Thursday, April 24, 2014
Scientific name: Syzygium aromaticum
Cloves are strong, pungent and rather sweet brown spice that are unopened pink flower buds of an evergreen tree in the family Myrtaceae. It looks like a nail and thus the name which comes from the Latin word clavus, meaning nail.
The clove tree is native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia and it grows up to 8–12 m tall. The pink buds
which are picked up when they reach 1.5-2 cm in length are dried until they turn brown in color.
Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and in the Middle East.
Parts used: flower buds
Nutritional Information and Properties of Cloves:
Cloves are widely recognized all over the world for their medicinal qualities.
Clove contains significant amounts of an active component called eugenol which gives this spice a strong
flavor and aroma. This is an anti-inflammatory substance that is known to protect the body from pollutants as
well as prevent cancers like colon cancer and it also heals joint inflammation. It is also known to have
antioxidant, anti-septic, mild anaesthetic, anti-bacterial, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative
and anti-flatulent properties.
This spice also contains flavonoids, kaempferol and rhamnetin which contribute to clove's anti-inflammatory
and antioxidant properties. IT also has other essential oils like beta-caryophyllene, crategolic acid,
tannins, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller); vanillin, triterpenoids (oleanolic acid,
stigmasterol and campesterol).
This spice is commonly use in dental care essentials -toothpastes, mouth wash and oral care medications
contain clove oil as an important ingredient.
Cloves also contains a good amount of Vitamin A and beta-carotene, vitamin-K, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C and riboflavin. as well as minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium, calcium and magnesium.
Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Cloves:
1. Infections, wound, cuts, scabies, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, insect bites and stings.
3. Nausea and vomiting/morning sickness - cloves mixed with sugar and water. You may add tamarind too.
4. Sinusitis, colds - use lukewarm water, drops of clove oil and honey.
5. Indigestion, loose stools, flatulence
6. Ringworm or tinia -eugenol contained in cloves is a very effective anti-fungal.
Increased risk of bleeding, a burning sensation and lowered levels of blood sugar.