The Analgesic Effects of Cloves

The clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) is a tree that belongs to the Myrtaceae family of plants. The buds of the tree are used in cooking for their unique taste and these are often bought dried and referred to as cloves. The buds of clove trees are considered to be very high in antioxidants and this may explain some of their long-term health effects, particularly protection from Western lifestyle diseases. However, cloves also have short-term effects, and one effect that has been well documented are the analgesic effects of the buds. Eugenol is thought to be one of the components in cloves that may be responsible for this analgesic effect. In animal experiments using mice, water extracts of clove buds have been shown to provide significant analgesic effect when compared to a placebo. Because the drug naloxone was able to prevent the analgesic effects, the authors concluded that the effects likely stemmed from activation of the opioid system in the mice, as naloxone is a potent opioid antagonist. 

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Hosseini, M., Kamkar, A. M. and Rakhshandeh, H. 2011. Analgesic effect of clove essential oil in mice. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. 3(2): 186-192

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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