Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees (Lauraceae) Sassafras (Medicine)

Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees (Lauraceae) Sassafras

Synonyms —

Laurus albida Nutt., Sassafras officinale Nees & C. H. Eberm., S. variifolium (Salisb.) Kuntze.

Medicinal Uses (Sassafras) —

Early on, sassafras was also called ague wood, cinnamon wood, and smelling tree. Erichsen-Brown (1989) says that, as early as 1575-1577, “The Spaniards did begin to cure themselves with the water of this tree and it did in them greate effectes, that it is almost incredible, for with the naughtie meates and drinkying of the rawe waters, and slepying in the dewes, the most parts of them came to fall into continual agues.” I know of no better source of early American information on the eastern medicinal plants than Erichsen-Brown, in her excellent Medicinal and Other Uses of North American Plants (1989). According to David Winston, part Cherokee himself, Cherokee traditionally used sassafras as a carminative and eyewash, for gout, rheumatism, and skin problems (Winston, 2001). Tea, made from the oil or root bark was applied to cancer, corns, osteosarcomas, tumors, and wens. Sassafras tea was used in Appalachia as a diaphoretic and diuretic for bronchitis, gastritis, and indigestion, and to slow down the milk of nursing mothers. South Carolina blacks gave it to children to “bring out the measles.” Pith of sassafras was once official in the U.S. as a mucilaginous demulcent, used for eye inflammation. The herb is alterative, analgesic, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, depurative,
diaphoretic, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, and stimulant. Externally, sassafras has been used as a rubefacient on bruises, rheumatism, sprains, and swellings. Sassafras oil is applied externally as a pediculicide. Once used in dentistry to disinfect root canals, sassafras oil is also used to relieve stings and bites. Tucker et al. (1994) dredge up some interesting indications that sent me scurrying to Webster’s. “It healeth opilations. It comforteth the liver and stomach and doth disopilate” (not there in Webster’s, defined as Chagas Disease in my Borland’s Medical Dictionary; but the English Spelling with a double p, oppilation mere constipation). Sassafras extracts show very good activity against Ancylostoma and Strongyloides.
There is one interesting cancer “cure,” that echos some of the cancer-preventative suggestions recently emanating from Congress and the NIH… “Let him drink Sassafras Tea every Morning, live temperately, upon light and innocent Food, and abstain entirely from strong liquor. The Way to prevent this Calamity, is, to be very sparing in eating Pork, to forbear all salt, and high season’d Meats, and live chiefly upon the Garden, The Orchard, and the Hen-House” (Cancer in Virginia, 1734, as quoted by Lewis and Elvin-Lewis, 1977). After quoting the “Spring Ode” by Donald Robert Perry Marquis, “Fill me with sassafras, nurse, and juniper juice! Let me see if I’m still any use!” Tyler (1994) waxed pessimistic on sassafras, “As a result of research conducted in the early 1960s, safrole was recognized as a carcinogenic agent in rats and mice.” The major flavoring constituent in sassafras root bark, safrole, is identified as a “low grade hepatocarcinogen.” No one really knows just how harmful it is to human beings, but it has been estimated that one cup of strong sassafras tea could contain as much as 200 mg of safrole, more than four times the minimal amount believed hazardous to man if consumed on a regular basis.” Based on Bruce Ames’, Herp Index (Ames et al., 1987), I calculated that a can of old fashioned root beer with its safrole, was about Vuth as carcinogenic as a can of brew, with its ethanol. It was banned in root beer, and the FDA, in 1976, banned interstate marketing of sassafras for sassafras tea. But remember, the oral LD50 for safrole in rats is 1950 mg/kg body weight, with major symptoms including ataxia, depression, and diarrhea, death occurring in 4-5 days. The oral LD50 for caffeine is less than 10% that of safrole. Still, I fear that safrole may be more dangerous than caffeine (1985). Sassafras oil’s LD50 is about the same as safrole, 1520-2370 mg/kg orally in rat, ten times less toxic than caffeine, at least under these circumstances.
My hundred-year-old grandmother didn’t know that sassafras was carcinogenic, but she was moderate in all things, even sassafras tea, and could have founded the WCTU. I never knew her husband, my maternal grandfather, but my cousin said Grandpa Truss took two highballs before dinner and then sat down with the family around a stern family dinner. Ironically, sassafras is said to be antagonistic to the narcotic effects of alcohol.
Living for a century,
Gramma sipped her sassafras tea,
Perhaps she woudn’t've grown so old,
Had she been told ’bout old safrole,

