Clove Oil

Authored by: A. Onur Girisgin

Green Pesticides Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498759380
eBook ISBN: 9781315153131
Adobe ISBN:


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The family Myrtaceae comprises at least 132 genera and 5671 species distributed in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, with centers of diversity in Australia, Southeast Asia, and South America, but with only poor representation in Africa. Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merrill & Perry (with synonyms of Eugenia caryophyllus Bullock and S.G. Harrison, Caryophyllus aromaticus L., Eugenia aromatica [L.] [Baill.], and Eugenia caryophyllata [Thunb.] [Spreng.]), commonly known as clove, is a medium-sized tree from the Myrtaceae family. Its essential oil is isolated from dried flower buds, which are the source of its strongly smelling oil, popularly known as clove oil. The oil extracted from the stem and leaf is used in preparing high-grade eugenol and vanillin. The essential oil is widely used and well known for its medicinal properties. Traditional uses of clove oil include use in dental care as an antiseptic and analgesic. Previous studies have reported antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antiallergic, antimutagenic, antioxidant, and insecticidal properties. The chief constituent of clove oil is 70%–90% eugenol (C10H14O2) (Figure 10.1), followed by β-caryophyllene and, in lesser amounts, α-humulene, caryophyllene oxide, and eugenyl acetate, although in different concentrations (Pandey and Chadha, 1993; reviewed by Razafimamonjison et al., 2013).

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