Description: Natural Order, Myrtaceae. The clove is an evergreen tree of from twelve to twenty-five feet; native, and largely cultivated, in the East Indies. Flowers in corymbs; calyx at first green, becoming dull purplish-red. The general growth of the flower is similar to our single pink, the petals being four and globose in the bud. The unexpanded flower-bud is the medicinal part, and is presented in commerce as a dark-red, cylindrical body, about six to eight lines long, with four short and thick teeth at the summit, inclosing the small globular bud.
Properties and Uses: The buds are very aromatic, spicy and warming; and are among the really pleasant spices. Their properties depend mostly upon a volatile oil, which constitutes nearly twenty percent of their weight. It is pale at first, becomes reddish-brown, and sinks in water. But water extracts a very large portion of the property of these buds; and their infusion may be used advantageously. They are stimulant; and possess an irritant quality that unfits them for use where even some diffusible stimuli would be indicated. On this account, they are now seldom used; yet are employed as adjuvants to bitter and cathartic preparations. Added to diaphoretic preparations, they are likely to lead to ultimate dryness and pungent heat upon the skin; on which account I have discarded them from all of my sweating mixtures.
The oil is a favorite article to use in carious teeth. Its essence may be used in strong cathartic compounds. Dose, of the powder, two to five grains; of the oil, one to three drops. Dr. Thomson used them in his Composition; and they are often added to asclepias and polemonium.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com