Indications (Sassafras) —

Acne (f; APA; CRC); Ague (f; CEB; DEM); Allergy (1; FNF); Anorexia (f; DEM); Arthrosis (f; FAD; SPI); Bacteria (1; FNF); Bite (f; BOW); Bronchosis (1; APA; CRC; FAD; FNF); Bruise (f; CRC; DEM; FEL); Burn (f; DEM); Cancer (f; CRC); Cancer, bone (f; JLH);
Cataract (f; DEM); Catarrh (f; CRC; PHR); Childbirth (f; DEM; FEL); Cold (1; DEM; FAD; FNF);
Congestion (1; FNF); Conjunctivosis (f; CRC); Constipation (f; DEM; SPI); Cough (1; DEM; FNF); Cramp (1; FNF); Cystosis (f; DEM; FEL); Dermatosis (f; APA; CRC; FAD; PH2); Diarrhea (f; DEM);
Dropsy (f; CRC); Dysentery (f; CRC); Dysmenorrhea (f; CRC; FEL); Dyspepsia (f; DEM); Dysuria
(f; DEM); Enterosis (f; FAD; FEL); Fever (1; CAN; DEM; FAD; FNF); Flu (1; APA; FNF); Fungus
(1; FNF); Gallstone (f; DEM); Gangrene (f; FEL); Gastrosis (f; CRC; SPI); Gleet (f; CRC; FEL); Gonorrhea (f; CRC; FEL); Gout (f; APA; FAD; HH2); Gravel (f; SPI); Heart (f; DEM); Hepatosis (f; CRC; FAD; SPI); High Blood Pressure (f; APA; CRC; FAD); Impotence (f; DEM); Infection (1;
FNF); Infertility (f; CEB; SPI); Inflammation (1; CRC; FNF; PH2); Lice (1; BOW); Malaria (f; CEB); Mastosis (f; APA); Measles (f; APA; CRC; DEM); Mucososis (f; PH2); Mycosis (1; FNF); Nausea
(f; DEM); Nephrosis (f; CRC; FAD; FEL); Obesity (f; DEM); Ophthalmia (f; CRC; DEM; FAD;
FEL); Osteosarcoma (f; JLH); Pain (1; APA; CAN; DEM; FNF); Parotosis (f; CRC); Pneumonia (f;
CRC); Poison Ivy (f; APA; FEL); Puerperium (f; APA); Pulmonosis (f; FAD); Rash (f; DEM);
Respirosis (f; CRC; HH2); Rheumatism (1; APA; CAN; FAD; FEL; FNF; HH2; PH2); Scarlet Fever
(f; DEM); Scrofula (f; FEL); Sore (f; DEM); Sore Throat (f; DEM); Sprain (f; CRC; FEL); Stomachache (f; DEM; FAD); Stone (f; SPI); Swelling (f; CRC; DEM; FEL); Syphilis (f; APA; CRC; FEL; PHR; PH2); Tapeworm (f; DEM); Typhus (f; CEB; CRC); UTI (f; PHR; PH2); VD (f; CRC;
PH2); Virus (1; FNF); Water Retention (1; FNF); Worm (f; DEM); Wound (f; DEM). Sassafras for cold/flu:
• Analgesic: camphor; eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene; reticuline
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; camphor; eugenol; linalool; myrcene; myristicin; safrole
• Antiallergic: 1,8-cineole; citral; linalool; terpinen-4-ol
• Antibacterial: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; anethole; caryophyllene; citral; delta-cadinene; eugenol; limonene; linalool; myrcene; p-cymene; reticuline; safrole; silver; terpinen-4-ol; thujone
• Antibronchitic: 1,8-cineole
• Antiflu: alpha-pinene; limonene; p-cymene
• Antihistaminic: citral; elemicin; linalool
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; boldine; caryophyllene; eugenol; myristicin
• Antioxidant: boldine; camphene; eugenol; gamma-terpinene; myrcene; myristicin
• Antipharyngitic: 1,8-cineole
• Antipyretic: apiole; asarone; boldine; eugenol
• Antiseptic: 1,8-cineole; anethole; aromadendrene; beta-pinene; camphor; citral; eugenol; limonene; linalool; safrole; terpinen-4-ol; thujone
• Antistress: elemicin; myristicin
• Antitussive: 1,8-cineole; terpinen-4-ol
• Antiviral: alpha-pinene; limonene; linalool; p-cymene
• Bronchorelaxant: citral; linalool
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Decongestant: camphor
• Expectorant: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; anethole; beta-phellandrene; camphene; camphor; citral; limonene; linalool
• Immunostimulant: anethole

Sassafras for rheumatism:

• Analgesic: camphor; eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene; reticuline
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; camphor; eugenol; linalool; myrcene; myristicin; safrole
• Antiedemic: boldine; caryophyllene; eugenol
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; boldine; caryophyllene; eugenol; myristicin
• Antiprostaglandin: eugenol
• Antirheumatalgic: p-cymene
• Antispasmodic: 1,8-cineole; anethole; apiole; asarone; camphor; caryophyllene; eugenol; limonene; linalool; myrcene; myristicin; reticuline; thujone
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Counterirritant: 1,8-cineole; camphor; thujone
• Myorelaxant: 1,8-cineole; asarone

Other Uses (Sassafras) —

Colonists used sassafras sticks as henroosts to repel lice, for bedsteads to keep away bedbugs, long lasting dugouts, ox-yokes, barrels, and fence posts. Tucker et al. (1994) recall the story of some early Roanoke Virginians who, having traveled out of reach of their cache of food, lived first off a soup of sassafras and god, finally simply on sassafras soup. Following his visit to Roanoke in 1586, Sir Frances Drake took home a load of sassafras, the “wondrous root which kept the starving alive and in faire good spirit” (SPI). Once used to make “Godfrey’s Cordial,” a mixture of opium and sassafras. The oil is also used to flavor dentifrices, masticatories, mouthwashes, soaps, candies, root beers, and “sarsaparillas,” as well as tobaccos. Twigs used for cleaning the teeth (LIL). A condiment is prepared by boiling the dried root bark with sugar and water until it forms a thick paste (FAC). Roots are added to maple sap, or sweetened with sugar, and brewed into a pleasant tea. Root bark tea, mixed with milk and sugar, was once called “saloop.” I greatly enjoy a tea made from sassafras roots and sumac berries all winter long in Maryland. Strong tea can be made into jelly, especially if mucilaginous leaves are extracted as well, but that’s for summer time. Two or three leaves in a glass of water yield a mucilaginous beverage. Young leaves are used in salads, or dried and powdered to form file powder, used in Creole cooking for thickening soups, stews, chowders, and gravies. My “File Jumbo” has sumac berries, basil leaves, wild ginger, with leaves of sassafras; my “Safrole No-No” has the roots of sassafras, with the safrole-containing bark intact. South Carolina blacks make a soup from young sassafras leaves with Viola palmata and V. septemloba. Young leaf buds are also eaten. Flowers were used in teas or brewed into beers. Root beer classically contained sassafras root bark (SPI). Safrole-free extracts GRAS at 10-290 ppm; leaves GRAS at 30,000 ppm. Sassafras wood is combined with hickory wood to smoke another of my favorite sins, southern dry-cured, country hams. The bark extract dyes wool orange ( 1985, FAC, LIL).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Sassafras) —

I suppose there are studies on how to cultivate sassafras, but where I come from the birds are much better at planting the seed of this perennial tree than I am, dropping the seeds, well fertilized, below their fence row perches. Once, on a cold winter day, I hastily uprooted a tree over 2 in thick at ground level, took it home, cut off several big pieces of root for my root booster tea, and then planted the remains. That little sapling came back the following year, better luck than I’ve had with the small yearlings I have replanted on occasion. We’ve not been real lucky with the related spicebush, Lindera benzoin. Hardy zone 4-8 (Bown, 2001). Tucker and DeBaggio’s (2000) say sassafras is hardy to zone 5, doing best in full sun, in moist but not constantly wet, well-drained, rich organic soils. Bown (2001) suggests neutral to acid soil, in sun or shade. They recommend starting from seed (which may take 2 years to germinate), or transplanting seedlings before they develop their taproots (TAD). I have had good luck with root suckers and stump sprouts. As with sarsaparilla, I feel a good stand could easily yield 1-2 tons/a root.

