain and shingles.

When used for  the gastro intestinal tract it is used for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas and bloating. 

Clinical Studies:

A study examined whether the natural herb clove can replace benzocaine as a topical anesthetic. Topical agents were applied to the maxillary canine buccal mucosa of 73 adult volunteers. Four substances were tested in the study: (1) homemade clove gel, (2) benzocaine 20% gel, (3) placebo that resembles clove and (4) a placebo that resembled benzocaine. 

After 5 min of material application in a randomized, subject-blinded manner, each participant received two needle sticks. Pain response was registered using a 100 mm visual analogue pain scale.

Both clove and benzocaine gels had significantly lower mean pain scores than placebos. No significant difference was observed between clove and benzocaine regarding pain scores.

It was concluded that Clove gel might possess a potential to replace benzocaine as a topical agent before needle insertion.


Al Qareer A, Alyahya A, Andersson L. “The Effect Of Clove And Benzocaine Versus Placebo As Topical Anesthetics.” 2006 November



Other names: Eugenia Aromatica

Latin name: Eugenia caryophyllata

Family: Myrtaceae

Common part used: undeveloped flowers

The plant of cloves can be found in Southern Philippines areas and on Molucca Islands, East and West Indies, Brazil and Mauritius. 

This plant is a small tree with evergreen leaves. Its large branches are covered with a bark, grey or whitish in color and smooth to touch. The leaves are not lobed and large in size, arranged in pairs on the small stalks. They are always bright green, and very aromatic if damaged. As for the flowers, they grow at the end of the branches and usually are grouped into  bunches. The flowers have a strong pleasant fragrance as well. 

The commercial value of the cloves is represented by its calyxes with undeveloped seeds inside, taken from the tree and dried. Usually with the beginning of the monsoons the branches are covered with long buds, when their corolla fades, the calyx changes its colour for yellow and later, red. Now it is ready for plucking from the tree. The fruits usually appear only when the tree is at least eight years. 

The cloves plant is used in culinary arts in a ground form to add  fragrance to the dishes. In North Indian culinary art it is used in most of the dishes along with other spices. It also plays a significant role in the production of Indian black tea. In Indonesia it is smoked in a particular type of cigarettes. Cloves plants are also used as an ingredient of Dutch cheeses and stews. 

Speaking of medicinal uses of this plant, it is known as the most stimulating of all the herbal aromatics. Cloves oil is a strong antiseptic and germicide. It can also be used as a local anaesthetic in dentistry.