Spicy, sweet-scented clove adds a warming note to products and is stimulating and analgesic on the skin.
Cloves are the dried aromatic flower buds of a tropical evergreen tree of the Myrtle family. They are picked before the blossoms open and the buds are dried and change colour from rose to brown. They are then put through a process of steam distillation producing an essential oil that has a warm, rich, spicy and sweet aroma. To create clove powder the dried buds are ground down into a fine powder.
Cloves are used in herbal medicine, including medicine in China. They were first mentioned in Chinese medicine in about AD600. Clove is known in Europe particularly for its soothing effect on toothache. The ancient Chinese used to hold a clove in the mouth to perfume the breath when speaking to the emperor.