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Incense Ingredient

Clove

Japanese: Choji

Chinese: Ding xiang, Ting hsiang, Ding heung

Clove
Photo by David Oller
Clove Tree
Clove Tree in Kalimantan
Photo by Kyozaburo Nakata

Syzygium aromaticum (L.)

Clove is an important ingredient in Japanese incense. Cloves are extremely stimulating and refreshing.

Clove is the common name for the tropical tree, Syzygium aromaticum, of the family Myrtaceae. The clove tree is native to North Moluccas (Indonesia) It was replanted to several other islands by the Dutch and later introduced to Zanzibar and Madagascar.

The clove tree is a evergreen with small white flower which grow in clusters. The flower buds are gathered and dried. Clove is used in the famous Worcestershire sauce and extensively as a spice in cooking.

Cloves are said to have antiseptic properties and are used as a preservative in pickles among other things. Ancient Chinese civilization chewed Cloves to sweeten their breath before talking to the emperor. Cloves and "Oil of Clove" have also been used as a mild anesthetic for toothaches. It could be one of Mother Nature's premium antiseptics!

© David Oller