Clove has been used for centuries as a remedy for pain, especially tooth aches. Whilst the biological properties of clove were known for some time now, research data on its effects on inflammation were not fully understood.
A paper by Rodrigues et al (2009) found that clove oil, both in vitro and in vivo, were effective at reducing the production of specific cytokines which are key in the inflammatory response by the immune system. The active ingredient is thought to be eugenol.
The anti-inflammatory effect was also demonstrated in healthy dogs following surgery(Nikoui et al 2017), whereby the group treated with clove oil had a statistically significant amount of decreased white blood cells as well as a lower rectal temperatures from before to after surgery. This demonstrated the anti-inflammatory ability of clove oil.
The studies may shed light on the future use of cloves or specifically eugenol, for pain relief. However, Dibazar et al (2015) argue that whilst cloves may create some cytotoxic activity, concetration (dosage) was key.
The use of clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum) is not limited to only inflammation however. One interesting study (Galal, Abdellatief 2015) proved that clove essential oil can help patients suffering from epilepsy, insomnia and anxiety.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19296372 – Rodrigues et al, 2009
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213434416300305 – Nikoui et al, 2017
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/1547691X.2014.912698 – Dibazar et al, 2015
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276344990_Neuropharmacological_studies_on_Syzygium_aromaticum_clove_essential_oil – Galal and Abdellatief, 2015