Magic, Spells & Potions



Cloves (from clavus, a nail), also found in the kitchen spice box, and owning certain medicinal resources of a cordial sort, which are quickly available, belong to the Myrtle family of plants, and are the unexpanded flower buds of an aromatic tree (Caryophyllus), cultivated at Penang and elsewhere.

Cloves contain a volatile oil which, like that of Chamomile, although cordial, lowers nervous sensibility, or irritability: also tannin, a gum resin, and woody fibre. This volatile oil consists principally of "eugenin" with a camphor, "caryophyllin."

The "eugenic acid," with a strong odour of cloves, is powerfully antiseptic and anti-putrescent. It reduces the sensibility of the skin: and therefore the oil with lanolin is a useful application for eczema.

Dr Burnett has lately taught (1895) that a too free use of Cloves will bring on albuminuria; and that when this disease has supervened from other causes, the dilute tincture of Cloves, third decimal strength, will frequently do much to lessen the quantity of albumen [396] excreted by the kidneys. From five to ten drops of this tincture should be given with water three times a day.

Used in small quantities as a spice the Clove stimulates digestion, but when taken more freely it deadens the susceptibility of the stomach, lessens the appetite, and induces constipation. An infusion of Cloves, made with half an ounce to a pint of water, and drank in doses of a small wineglassful, will relieve the nausea and coldness of flatulent indigestion. The oil put on cotton wool into the hollow of a decayed tooth is a useful means for giving ease to toothache. The dose of the oil is from one to five drops, on sugar, or in a spoonful of milk. The odour of Cloves is aromatic, and the taste pleasantly hot, but acrid. Half a tumbler of quite hot water poured over half a dozen Cloves (which are to brew for a few minutes on the hob, and then to be taken out), will often secure a good night to a restless dyspeptic patient, if taken just before getting into bed. Or if given cold before breakfast this dose will obviate constipation.

In Holland the oil of Cloves is prescribed with cinchona bark for ague. Arthur Cecil's German medico in the Play advises his patient to "rub your pelly mit a Clove."


Aromatherapy Essential Oil of Clove

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