Cloves are the calyx and the unopened petals of the flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum – a tree in the family Myrtaceae. The tree is an evergreen and these aromatic flower buds are available throughout the year. They were native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia originally, but they are an indispensable part of many different cuisines today.
Cloves-they spiced up history:
Archaeologists have found evidence that this aromatic spice was used in Syria even before 1721 BC. In the 3rd century AD, a leader of the Han dynasty insisted his subjects chew on Cloves before they opened their mouths in his vicinity.
So profitable was the clove trade, that wars over the monopoly of clove production and distribution were fought in the 13th and 14th centuries!
Not sugar, but spice and all that’s nice:
The nutrients found in cloves include protein and dietary fiber. Cloves are also rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are also a source of vitamins C, D. E, K, B6, B12 and contain riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, and folate.
That something so small can be so packed so much goodness demonstrates the power of Mother Nature.
Grandma’s remedy for a toothache:
This is probably the most commonly known fact about cloves today.This is the reason that so many toothpaste advertisements revolve around this theme.
This little flower bud is great for oral health in two ways-:
First, it contains constituents like kaempferol and oleanolic acid which fight oral infections.
Second, it acts as a good analgesic or pain reliever. In fact,clove oil is the prime constituent of a many toothaches relieving products.
Cloves are used in cooking for their wonderful aroma. In addition,they are immensely good for digestion as they stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes. They also reduce flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia, and nausea.
Cloves are antimicrobials. They can help fight against serious diseases like Cholera which, in epidemic form, claim thousands of lives. Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera which often attacks the small intestine resulting in debilitating and life-threatening diarrhea. The eugenol in cloves combats and eliminates the parasites and bacteria which trigger diarrhea.
Boosting the immune system: is an extension of the anti-microbial quality of cloves as this spice keeps infections at bay. The principle of prevention being better than cure is relevant for conserving health and boosting immunity.
Cloves for a healthy liver: The liver is the second largest organ in the human body (the largest being skin). It processes everything that we eat and drink while filtering our blood to purify it. All this is inhibited if the liver is fatty. Studies have shown that the eugenol in cloves is beneficial for a fatty liver. Eugenol also arrests cirrhosis of the liver which might otherwise progress to fibrosis (cancer).
Cloves can fight against cancer: Cells are destroyed by the human system as a matter of course to maintain regular function and activity. This is called apoptosis. A hallmark of cancer is anti-apoptosis or the ability of cancer cells to avoid apoptosis or programmed cell deaths. Studies prove that the aqueous infusion of cloves has the ability to arrest the proliferation of cancer cells by causing cells with faulty DNA to die.
Use one or two cloves a day to keep diabetes at bay as compounds found in cloves help to increase insulin efficiency.
Clove compounds are good for heart health:
Cloves work in regulating triglycerides (or fats in the blood), LDL cholesterol and total serum cholesterol.They are also good anti- coagulants and help prevent blood clots.
Cloves are good for preserving good bone quality: as they are rich in manganese and vitamin K. Just 2 teaspoons of ground cloves covers 60% of your daily allowance of manganese.
Get rid of that headache by adding 2 drops of clove oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and some sea salt and gently massaging this on your forehead. This is way healthier than popping a pill.
The wonderful aroma of cloves makes them a popular spice in cooking, no doubt. But cloves are used in so many other ways because of their aroma.
In Victorian England, the gift of a fragrant pomander made of orange and cloves was considered to convey the warmth of feeling.
Clove cigarettes are popular, especially in Indonesia where they are called kretek. However, cigarette smoking remains injurious to health: cloves just enhance flavor, they do not in any way detract from the harmful effects of smoking.
Soaps with clove oil are not just fragrant; they have a soothing effect and are anti- bacterial too.
Not all living creatures like the aroma of cloves. They are actually used in ant repellants.
There is just one note of caution that must be sounded here. Clove oil is extremely strong and is best used diluted with something like coconut oil. It is also advisable to avoid consumption of clove oil; use the ground spice instead.
We have all heard the talk about “going organic”. Organic farming is a nonchemical way of cultivation which uses natural fertilizers and pest control methods.
As a result, organic clove or food for that matter does not contain chemical residues or preservatives: it is thus fresher, safer and healthier.
Remember that we can enhance the bounty that Mother Nature has blessed us with many times over by going organic.
Organic cloves can be used with great versatility. They are living proof that goodness comes in small packages. Even while opting for make sure they are of the best quality or from a trusted name in organic Products.