Carnation. Carnation flowers. Carnation oil.
Specification & Spread
Carnation fruits (buds) — flores (alabastra) caryophylli
Carnation oil – oleum caryophylli
Clove tree — caryophyllus aromaticus l. ( = syzygium aromaticum (l.) Merr. Et perry; = eugenia caryophyllata thunb.)
Myrtle family — myrtaceae.
It is an evergreen tree 10-12 m tall with a pyramidal top.
The leaves are opposite, elliptical, entire, dark green, leathery and shiny, with translucent light spots (essential oil containers).
Inflorescences - apical tirsy.
The flowers have a bright red cylindrical cerebellar (hypanthium), 4 small red sepals, 4 pale pink corolla petals, falling when the flower is in the form of a hemispherical cap; many stamens, lower ovary.
Spreading and habitat. The country of the clove tree is the Moluccas and other islands of Southeast Asia. It is cultivated in tropical countries: on the islands off the east coast of Africa (Zanzibar and others), on the Antilles islands (Jamaica, etc.), in Brazil. The main production (up to 80%) is concentrated in Tanzania.
The chemical composition of carnation
- 17-20% essential oil and
- about 2% tannins.
Fresh essential oil is bright, but when standing on the air and in the light gradually acquires a violet-brown colour.
- 70-85% eugenol,
- acetyl eugenol (about 3%) and
- karyofillen - a mixture of bicyclic sesquiterpenes.
Eugenol from oil is obtained by extraction with solvents or by sorption by coal.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting and drying. Harvesting begins with six year old plants. The unblown flower buds are harvested (slightly pink), known as the «carnation». The peduncles are removed, dried at a temperature not higher than 40 ºС.
External signs of raw materials
Unblown flower buds, the red colour of which turns into dark brown when dried.
The shape of the buds of the carnations resembles a nail (hence the name), its length is 1-1.5 cm.
The smell is strong, fragrant;
The taste is hot, spicy.
A benign carnation, thrown into the herb of water, is held in a vertical position with the head up, because the essential oil is heavier than water. A low essential oil of carnation floats horizontally on the surface of the water.
As a spice and medicine, carnation has been known since ancient times and enjoyed special attention in India, in the Middle East, in Egypt, and in China, it was even imported to Rome. The mummies of the ancient Egyptians were decorated with a carnation necklace; in China, etiquette prescribed a speech to the emperor, only chewing a carnation.
Properties and application
Pharmacotherapeutic group. Antiseptic and digestive stimulant (appetite stimulator).
Application of carnation
The carnation flowers, like all spices, are a means of promoting digestion, and are used in a mixture with other spices in powder or alcohol tincture. Carnation is more important for the food industry than for medicine.
Carnation flowers are included in the British herbal pharmacopoeia, the pharmacopoeia of several European countries. In European and Asian medicine it is used as a stimulant and carminative.
For therapeutic purposes, essential oil is used, which is used in dental practice as
For these purposes clean
The fruit is a «false berry», formed from the lower ovary, enclosed in hypanthium. The fruits are larger than buds, of the same dark brown color. The shape of the fruit is oval, topped with the remaining 4 sepals at the top. The fruit contains one seed, rich in starch. The fruit powder can be distinguished from bud powder by the presence of starch. The smell and spicy taste of carnation fruits are the same as those of the buds, even more pleasant. The essential oil, which is less here than in the buds, also contains eugenol.
It is contradicted with caution in gastritis, ulcers and other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.