Chemistry (Sassafras) —

Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in sassafras. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database .
Anethole — See also Osmorhiza spp.
Asarone — Anticonvulsant; Antielleptic; Antipyretic; Antispasmodic; Cardiodepressant; CNS-Depressant; Emetic; Fungicide; Hypothalmic-Depressant; Mutagenic; Myorelaxant; Psychoactive; Sedative; Tranquilizer; LD50 = 275 ipr gpg; LD50 = 310 ipr mus; LD50 = 417 orl mus.
Safrole — Anesthetic; Antiaggregant IC50 = 110 |jM; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticonvulsant; Antipyretic; Antiseptic; Carcinogenic; Carminative; CNS-Depressant; CNS-Stimulant; Calcium-Antagonist IC50 = 58 | M; Controlled; Cytochrome-P-450-Inducer; Cytochrome-P-488-Inducer; DNA-Binder; Hepatocarcinogen; Hepatoregenerative; Hepatotoxic; Mutagenic; Nematicide MLC
= 1 mg/ml; Neurotoxic; Pediculicide; Psychoactive; Tremorigenic; LD50 = 1950 orl rat; LD50 = 2350 orl mus; LD50 = 3400 orl mus.
Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae) Brazilian Pepper Tree, Christmasberry Tree, Florida Holly

Medicinal (Brazilian Pepper Tree) —

Reported to be antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, stimulant, and tonic. The balsam, bark, fruits, and leaves are used in folk remedies for tumors, especially of the foot, in Brazil. Brazilians poultice the dried leaves on ulcers. The leaf and fruit, both said to possess antibiotic activity, have been used to bathe sores and wounds. The bark decoction is added to the bath water of rheumatic and sciatic patients. Macerated root juice is applied to contusions and/or ganglionic tumors (CRC).
Fruits “can wreak havoc on the human digestive system, with such after effects as vomiting, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids…extremely upset stomach…violent headaches, swollen eyelids, and shortness of breath. Birds are said to become intoxicated when they eat the ‘peppers’ and fish die in ponds bordered by the Brazilian pepper plant” (CRC). Horses may develop fatal colic upon ingesting the berries (CRC).

Indications (Brazilian Pepper Tree) —

Adenosis (f; CRC); Arthrosis (f; CRC); Atony (f; CRC); Bacteria (1; CRC; FNF); Bronchosis (1; CRC; FNF); Bruise (f; CRC); Cancer (f; FNF); Chill (f; CRC); Dermatosis (f; CRC); Diarrhea (f; CRC); Enterosis (f; CRC); Frigidity (f; CRC); Ganglion (f; CRC); Gout (f; CRC); Hemoptysis (f; CRC); Impotence (f; CRC); Infection (1; CRC; FNF; WOI); Inflammation (1; FNF); Pain (f; CRC); Rheumatism (f; CRC; WOI); Sciatica (f; CRC); Sore (f; CRC; HH2); Swelling (f; CRC); Syphilis (f; CRC; WOI); Tendinitis (f; CRC); Tumor (f; CRC); Ulcer (1; CRC; FNF); Virus (f; CRC; FNF); Wound (f; CRC; HH2).

Brazilian Pepper Tree for cancer:

• AntiHIV: myricetin; quercetin
• Antiaggregant: kaempferol; quercetin
• Anticancer: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Antiestrogenic: quercetin
• Antifibrosarcomic: quercetin
• Antihepatotoxic: quercetin
• Antiinflammatory: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Antileukemic: kaempferol; quercetin
• Antileukotriene: quercetin
• Antilipoperoxidant: quercetin
• Antimelanomic: quercetin
• Antimutagenic: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Antinitrosaminic: quercetin
• Antioxidant: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Antiperoxidant: quercetin
• Antiproliferant: quercetin
• Antitumor: kaempferol; quercetin
• Antiviral: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Apoptotic: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: kaempferol; quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: cardol; kaempferol; quercetin
• Cytotoxic: quercetin
• Hepatoprotective: quercetin
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Mast-Cell-Stabilizer: quercetin
• Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor: quercetin
• p450-Inducer: quercetin
• PTK-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Protein-Kinase-C-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Topoisomerase-II-Inhibitor: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Tyrosine-Kinase-Inhibitor: myricetin; quercetin
Brazilian Pepper Tree for infection:
• Analgesic: quercetin
• Antibacterial: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Antiinflammatory: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Antiseptic: kaempferol; myricetin
• Antiviral: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin
• Bacteristat: quercetin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: kaempferol; quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: cardol; kaempferol; quercetin
• Fungicide: quercetin
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin

Other Uses (Brazilian Pepper Tree) —

According to the Wall Street Journal, much recent material sold here at more than $125/kilo as “pink peppercorns” or “red peppercorns” is, in fact, nothing more than fruits of the Brazilian pepper plant. This tree was introduced to Florida as an ornamental, but now many Floridians regret the introduction. Said to be a good honey plant, making the plant more appealing to beekeepers than to those who are allergic to the plant. Reports on the marginal pulping potential are included in an interesting account by Morton (1977). Goats graze the foliage with impunity, but cattle may develop enteritis. Stem is source of a resin called “Balsamo de Missiones” (CRC).

