Cloves are the sweet smelling dried flower buds of a tree. And is arguably one of the most important spices in the world. Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia, and are used as a spice in cuisines all around the world. Cloves are famous and well known because of the numbing effect it causes on mouth tissue. Records have been found of the Chinese writing about cloves as early as 400 BC, and there are records of courtiers keeping cloves in their mouth to avoid bad breath and offending emperors while speaking. Historically Cloves were not common in many places, until modern times clove only grew on certain islands, the Maluku Islands to be exact.
Benefits of cloves
Cloves have many benefits, from a culinary point as well as a medicinal point of view. Cloves consists of high amount of proteins, iron, carbohydrates, calcium, potassium and sodium. Cloves are made in different forms and can be found as a spice- used for cooking and seasoning. Cloves can also be used as an analgesic, the oil secreted from the cloves is used to treat dental aches, most commonly toothaches. Most dental hygiene products use cloves as a main ingredient. Because of its properties, clove can also be used to treat cuts, burns, wounds, bruises, and fungal infections. It is the best herbal tea for health. Caution is suggested when using clove oil because it can cause irritation if applied directly to the skin. Cloves are used to aid in treating a variety of digestive problems and will also do wonders on the immune system, helping to fight against many diseases.
- Great for first aid
- Boosts immune system
- Good for oral hygiene
- High in minerals and vitamins
Cloves also have many uses, ranging from culinary uses to tobacco products. The spice is used in cigarettes, also called Kreteks which are smoked throughout Europe, Asia, and The United States. Cloves are also used as repellents against mosquitoes, moths, and ants; medicinally they are also used in teas for muscle pain, including fighting the pain of sclerosis; they also have been known to reduce blood sugar levels. Cloves are traditionally used in Indian, Chinese medicine, as well as western herbalism and dentistry. Clove can be found in several forms including oil, which is said to be very potent; tablets and vitamins and powder, usually used for cooking; it can also be found in paste or lotion form, and applied on cuts, bruises, swelling, or any area that has pain. It was one of Native American herbal remedies.
photo credit: Flower (cloves?) via photopin (license)