The unexpanded flowers (dried flower-buds) of Eugenia aromatica (Linné), O Kuntze. (Jambosa Caryophyllus (Sprengel) Niedenzu). (Nat. Ord. Myrtaceae.) Cloves Island, Moluccas, and cultivated in Africa, East and West Indies, and Brazil. Dose, 5 to 10 grains.
Common Names: Clove, Cloves.
Principal Constituents.—A pungent acrid and aromatic volatile oil (Oleum Caryophylli), composed principally of eugenol (C10H12O2); eugenin, and caryophyllin, which is isomeric with camphor.
Preparations.—1. Oleum Caryophylli, Oil of Clove. Dose, 1 to 5 drops.
2. Specific Medicine Cloves. Dose, 1 to 10 drops.
Action.—Irritant to the skin and mucosa, causing redness and burning followed by partial anaesthesia. It is typical of the class of volatile oils, most of which act similarly. It excites the salivary secretions and stimulates digestion by impressing the nerves of smell and taste, dilating the gastric vessels, provoking the flow of gastric juice, and inducing increased peristalsis of both stomach and intestines, thus causing eructations of gas and flatus. The latter is no doubt aided by its decided antiseptic qualities. Like all aromatic oils large doses may provoke gastro-enteritis. Oil of clove modifies the griping effects of many medicines. Eugenol acts similarly to oil of clove.
Therapy.—External. Oil of Clove obtunds dental pain and sometimes earache. Used pure or in ointments or liniments it relieves local pain, as in neuralgia, and in chronic eczema it allays itching, and is sometimes added to embrocations to give them an agreeable odor. Diluted with alcohol, it may be used to kill pediculi.
Internal. Oil of clove is carminative and stomachic. It often relieves nausea and vomiting, gastric pain, and flatulent distention of stomach or bowels. When cardiac palpitation and pain depend upon gastric distention, oil of clove frequently relieves it.
Eugenol. Derived from oil of clove and other sources may be given in doses of 1 to 3 minims.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.