This study reports the beneficial effect of aqueous extract of dried flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum (clove) in acute and chronic inflammation. Inflammation was induced in rats by injecting carrageenan in hind paw or implanting cotton pellet in the axilla. Administration of the extract (1 g/kg body weight) inhibited the formation of oedema induced by carrageenan and decreased granuloma in cotton pellet granuloma model. The extract, when compared with the disease control, is reported to decrease the elevated levels of succinate dehydrogenase (p<0.001), xanthine oxidase (p<0.05) and lipid peroxidation, and increase the activity of catalase (p<0.001) and glutathione peroxidase (p<0.01) in the two animal models. Potential role of xanthine oxidase in inflammation and the ability of the extract to alleviate oxidative stress and inflammation is discussed. The study advocates the use of aqueous extract, rather than the isolated bioactive principle for various reasons.