What Benefits You Will Get From Cloves
Cloves, the immature flower buds of the clove tree, have served as a remedy in their native Southeast Asia for thousands of years. However, despite their acknowledged value in relieving complaints from joint pain to toothache, cloves are underrated in the West, where they are known primarily as a culinary spice. Where I add some pieces of cloves for every type of my dish, such as: Chicken Curry, Lamb Curry, Pilau Biryani or chicken Biryani.
Plant Facts: A woody evergreen, the clove tree is a member of the myrtle family and can grow to 66 feet in height. If the unopened buds are not picked and dried for the spice we know as cloves, the flowers bloom red with yellow centers. Dried cloves have a fairly spicy, deeply pungent taste and aroma.
Origin The clove tree is native to the Molucca Island of Indonesia, once considered part of the famed Spice Islands. Cloves are also grown in the African countries of Mozambique, Tanzania and Madagascar.
Part used The flower buds and their stems are used for both medicinal and culinary purposes; they are also the source of clove oil. Because the fresh buds are so fragile, they are harvested and cleaned by hand, and then dried in the sun.
Components Cloves contain up to 22 percent volatile oil, which is comprised of sesquiterpenes, eugenic acid and crategolic acid, all beneficial in the treatment of topical pain. These properties also make cloves a useful digestive aid, as well as an antispasmodic and an antibacterial agent. In addition, cloves contain sterols and lipids. All of the above constituents influence the pungency of cloves when used in cooking and baking.
Indications Primarily because of their volatile oil, cloves are quite effective in treating sore throats, gum disease and tooth abscesses; a longstanding remedy for toothache, in fact, is to chew on a whole clove. Cloves also are known to promote healthy digestion. Used topically, clove oil (diluted with water) makes an ideal antiseptic skin wash for minor cuts. The oil can also ease nerve pain and arthritic joint pain and stiffness.
For Toothaches, joint pain and healthy digestion
Oil blend For the relief of an acute toothache, mix 2 drops of clove oil (available in pharmacies) with 2 drops of vegetable oil, and apply it directly to the tooth. The oil, a pain reliever and disinfectant, soothes inflamed gums.
Oil-gel blend To ease pain and increase the mobility of inflamed joints, add 2-3 drops of clove oil to 1/2 cup of aloe-vera gel or olive oil; then massage the joint with it.
Oil-tea blend For digestive complaints add 5 drops of clove oil to 1 cup of peppermint or ginger tea. To make the tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of the peppermint leaves or the gingerroots. Steep for 10 min. and strain. Drink 1 cup with your meals.
Tincture For a sore-throat gargle or mouth rinse, add 2 tbsp. of crushed whole cloves to 1 cup of brandy, and allow it to steep for 4-6 weeks. Strain out the cloves. Add 5-10 drops of the tincture to 1/2 cup of water and gargle with it.
Although clove powder is readily available, it's preferable to use the higher-quality, longer-lasting whole cloves or clove oil for any medicinal treatments.
More by this Author
With a wide variety of both fresh and frozen fish at your local supermarket, it's easy to eat it regularly. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating 2 to 3 serving of fish a week to help lower...