Chemistry (Brazilian Pepper Tree) —

Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in Brazilian pepper tree. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Alpha-Pinene — See also Amomum compactum.
Amentoflavone — ACE-Inhibitor IC60-90 = 333 lig/ml; Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor IC25 = 10 lM; Anesthetic; Antibradykinic; Antiedemic >3/4 indomethacin; AntiHIV IC97 = 200 |lg/ml, IC50 = 119 lg/ml; Antiinflammatory >3/4 indomethacin; Antileukemic IC50 = 10 lM; Antioxidant; Antiperoxidant IC50 = 38 lM; Antiulcer; Antiviral IC50 = 10 lM; cAMP-Phosphodiesterase-Inhibitor (5-10 x papaverine); Fungicide; Phosphodiesterase-Inhibitor.
Beta-Pinene — See also Amomum compactum.
Cardol — Antifilarial; Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor IC28-98 = 10 lM; Molluscicide ED = 7-15 ppm; Toxic; Tyrosinase-Inhibitor.
Carene — Antibacterial; Antiseptic; Fungicide; Irritant; LD50 = 4800 mg/kg orl rat.
Delta-3-Carene — Antibacterial; Antiinflammatory ipr; Antiseptic; Dermatitigenic; Insectifuge; Irritant.
Terpinolene — Allelochemic; Antifeedant; Antinitrosaminic; Deodorant; Fungicide; LD50 = 4390 mg/kg orl rat.

Sesamum indicum L. (Pedaliaceae) Beni, Benneseed, Sesame

Sesamum indicum L. (Pedaliaceae) Beni, Benneseed, Sesame

Synonyms —

S. mulayanum N. C. Nair, S. orientale L.

Medicinal Uses (Sesame) —

More spice than medicine in my topic, still it has some strong medicinal folk lore and is generally viewed as a health food. Medicinally, seeds are emollient, diuretic, tonic, lactogenic, and useful in the treatment of piles. Seed decoction is used for emme-nagogue and as a poultice applied to burns and ulcers. Combined with linseed, the seed decoction is used as an aphrodisiac. Seeds and oil are demulcent and used in dysentery and urinary complaints with other medicines. Leaf infusion used as demulcent in southern U.S. Leaves contain a gummy matter and, when submerged in water, form a mucilage-like substance also used in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. The leaf infusion is also said to promote hair growth. In India, the leaves are used for bladder, eye, kidney, and skin complaints. Oil is allowed as substitute for olive oil in pharmaceuticals but is purgative in large doses. The seed oil is a folk remedy for cacoethes, abdominal tumors, and indurated tumors. The oil of the whole plant beaten with boiled egg is said to help tumors of the eye. A cataplasm of the seed is said to help indurated tumors. The leaf, used in a poultice or formentation, is said to remedy painful tumors (CFR). Rinzler (1990) notes that oil of sesame seed, like many seed oils, is a good source of tocopherol, which blocks the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in lab animals, protects the lining of the lungs from some air pollutants, and may deter oxidative deterioration of cells. She denies any human studies demonstrating such activities in humans, or that vitamin E alleviates menopausal hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or infertility, or that it improves male sexual performance (RIN). More doctors take vitamin E than prescribe it. The health food people might prefer the vegetable oils with their tocopherols, maybe even the palm oils with their tocotrienols. Dietary sesame seeds elevate the concentrations of both tocopherols and tocotrienols in adipose tissue and skin, but not in plasma or other tissues (X11694614).
Weed (2002) suggests heavy consumption of certain spices when estrogen levels are down. Seeds like caraway, celery, coriander, cumin, poppy and sesame, mustard and anise, fennel and fenugreek all contain phytoestrogens, as do their oils, says Weed. She suggests using these seeds “lavishly” when cooking or making tea with any one of them, drinking 3-4 cups a day “for best results” (Weed, 2002).
Indications (Sesame) — Alopecia (f; DAA; JFM); Amenorrhea (f; FEL; KAP; WOI); Aneuria (f; DAA); Arthrosis (1; FNF; JFM; KAB); Asthma (f; KAB); Bacteria (1; FNF); Bleeding (f; KAB);
Boil (f; BOW); Bronchosis (1; FNF; JFM); Burn (1; FNF; KAB; WOI); Cachexia (f; DAA);
Cacoethes (f; JLH); Cancer (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, abdomen (f; JLH); Cancer, breast (f; JLH);
Cancer, colon (f; JLH); Cancer, eye (f; JLH); Cancer, stomach (f; JLH); Caries (f; BOW); Catarrh
(f; FEL; JFM; KAP); Cholera (f; KAP); Cold (1; DAA; FNF; JFM); Condylomata (f; DAA); Conjunctivosis (f; JFM); Constipation (f; DAA; KAB; PH2); Cough (f; KAB; WOI); Cramp (1;
FNF); Cystosis (f; FEL; KAP); Dermatosis (1; FEL; FNF; JFM; PH2); Diabetes (f; BOW); Diarrhea (1; FEL; FNF; JFM); Dizziness (f; BOW); Dyschezia (f; PH2); Dysentery (f; FEL; KAB; SKJ); Dysmenorrhea (f; DAA; KAP; WOI); Dysuria (f; KAB; SKJ); Edema (1; FNF; JFM); Enterosis (f; JLH; KAP); Fungus (1; FNF); Gastrosis (f; JLH); Gout (f; KAB); Gray Hair (f; DAA; KAB); Headache (f; BOW); Hemorrhoid (f; DAA; KAB; SKJ; WOI); Hepatosis (1; BOW; FNF); HIV (1; FNF); High Blood Pressure (f; DAA); Immunodepression (1; FNF); Impotence (f; DAA); Induration (f; JLH); Infection (1; FNF); Inflammation (1; FNF; JFM; KAB); Laxative (f; JFM); Malaria (f; KAB); Mastosis (f; JLH); Menorrhagia (f; KAB); Migraine (f; KAB); Nephrosis (f; FEL); Neurosis (f; DAA); Neuroparalysis (f; DAA); Ophthalmia (f; FEL; JLH); Osteoporosis (f; BOW); Otorrhea
(f; DAA); Pain (1; FNF); Proctorrhagia (f; WOI); Pulmonosis (f; KAB); Respirosis (f; KAB); Rheumatosis (1; FNF; JFM; PH2); Scab (f; PH2); Scabies (f; KAB); Smallpox (f; KAB); Snakebite
(f; KAB); Sore (f; DAA; SKJ; WOI); Sore Throat (f; KAB); Splenosis (f; KAB); Strangury (f;
KAB; KAP); Swelling (f; PH2); Syphilis (f; KAB); Tinnitus (f; BOW); Tumor (1; FNF); Urethrosis
(f; FEL); Uterosis (f; DAA); Uterorrhagia (f; JFM); VD (f; KAB); Vertigo (f; DAA; KAB); Virus
(1; FNF); Wart (1; DAA; JLH; JAC7:405). Sesame for cancer:
• 5-Alpha-Reductase-Inhibitor: alpha-linolenic-acid
• AntiEBV: chlorogenic-acid
• AntiHIV: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; tannic-acid
• Antiaggregant: alpha-linolenic-acid; caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; pyridoxine; salicylates
• Anticancer: alpha-linolenic-acid; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; folic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; phenol; squalene; trans-ferulic-acid; vanillic-acid
• Anticarcinogenic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid
• Anticervicaldysplasic: folic-acid
• Antiestrogenic: ferulic-acid
• Antihepatotoxic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; protocat-echuic-acid; verbascoside
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-amyrin; alpha-linolenic-acid; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; ferulic-acid; gentisic-acid; protocatechuic-acid; salicylates; vanillic-acid; verbascoside
• Antileukemic: asarinin; sesamin; verbascoside
• Antileukotriene: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid
• Antimetaplastic: folic-acid
• Antimetastatic: alpha-linolenic-acid
• Antimutagenic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; protocatechuic-acid; saponins; sesaminol; tannic-acid
• Antineoplastic: ferulic-acid
• Antinitrosaminic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; tan-nic-acid
• Antioxidant: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; gamma-tocopherol; p-cou-maric-acid; phenol; pinoresinol; protocatechuic-acid; sesamin; sesaminol; sesamol; ses-amolin; sesamolinol; squalene; tannic-acid; trans-ferulic-acid; vanillic-acid; verbascoside
• Antiperoxidant: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; protocatechuic-acid
• Antipolyp: folic-acid
• Antiprolactin: pyridoxine
• Antiprostaglandin: caffeic-acid
• Antiradiation: pyridoxine
• Antitumor: alpha-amyrin; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; nepetin; p-cou-maric-acid; squalene; vanillic-acid; verbascoside
• Antiviral: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; gentisic-acid; phenol; protocate-chuic-acid; tannic-acid
• Chemopreventive: squalene
• Cytoprotective: caffeic-acid
• Cytotoxic: alpha-amyrin; caffeic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; tannic-acid; verbascoside
• Hepatoprotective: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; sesamin
• Immunostimulant: alpha-linolenic-acid; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; folic-acid; protocatechuic-acid; squalene; tannic-acid
• Interferonogenic: chlorogenic-acid
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; squalene; ver-bascoside
• Lymphocytogenic: alpha-linolenic-acid
• Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid
• PKC-Inhibitor: verbascoside
• Prostaglandigenic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; protocatechuic-acid
• Sunscreen: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; paba; squalene
• Tocopherol-Synergist: sesamin
Sesame for dermatosis:
• Analgesic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; gentisic-acid; phenol; pyridoxine; verbascoside
• Anesthetic: guaiacol; phenol
• Antibacterial: asarinin; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; cycloeucalenol; fer-ulic-acid; gentisic-acid; guaiacol; hexenal; o-coumaric-acid; p-coumaric-acid; paba; phenol; protocatechuic-acid; sesamin; squalene; tannic-acid; vanillic-acid; verbascoside
• Antidermatitic: biotin; guaiacol; pyridoxine
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-amyrin; alpha-linolenic-acid; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; ferulic-acid; gentisic-acid; protocatechuic-acid; salicylates; vanillic-acid; verbascoside
• Antiseptic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; guaiacol; hexanal; hexenal; oxalic-acid; phenol; tannic-acid; verbascoside
• Astringent: tannic-acid
• Fungicide: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; ferulic-acid; hexenal; o-coumaric-acid; p-cou-maric-acid; phenol; protocatechuic-acid; verbascoside
• Immunomodulator: saponins

