Cloves are commonly found in cooking ingredients. Cloves belong to the Myrtaceae family and are scientifically called Syzygium aromaticum. Cloves are collected for their oil extracts, fresh and dried flower buds, pedicles, and leaves. Cloves are made up of many important consituents such as volatile oils (eugenol, eugenyl acetate, and beta-caryopyllene), flavonoids (astragalin, isoquercitrin, hyperoside, quercetin-3, 4'-di-O-glycoside), tannins (ellagitanins) , and steriods (sterols, including beta-sitosterol).
Eugenol can make up to about 90% of the volatile oils. Eugenol is thought to be repsonsible for the anesthetic and analgesic properties of clove. Eugenol inhibits platelet activity as well as depresses the sensory receptors of pain by suppressing the prostaglandin biosynthesis.
At the time, there have been no reported adverse affects of clove unless it is inhaled. Inhalation of cloves can lead to respiratory injuries.
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