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Health Benefits of Clove

Updated on April 12, 2011

Eugenia caryophylli (also known as Syzygium aromaticum) is an evergreen tree 10-15 m high in the family Myrtaceae that grows wild in the Moluccas, Reunion Islands, West Indies, Madagascar and Indonesia.It is a herbal plant.


 The foliage is round in shape and the leaves are ovate-lanceolate, opposite, a reddish color from young that gradually become a dark green hue, when seen against the light, translucent dots have a number of rich essential oil. The panicle inflorescences are composed of many flowers each ranging from crimson to yellow.


 The flower buds are harvested and dried and are the spice called cloves (which therefore has nothing to do, despite its name, with the carnation plant, the name of this spice is derived from the shape similar to a carnation buds take once dried). A single clove is then formed by the long calyx gamosepalo, consisting of four sepals and four petals still closed that form the central part round. The main growing areas are: Zanzibar, Madagascar and Indonesia. Not to be confused with pepper cloves which is another spice: pimento.

History and tradition


Standard in all the East, were used as an ingredient of perfumes and medicinal principle already in China 2200 years ago. They arrived in the West through the caravan routes and already in the eighteenth century BC in Syria there are archaeological traces of this spice. He became a spice known but rare in Europe through the frankincense route since the Middle Ages, and Dante himself, he speaks as if they were an absolute luxury good (Inf. XXIX, 127-129) scialaquatori rooms used by the Sienese to the coals roasts for millionaires.


In 1500 it began to be imported directly from Europe, thanks to the Portuguese returned from East Timor and the Dutch, who discovered an excellent source on the island of Zanzibar and the Maldives as it was for the Cinnamon, became the main importers of a Spice of the most popular and the most expensive. The Dutch and Belgians were obtained by the essential oil that later became a very popular component of cosmetics, in the two countries that also flourished because of it.


This spice has an antioxidant (ORAC) of the most 'high in absolute terms, an index value of 314,446, about 80 times more' powerful than an apple, which typically is considered an excellent antioxidant. Cloves have a strong aroma, sweet and flowery with a hint of pepper and "hot". The taste can remember carcadè infusions. They come with the characteristic shape of a nail that has bestowed the name. We buy entire jars, and are used for infusion.


They are used in both sweet and salty in. Among some of the best known dishes of fresh fruit, especially apples, pandolce and gingerbread, cookies, creams and fillings, flavored liquors and wines, in Northern Italy is very famous mulled wine. In the accompanying salty marinated venison, roasts, soups (especially chicken or chicken) and sometimes cheese. They marry well with some fresh vegetables such as onions, shallots, carrots that are often kept pinned to the accompaniment of a few cloves. They are frequently used to flavor tea or some tea.


Out of the kitchen are spacious as already mentioned in cosmetics, and nell'oggettistica as potpourri and deodorant natural environments.


Cloves inserted in an orange are used as a natural alternative to camphor and other chemicals against the moths, for clothes in the wardrobe.


They have a strong local anesthetic so much power that were used to soothe aching teeth and still the essence is used in oral medicine in disinfectants


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