Other Uses (Sesame) —

Sesame seed are eaten dry, toasted, sprinkled on breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, hamburger buns, fermented into tempeh, made into nut milks and seed yogurt, or used for halava and other confections. Crushed seeds, hulled or unhulled, constitute sesame paste, sesame butter, and tahini. They serve to a lesser extent in candy, confections, and in making a refreshing beverage, called “horchata.” Benne Wafers, crisp cookies sprinkled with sesame seeds, have been popular in the Low Country of South Carolina since Colonial times. Roasted seeds employed as a flavoring in oriental cuisine. In West Africa and the Southern U.S., sesame seed meal is used for thickening soups and stews. Gomashio, or sesame salt, is a seasoning made of the roasted, ground seeds, mixed with salt. Sesame sprouts are eaten in salads. The leaves are also eaten raw in salads, cooked as a green, or in beverages and soups. Sesame butter, or tahini, is rather reminiscent of peanut butter. Rinzler tells us how to make a half cup tahini: grind 2 tbsp in blender until smooth, adding 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/4 tsp salt, slowly pour in 1/4 cup tepid water. And Tucker and DeBaggio (2000) remind us that sesame oil was anciently expressed in Urartu (now Armenia) as early as 3900 b.p. (TAD). Seeds, which contain 45-55% oil and 24-29% protein, are sources of Bene, Teel, or Gingili Oil, which is edible, fixed, and semi-drying, used in cooking, shortening, margarine, as an illuminating oil, as a vehicle in pharmaceuticals, insecticides, soaps, paints, lubricants, cosmetics, and as a synergist for pyrethrum. Oil is sometimes mixed with olive oil. Press cake, containing about 20% oil, is an excellent feed for cattle and poultry. The presscake is sometimes made into confections or fermented into dageh and sigda. Cake and meal high in vitamin B, calcium, and phosphorus. In Sudan, mineral-rich filtered ashes from burnt stalks are added to stews. Sesamol has been used as an antioxidant in lard and vegetable oils (CFR). Though sesame is GRAS, some people may be anaphylactically allergic to sesame (CFR, FAC, RIN, TAD).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Sesame) —

