Cloves are the rich, brown, dried, unopened flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum, an evergreen tree in the myrtle family. The name comes from the French "clou" meaning nail.
The Greeks called the tree ‘caryophyllum’, meaning ‘leaf of walnut tree’ and this derived through Arabic to ‘girofle’, part of the French name for the spice, clou de girofle. Clou is the French for nail, deriving from the Latin clavus, which is also the origin of the English word (the dried buds look like little nails). Cloves were also known to the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
Therapeutic effects: The old texts all seem to agree on the many therapeutic properties of clove – it is a stimulant and has stomachic, expectorant, sedative, carminative, antispasmodic and digestive qualities. It helps flatulence, stimulates digestion and restores appetite, so is good for convalescence. It is a general tonic for both physical and intellectual weakness; and for those suffering from frigidity. Its principal therapeutic value, though, is antiseptic because of the high proportion of eugenol. This is used for intestinal parasites, and for prevention of virus infections. It is good for the immune system, and particularly effective in mouth and tooth infections.
Uses: Baths and massage. Other popular ways apart from the above include, diffusers, on your pillow at night, meditation, car air fresheners and in steam / saunas.