Herbal medicinal products have been documented as a significant source for discovering new pharmaceutical molecules that have been used to treat serious diseases. Many plant species have been reported to have pharmacological activities attributable to their phytoconstituents such are glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, tannins, alkaloids, terpenes, etc. Syzygium aromaticum (clove) is a traditional spice that has been used for food preservation and possesses various pharmacological activities. S. aromaticum is rich in many phytochemicals as follows: sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, hydrocarbon, and phenolic compounds. Eugenyl acetate, eugenol, and β-caryophyllene are the most significant phytochemicals in clove oil. Pharmacologically, S. aromaticum has been examined toward various pathogenic parasites and microorganisms, including pathogenic bacteria, Plasmodium, Babesia, Theileria parasites, Herpes simplex, and hepatitis C viruses. Several reports documented the analgesic, antioxidant, anticancer, antiseptic, anti-depressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial activity of eugenol against several pathogenic bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis and S. aureus. Moreover, eugenol was found to protect against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity and showed a potential lethal efficacy against the multiplication of various parasites including Giardia lamblia, Fasciola gigantica, Haemonchus contortus, and Schistosoma mansoni. This review examines the phytochemical composition and biological activities of clove extracts along with clove essential oil and the main active compound, eugenol, and implicates new findings from gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis.
Keywords: Syzygium aromaticum; bioactive chemical constituents; clove; essential oil; pharmacological activities.