Sesame seed require no rest period before germination. Only certified pure seeds should be used, and then they should be treated against rot (according to inorganic agriculturists) with 0.05 kg “Orthocide 75″ per 80 kg seed before planting. There are ca. 360 seed/g (10,200/oz). Sesame in the home garden seem to do best in circumneutral, well-drained garden loams, moist but not constantly wet (TAD). Bown (2001) recommends sowing in spring at 18-240C (65-750F). Minimum temps 150C (590F). Time for sowing seed varies with locality: Mexico, Marh-August; Venezuela, August-November; Arizona and Texas, when all frost is past; India, May-July; and Africa, at beginning of rains. Plant when soil temperature is about 240C, in moist, weed-free, carefully worked seedbed. Sesame has poor ability to compete with weeds. Plants are killed by frost (TAD). Rate to sow seed in the U.S. is 1-3 kg/ha; in Kenya, 8-10 kg/ha. Seed may be sown broadcast or in rows 50-75 cm apart. When planted with regular row crop planting equipment, rows should be 45-75 cm apart, seeds 2.5-5 cm deep, and 75 cm apart in the rows. Germination requires 6-10 days. Growth is slow, so adequate shallow cultivation in early stages is necessary for weed control. Erect branched types require wider row spacing than dwarf, single-stem types. Sesame responds well to irrigation but tolerates drought well; one or two waterings may be desirable during the growing season. Irrigation raises yield in arid and desert areas; however, dry periods at germination and fruit formation may be injurious. Water containing high salt concentration is undesirable and may kill plants. Seed yield is low on poor soils, therefore application of 5:10:5 NPK fertilizer at planting time, at rate of 1.5-2 kg/ha, is advised. In addition, 36-50 kg/ha of nitrogen should be applied to crop when first flowers appear. Excess nitrogen must be avoided, as it promotes rank growth, delays maturity, and causes plants to become topheavy and to fall. Harvesting occurs 90-150 days after planting. Non-shattering sesame pods don’t “Open Sesame” and are, of course, much better, especially in mechanized agriculture. Yields of ca. 1000-2300 lb/acre (1200-2600 kg/ha) are normal (CFR, TAD).

Chemistry (Sesame)

— Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in sesame. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database .
Arginine — See also Allium sativum.
Sesamin — Antibacterial; Antileukemic IC50 = 2.90 L g/ml; Antioxidant IC50 = 58 L M; Cytostatic ID50 = 10-100 Lg/ml; Desaturase-Inhibitor; Hepatoprotective 100 mg/kg; Hypocholesterolemic; Immunosuppressant IC50 = 0.33 L g/ml (cf Prednisolone 0.06 L g/ml); Insecticide-Synergist; Juv-abional; Piscicide; Tocopherol-Synergist.
Sesaminol — Antimutagenic; Antioxidant (= tocopherol).
Sesamol—Antioxidant IC50 = <58 |LM (> tocopherol), IC70 = 30 ppm; Carcinogenic; Tumorigenic; LD50 = 678 Lg/kg ivn dog.
Sesamolin — Antioxidant; Insecticide-Synergist.
Sesamolinol — Antioxidant (>tocopherol).
Tocopherol — ADI = 2 mg/kg; Analgesic 100 IU 3 x day; Antiaging; Antiaggregant; Antialzhe-imeran 2000 IU; Antianginal 1067 mg/man/day; Antiatherosclerotic; Antibronchitic; Anticancer; Anticariogenic; Anticataractic; Antichorea; Anticoronary 100-200 IU/day; Antidecubitic; Anti-dermatitic; Antidiabetic 600-1200 mg/day; Antidysmenorrheic; Antiepitheleomic; Antifibrositic; Antiglycosation; Antiherpetic; Antiinflammatory; Antiischaemic; Antileukemic 100-250 |LM; Antileukotrienic; Antilithic 600 mg/day; Antilupus; Antimastalgic; AntiMD; AntiMS; Antimyo-clonic; Antineuritic; Antinitrosaminic; Antiophthalmic; Antiosteoarthritic; Antioxidant IC50 = 30 Lg/ml, IC95 = 650 |LM; Antiparkinsonian; AntiPMS 300 IU 2 x day; Antiproliferant IC50 = 150 Lg/ml; Antiradicular; Antiretinopathic; Antisenility; Antisickling; Antispasmodic 300 mg/man/day; Antisterility; Antistroke; Antisunburn; Anti-Syndrome-X; Antithalassemic; Anti-thrombic 600 IU/day; Anti-Thromboxane-B2; Antitoxemic; Antitumor 7 |LM ckn; Antitumor (Breast) IC50 = 125 Lg/ml, 100-250 |LM; Antitumor (Colorectal) 500-10,000 |LM; Antitumor (Prostate) 100-250 |LM; Antiulcerogenic 67 mg/man/3 x/day/orl; Apoptotic 100-250 |LM; Cere-broprotective; Circulostimulant; Hepatoprotective; 5-HETE-Inhibitor; Hypocholesterolemic 100-450 IU/man/day; Hypoglycemic 600 IU/man/day; Immunostimulant 60-800 IU; Insulin-Sparing 1000 IU; Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor; ODC-Inhibitor 400 mg/kg; p21-Inducer 500-10,000 |LM; Phospholipase-A2-Inhibitor; Protein-Kinase-C-Inhibitor 10-50 |LM, IC50 = 450 |LM; Vasodilator; RDA = 2-10 mg/day; PTD = 800 mg/day.

Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. and L. M. Perry (Myrtaceae) Clavos, Clove, Clovetree

Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. and L. M. Perry (Myrtaceae) Clavos, Clove, Clovetree

Synonyms —

Caryophyllus aromaticus L., Eugenia aromatica (L.) Baill., E. caryophyllata Thunb., E. caryophyllus (Spreng.) Bullock & Harrison.

