Clove Bud Essential Oil comes from the dried, unopened buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree, a member of the Myrtaceae family. Native to the Spice Islands (Maluku) of Indonesia, all parts of the Clove Tree contain essential oil. Different varieties of clove oil can be obtained from the tree's leaves, stems, and buds, but it is most concentrated in the buds, which contain about 14-20% oil by weight when mature. Clove Bud Essential Oil is obtained by a process of steam distillation, in which the aromatic essence of the buds is vaporized and then cooled for collection. This essential oil smells very similar to the raw clove material, with the same spicy sweet and herbaceous signature, although it is much more potent.
Clove buds derived their name from the Latin term 'clavus' meaning 'nail', a reference to their distinctive shape. The clove tree holds a special symbolism in the islands of its origin; traditionally, when a child was born, locals would plant a clove tree, linking the child's life to the life cycle of the tree. While the precise details of when cloves first made their way out of the Spice Islands are open to speculation, their value across cultures and the impact they made on global trade is well documented.
In China, records trace the use of cloves back to the Han dynasty of the early second century BCE, where they were chewed as breath fresheners in addition to being used in food and medicine. From China, it is believed that cloves migrated to Greece and Egypt in the first century CE. By the second century, they reached India, where they would play a significant role in Ayurvedic medicine. Phoenician traders spread them throughout the Mediterranean over the course of the next two centuries and Jewish traders later spread them throughout Europe where they were used as preservatives and garnishes.
Trade of cloves was under Chinese control between the 15th and 16th centuries, after which the Portuguese developed a monopoly that lasted about a hundred years. The Dutch were the next to dominate commerce in the 17th and 18th centuries, manipulating the market to ensure high prices by destroying cultivation on many of their native islands. The market value was so high at this time that in Britain, cloves were said to be worth their weight in gold. This prompted King Charles II in 1662 to forbid the purchase of cloves by any English person unless it came directly from the producers. Around the same time, French smugglers broke the Dutch monopoly, bringing cloves from the East Indies to islands in the Indian Ocean and to the New World.
While the cultivation of cloves was confined to Indonesia for most of its history, it spread all over the world after the Dutch monopoly was dismantled. By the early 21st century, India, Madagascar, Tanzania, Brazil, Bangladesh, Comoros, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka were all major producers of cloves, although Indonesia remains the world's largest producer. While cloves are typically harvested during the dry months of June-August in Indonesia, they are now available throughout the year for oil production due to the different harvest seasons in the different regions where they are cultivated. Demand for Clove Essential Oil has been on the rise in recent years and remains high due to its popularity in foods, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and natural body care products.
Cloves are a powerhouse of traditional beneficial applications! In traditional Indian and Chinese medicines, they are used as warming and stimulating agents and for anti-microbial applications, while in Western herbalism they have been used to treat viruses, bacteria, and infections. Clove oil has long been used as a topical analgesic in dental care, as well as a means of managing muscle aches and pains. It is further reputed to help manage digestive upset, to help support a healthy respiratory system, and to have a beneficial impact on healing bruises, cuts, and abrasions.
The longstanding use of cloves in traditional medicine has prompted a scientific investigation into its molecular properties. Recently, Clove Bud Essential Oil and its chief chemical constituents have demonstrated antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities in laboratory studies using in vitro human skin disease models. The oil has also demonstrated insecticidal properties and aphrodisiac value in animal models. Clove Bud Essential Oil contains a rich composition of phytochemicals, including sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, and phenolic compounds, but its three main constituents are eugenol, eugenyl acetate, and beta-caryophyllene.
EUGENOL is known to:
BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE is known to:
EUGENYL ACETATE is known to:
Of its major constituents, eugenol is the dominant compound in Clove Bud oil, typically accounting for 70-95% of its composition. Used in aromatherapy, the sweet and spicy scent of Clove Bud Essential Oil is known to be stimulating and energizing, to boost focus and enhance concentration, as well as to help maintain clear airways. Used cosmetically, it is known to be cleansing and moisturizing, to help manage acne, and to help skin maintain a radiant, energetic look.
Clove Trees thrive in humid sub-tropical or tropical climates with an average rainfall in the range of 150-250 cm. Ideal elevation for clove tree cultivation ranges from sea level up to 900 meters. With full sun exposure and rich loamy soil as a substrate, they can reach a height of 25-40 feet. The trees first blossom in the summertime between 6 and 10 years after planting but they do not produce their highest quality oil until between 15 and 20 years after planting, when they reach maturity.
At the beginning of the rainy season, long buds appear. Harvesting takes place during the dry season when the clove buds have turned from green to pink and have reached a length of at least 2 cm. Harvesting is a long and delicate process that generally lasts between 4 and 6 months. Following harvest, they are dried in the sun before processing.
Oil extraction may be achieved through the use of food-grade chemical solvents or supercritical CO2 extraction, but the most common method is by steam distillation. Buds are comminuted prior to distillation to break the oil cells and increase the surface area of the material for ease of oil release. Distillation lasts between 8 and 24 hours. The resulting essential oil is a colorless to pale yellow liquid that smells characteristically like the bud in its raw form.
