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Herb 101: Cloves

by Uldreich Sam Crisostomo November 06, 2017

Herb 101: Cloves

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice. This may be one of the spices that westerners were after during the great sea exploration race between Spain and Portugal. Cloves are commercially harvested primarily in Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. Like other spices, cloves are available throughout the year. They are renowned for providing their uniquely warm, sweet and aromatic taste to ginger bread and pumpkin pie, but they can also make a wonderful addition to split pea and bean soups, baked beans and chili.

The active principles in the clove are known to have antioxidant, antiseptic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient for warming and soothing, carminative and anti-flatulent properties. The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol. Cloves are useful for helping soothe an upset stomach and help aid digestion and excess wind. Cloves also have an antimicrobial action which helps rid the digestive tract of unwanted parasites and bacteria. Cloves are beneficial for easing coughs and assisting with expelling phlegm. They have been traditionally used topically to help relieve toothaches.

Just a quick trivia, the name "clove" comes from the French "clou" meaning nail.
Uldreich Sam Crisostomo
Uldreich Sam Crisostomo



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