One of the first globally traded spice, Cloves, are still widely used and cultivated worldwide. Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree- Syzygium aromaticum-native to Malucca Islands (one of the Spice Islands).
Over the course of the centuries, cloves have been used for a variety of ailments, as a breath freshener and of course as a spice for cooking and baking. It has a warm, sweet and aromatic taste used for ginger bread, pumpkin pie & baked ham but they can also make a wonderful addition to split pea and bean soups, baked beans and chili. Cloves are an excellent source of manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium & dietary fiber.
One of the most stimulating & carminative of the aromatic herbs, Cloves have a long use for nausea, flatulence, indigestion (dyspepsia), anti-inflammatory and used to assist the action of other herbs. It is still used today to treat tooth infections and tooth pain and a mild anaesthetic as well as an anti-bacterial agent used in over the counter mouth washes and throat sprays.
Cloves are available whole, chopped or in powdered form and as an essential oil. The oil is commonly used directly on the gums and should be diluted with a carrier oil when applied to the skin. Not recommended taken undiluted in high doses as it can cause vomiting, seizures and liver/kidney damage or for children. Those with clotting problems or with liver or kidney disorders should avoid cloves.
The following information is for educational purposes and not for self diagnosis. Always consult with your health care professional whenever needed.