Continuing its long traditional use, Clove Essential Oil still finds its way into many herbal remedies, dental care regimes, and hygiene products, as well as commercial formulations for soothing muscle rubs and balms. Following the popularity of cloves as a spice, food-grade clove oil is widely used as a flavoring agent in many beverages and culinary specialties, particularly desserts.
In perfumery Clove Bud Essential Oil is a middle note that is often used in Oriental fragrances. It can be combined with vanilla to produce a carnation note, which is valuable in commercial perfumery where the use of Carnation Absolute is heavily restricted due to its chemical composition. Clove Bud oil used sparingly, as its pungent aroma can easily overpower a blend, but in the right concentration, it can lift rosy and carnation-based fragrances with a spicy warmth for a rich, full-bodied scent. Clove Bud blends very well with Rose Absolute, Geranium, and Ylang-Ylang essential oils to make a warm and romantic floral heart accord. It also works well in an accord with Frangipani and Rose or with Clary Sage and Jasmine.
In aromatherapy, Clove Bud Essential Oil is known to blend well with other spicy and herbaceous oils including Cinnamon Bark, Nutmeg, Ginger, Citronella, Peppermint, and Rosemary, as well as some fresh citrus oils, such as Lemon, Grapefruit, and Orange. While the possibilities are many, aromatherapy blends do not have to be complicated. Simply adding a couple of drops of Clove Bud Essential Oil to a tissue and inhaling is a quick and easy way to boost focus and concentration. Adding 4 drops of Myrtle Essential Oil to two drops of Clove Bud in an inhalation will help open airways to better manage congestion when dealing with coughs and colds.
For a refreshing diffusion, add 8 drops of Grapefruit Essential Oil and 4 drops each of Clove Bud, Bergamot, and Ginger essential oils to an aroma lamp filled with pure water. You can also make a spicy air freshener by combining 15 drops of Clove Bud Essential Oil with 35 drops of Caraway Essential Oil, 20 drops each of Anise, Ginger, and Cinnamon essential oils, and 120 ml of purified water. For another simple air freshener that can double as a linen spray, blend a few drops of Clove Bud Essential Oil with Sweet Orange and water.
For a detoxifying massage to help regain a feeling of vigor after illness, blend together 23 drops each of Clove Bud, Bitter Almond, and Grapefruit essential oils with 20 drops each of White Camphor, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Patchouli, and Vetiver essential oils. Finish the blend with 25 drops of Juniper Berry and a further 25 drops of Eucalyptus essential oils. Add 8-12 drops of the blend to a tablespoon of walnut carrier oil and massage into muscles. For best results, do 5 massages spaced 7 days apart. Allow three months to pass before repeating.
You can make a detoxifying bath blend with 30 drops each of Clove Bud, Patchouli, and Rosemary essential oils, 33 drops each of Cedarwood, Dalmatian Sage, and Spruce essential oils, and 5 cups of unprocessed apple cider vinegar. Apply a carrier oil all over the body before soaking for 40 minutes in the bath. For best results, take ten baths spaced two weeks apart.
Clove Bud Essential Oil makes a great addition to purifying and rejuvenating skin formulations. A drop of oil can be added to single-use portions of lotions or creams to help the skin maintain a fresh and invigorated look.
|CLOVE BUD VARIETY & BOTANICAL NAME||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||SCENT DESCRIPTION||REPUTED BENEFITS OF OIL|
|Clove Bud Essential Oil
Syzygium aromaticum L.
|Clove Bud Essential Oil
Syzygium aromaticum L.
|Clove Bud Organic Essential Oil
Syzygium aromaticum L.
If the piquant personality of Clove Bud Essential Oil has stimulated your interest in spicy oils, check out our articles on Nutmeg and Turmeric. New Directions Aromatics carries a wide selection of pure botanical Essential Oils spanning a range of aromatic categories. Take some time to browse our product pages to spice up your knowledge and build your aromatherapeutic repertoire!
Due to the highly concentrated nature of Clove Bud Essential Oil, it must be diluted with a carrier oil prior to topical use. It is recommended to seek the guidance of a medical practitioner before using this oil if pregnant, nursing, or on medication. Use of this oil should be avoided for those who have recently undergone major surgery, for those with peptic ulcers, and for those with a bleeding disorder. A physician should also be consulted before using this oil for those who are at a heightened risk of heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, or severe allergic reaction, or for those who have a pre-existing health condition of any kind.
Potential adverse reactions from the use of this essential oil include headaches or nausea from inhalation, and skin irritation or allergic reaction from topical use. To avoid such reactions, it is recommended to perform a skin patch test prior to using this oil topically and not to exceed recommended concentrations for aromatherapeutic use.
To perform a skin test, mix 1 drop of Clove Essential Oil with 4 drops of carrier oil and apply a dime-sized amount of the blend to a small area of skin that is not known to be sensitive. In the event of an adverse reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a medical healthcare professional for appropriate remedial action.