Medicinal Uses (Clove) —

Reported to be analgesic, anesthetic, antibacterial, antidotal, antioxi-dant, antiperspirant, antiseptic, carminative, deodorant, digestive, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, and vermifuge. Sold in oriental bazaars as a carminative and stimulant and to relieve the irritation of sore throat. Has been used as an expectorant in bronchitis and phthisis. As an aromatic, powdered cloves or an infusion thereof have been given for emesis, gas, and dyspepsia. In China,crushed flower buds have been used for nasal polyps, in Malaya for callous ulcers, and in California for warts. When warts were rubbed three times a day with sesame flowers collected with the dawn dew still on them, the treatment was described as 97.2% effective in a study of more than 200 cases (JAC7:405). The USDA, of all places, reported that the equivalent 500 mg clove/day in humans could increase insulin efficiency, at least in models of human NIDDM. Clove oil is locally irritant and stimulates peristalsis. A powerful antiseptic, perhaps dangerously so, it has been applied as a local anesthetic for toothache. Mixed with catnip, ground cloves and sassafras are applied as a poultice to aching teeth. Eugenol is mixed with zinc oxide and used as the temporary filling to disinfect root canals from which the pulp has been removed prior to permanent restoration.
Clove and some of its active principles are cholagogue, and eugenol and acetyl eugenol possess antiaggregant activity (DAD). Srivastava and Malhotra (1990) report eugenol’s effect on platelet aggregation and arachidonic acid metabolism to be antiaggregatory. Ultraconservatively, Rinzler (1990) lists no medicinal benefits for cloves and several nitpicking negatives, “Eugenol is closely related to safrole, a known carcinogen that causes liver cancer in laboratory models.. Because eugenol can be irritating to the intestinal tract, cloves are usually excluded from a bland diet. Contact with cloves may cause contact dermatitis (itching, burning, stinging, reddened or blistered skin)” (RIN). Clove bud oil is reported to have an oral LD50 of 2650 mg/kg body weight in rats (equaling that of the major ingredient, eugenol, which sensitizes some people, causing contact dermatitis). Unconservatively, I refer you to the USDA database to find dozens of potential positive activities of eugenol. Since your body co-evolved with eugenol, I expect that your body has homeostatic balances to deal with modest overdoses (or underdoses) of eugenol, which occurs in hundreds of culinary plants.
French enologists, Teissedre and Waterhouse (2000), studied antioxidant activities of EOs of spices and culinary herbs. They note that EOs are important as antibacterials and antifungals, as flavorants and preservatives when added to foods, and as cosmetics, for their aromatic and antiox-idant properties. In their survey of 23 EOs, star anise was most potent (IC83 = 2 | M) and Spanish red thyme (Thymus zygis) least potent. Clove EO was relatively impotent (IC22 = 2 |jM, IC38 = 5 |M) (JAF4:3801).
For inhibiting restriction endonucleases, hot water extracts of clove were 10 times more potent at a MIC of 2 | g/ml than peppermint or oregano (MIC = 20 | g/ml), which in turn were 10 times more potent than hot water extracts of bay, eucalypt, lemon balm, or nutmeg (MIC = 200 | g/ml) (Kato, 1990). And clove proved antiseptic to Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, confirming traditional uses of spices as food preservatives, disinfectants, and antiseptics (De et al., 1999). Takechi and Tanaka (1981) report the antiviral substance, eugenin, from the buds. And of eight oils studied by Zhu et al. (2001), clove was most toxic to subterranean termites, killing 100% of the termites in 2 days at 50 | g/c2. Antitermite activity and volatility of the oils were inversely associated. Listed in decreasing order of volatility, the major constituents of the eight oils were eucalyptol, citronellal, citral, citronellol, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, thujopsene, and both alpha- and beta-vetivone. Long lasting vetiver oil was the promising termiticide (Zhu et al., 2001).

Indications (Clove) —

Alzheimer’s (1; COX; FNF); Anorexia (f; PH2); Arthrosis (1; COX; FNF); Aspergillus (1; HH2); Athlete’s Foot (15% tincture in 70% alcohol) (2; CAN; FNF); Bacillus (1; X10548758); Bacteria (1; FNF; TRA); Bite (f; BOW); Bronchosis (2; FNF; PHR); Bugbite (1; APA); Bunion (1; TGP); Callus (f; CRC); Cancer (1; COX; FNF); Candida (1; FNF; HH2); Caries
(f; CRC); Childbirth (f; CRC); Chill (f; BOW); Cholera (f; CRC); Cold (2; PHR; PH2); Colic (1;
CAN; PH2); Cough (2; PHR); Cramp (1; FNF); Cytomegalovirus (1; JAC7:405); Dermatosis (1; APA); Diarrhea (1; APA; CRC; HH2); Dyspepsia (f; CRC; HH2); Enterosis (f; CRC); Escherichia (1; HH2); Fever (2; PHR); Fungus (1; CRC; FNF; HH2; TRA); Gas (1; CRC; HH2; PH2); Gastrosis (f; CRC; PH2); Gingivosis (1; APA; FNF); Halitosis (1; LMP; PH2; TGP); Headache (1; HH2; PH2); Heart (f; CRC); Hernia (f; CRC); Herpes (1; TRA; JAC7:405); Hiccup (f; CRC); Impotence (f; BOW); Infection (2; APA; FNF; PHR; TRA); Infertility (f; CRC); Inflammation (2; COX; FNF;
KOM); Maculosis (1; TGP); Mucososis (1; APA); Mycosis (1; FNF; TRA); Myosis (f; HH2); Nausea (f; CRC); Nephrosis (1; BOW); Ophthalmia (f; PH2); Pain (2; APA; CAN; FNF; PIP); Parasite (f; BOW); Pharyngosis (2; APA; KOM; PH2; PIP); Phthisis (f; CRC); Polyp (f; CRC); Retinosis (1; TGP); Rhinosis (f; CRC); Sore (f; CRC); Sore Throat (f; PIP); Spasm (f; CRC); Staphylococcus (1; HH2); Stomatosis (2; APA; FNF; KOM; PH2; PIP); Teething (1; WAM);
Toothache (2; APA; CAN; FNF; HH2; PH2; TRA); Trichomonas (1; HH2); Ulcer (f; PH2); Uterosis
(f; CRC); Vaginosis (1; APA; HH2); Virus (1; CRC; FNF; JAC7:405); Vomiting (f; BOW); Wart
(f; CRC); Water Retention (1; FNF); Worm (f; CRC); Wound (1; APA; CRC); Yeast (1; APA; HH2; TRA; X10548758).

