Cloves refer to the dried flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum plant. Cloves are known to possess a number of medicinally important phytochemicals and these explain the traditional use of cloves in medicine for treating a number of conditions. Cloves have been evidenced to provide anticonvulsant, hypothermic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as protection from neurodegeneration. Dehydrodieugenol (bis-eugenol) is a phytochemical present in cloves that has been researched for its antidepressant effects in animal models. For example, in one study researchers administered dehydrodieugenol to mice and exposed them to experimental stress. The dehydrodieugenol caused significant reductions in the depressive-like behaviour of the mice. The authors observed evidence to suggest that the monoamine neuronal pathways were likely the mechanism by which the dehydrodieugenol was having its effects in the mice. Therefore dehydrodieugenol may be the active antidepressant phytochemical in cloves.
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