Cloves Benefits & Information

Latin Name

Syzygium aromaticum

Origin

Indonesia and India

Parts Used

Floral bud

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Cloves are anti- fungal and anti-bacterial, so they have a natural action against infection. Cloves are indicated for use in toothache. Cloves are also indicated for use with coughs and throat infections, being best used in this instance as a tea made from cloves. As an expectorant cloves have also been used successfully in Asthma, again drunk as a tea. A clove tea can also be used to settle the digestion, and is indicated for use in indigestion, flatulence, nausea and hyperacidity. Cloves are a stimulant so will increase blood circulation, increase metabolism and generally warm the person. Cloves are also used for decreasing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and other joint and muscle pain.
Because of Cloves anti-bacterial properties it can be used to treat cuts and bites in the form of a poultice.

The stimulating property of the cloves has made it famous as an aphrodisiac in the west as well as in India. The clove is believed to aid in stimulating the body as well as the mind by boosting a flagging memory. In some Asian cultures, women about to go into labor are sometimes given the cloves to prepare them for the rigors and physical demands of a child birth, it is believed that the uterine muscle contractions during labor are strengthened and stimulated by the cloves.

Typical Use

To make Clove tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water on 1 teaspoon of clove powder and let it steep for ten minutes. Add honey if desired.
To make a poultice. Mix clove powder in water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the cut and cover the cut with a warm towel. Leave on for 5 minutes.
To treat tooth ache: Mix clove powder in with a little coconut butter and rub over gum area.

Folklore and History

The clove tree is a native of the Molucca islands. The Chinese obtained this spice by the 3rd century BC. Cloves were imported into Alexandria as early as 176 AD. The clove is a pungent and aromatic floral bud, and its use as a spice reached Europe around the 4th century A.D., when commercial trading really started with the Arabs who in turn acquired these dried and fragrant buds from the cultures to the east in Asia. The spice trade which lead to great competition among European seafaring nations would also include trade in cloves, regarded as a precious spice aside from other equally prized spices such as peppers. Today Zanzibar is the leading producer of cloves.

Cloves
Constituents

Volatile oil, gallotannic acid; two crystalline principles - Caryophyllin, which is odourless and appears to be a phylosterol, Eugenin; gum, resin, fibre.