Clove for bronchosis:

• Antibacterial: 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic-acid; alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; delta-cadinene; ellagic-acid; eugenol; hyperoside; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; methyl-eugenol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; procyanidin; quercetin; rhamnetin; terpinen-4-ol
• Antihistaminic: kaempferol; maslinic-acid; myricetin; quercetin
• Antiinflammatory: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; ellagic-acid; eugenol; hypero-side; kaempferide; kaempferol; maslinic-acid; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antioxidant: ellagic-acid; eugenol; hyperoside; isoeugenol; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; methyl-eugenol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; pedunculagin; quercetin; rhamnetin
• Antipharyngitic: quercetin
• Antipyretic: eugenol
• Antiseptic: procyanidin; prodelphinidin
• Antispasmodic: caryophyllene; daucosterol; eugenol; kaempferol; quercetin
• Antitussive: terpinen-4-ol
• Antiviral: ellagic-acid; eugeniin; hyperoside; kaempferol; maslinic-acid; myricetin; ole-anolic-acid; procyanidin; quercetin; rugosin-d; tellimagrandin-i
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol; kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Candidicide: caryophyllene; eugenol; myricetin; quercetin
• Candidistat: isoeugenol
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Expectorant: astragalin
• Immunostimulant: astragalin
• Phagocytotic: oleanolic-acid

Clove for toothache:

• Analgesic: eugenol; quercetin
• Anesthetic: benzyl-alcohol; eugenol; methyl-eugenol
• Antibacterial: 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic-acid; alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; delta-cadinene; ellagic-acid; eugenol; hyperoside; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; methyl-eugenol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; procyanidin; quercetin; rhamnetin; terpinen-4-ol
• Anticariogenic: alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; delta-cadinene; ellagic-acid; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antidermatitic: hyperoside; quercetin
• Antigingivitic: ellagic-acid; kaempferol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid
• Antiinflammatory: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; ellagic-acid; eugenol; hypero-side; kaempferide; kaempferol; maslinic-acid; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antioxidant: ellagic-acid; eugenol; hyperoside; isoeugenol; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; methyl-eugenol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; pedunculagin; quercetin; rhamnetin
• Antiplaque: ellagic-acid; kaempferol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antiseptic: alpha-terpineol; benzyl-alcohol; carvone; ellagic-acid; eugenol; furfural; kaempferol; methyl-benzoate; methyl-eugenol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; terpinen-4-ol
• Astringent: ellagic-acid
• Bacteristat: isoeugenol; quercetin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol; kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Candidicide: caryophyllene; eugenol; myricetin; quercetin
• Candidistat: isoeugenol
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Fungicide: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol; furfural; methyl-eugenol; quer-cetin; terpinen-4-ol
• Fungistat: isoeugenol; methyl-eugenol
• Immunostimulant: astragalin
• Vulnerary: terpinen-4-ol

Other Uses (Clove) —

Cloves of commerce are the dried, unexpanded flower-buds, with a lower nail-shaped portion consisting of the calyx-tube enclosing the upper half of the ovary, the four calyx-teeth surrounding the unopened globular petals and stamens. It takes some 5000-7000 dried flower buds to make a pound (RIN). Cloves are used as a condiment or spice, in cordials, curries, hams, mincemeat, sausages, soups, sauces, tobaccos, masticatories, curries, pickles, preserves, desserts, cakes, and puddings. Ground cloves enter many spice mixtures, curry powders, pumpkin-pie spice, and sausage seasonings. In India, cloves may be chewed after meals. In Indonesia, cloves are used to make special cigarettes (kreteks) that crackle when burning. Cloves have been used in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, e.g., Benedictine and cola. Some sweet vermouths contain cloves. Whole or ground cloves are used in sachets, pomanders, and potpourris. Rinzler (1990) tells us how to make a scented pomander ball to aromatize our closets: stick clove nails (clavos) into a firm orange, all around and tightly packed. Roll the clove-studded orange in cinnamon powder, then wrap in tissue paper and place it on a shelf until the orange dries and shrinks. When it is completely dry, unwrap it, shake off any loose powder and hang the orange pomander in the closet. Clove oil, clove-stem oil, and clove-bud oil, obtained by steam distillation, are used in body lotions, insect repellents, mouthwashes, perfumes, soaps, toothpastes, and as an antiseptic. It is bactericidal. They contain eugenol, which is important in the manufacture of synthetic vanilla. Oil also used as a clearing agent in biomicroscopy (DAD). Fresh fruits are eaten, as are fruits of many other members of the myrtle family. Dried flowers are also consumed (DAD,FAC, RIN).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Clove) —

Bown (2001) suggests fertile, sunny, well-drained soils, zone 10, minimum temp 15-18°C (59-64°F). Cloves are propagated by seeds which germinate in 12-14 days, with up to 90% germination, but some may take as long as 4-5 weeks. After that, germination quickly diminishes. When planting seeds, pulp of the mature fruit should be washed off and then planted with radicle downward and upper half exposed above the soil. Seeds should be planted ca. 20 cm apart each way in a shaded area. Bown (2001) suggests seed sowing at 27°C (81 °F). Green cuttings in early summer, and nearly ripe cuttings in summer, are also useful. Watering and shade should be reduced when seedlings are about one year old to harden them. Plants should be outplanted in the field when 15-24 months old, spaced ca. 7 x 7 m. Interplanting with banana or cassava provides shade and some return in the years before the cloves bear. Sometimes, seeds are sown in nurseries and seedlings transplanted to a location in the shade of older clove trees when old trees are apparently about to die (DAD). From planting until bearing takes 4-7 years, with full bearing age at ca. 20 years. Tree may then bear for about 100 years. When buds turn reddish brown, they are ready for harvesting. They are picked carefully by hand, as branches are very brittle. If left unpicked,a fruit, called “mother of cloves,” develops. Flower buds are dried four to five days on cement floors or drying mats. There may be two harvests per year, July-October and December-January. An average tree yields more than 3 kg dried cloves per year, but yields of 18 kg are not uncommon. Clove stems, stalks, leaves, fruit, and buds are used for distilling oil of cloves. It takes 11,000-15,000 cloves to make 1 kg spice. Cloves yield from 14-21% of volatile oil, high in eugenol.

Chemistry (Clove) —

Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in clove. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Eugeniin — Antiherpetic; Antilipolytic; Antiviral; Topoisomerase-II-Inhibitor IC100 = 0.5 lM.
Eugenol — See also Pimenta dioica.
Eugenyl-Acetate — Antiaggregant ED = 15 lM; Antiinflammatory; Antiprostaglandin ED50 = 3 lM; Antispasmodic; Irritant; Trypsin-Enhancer; LD50 = 1670 mg/kg orl rat.
Syringic-Acid — AntioxidaUbiquict.nt IC39 = 30 ppm;

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