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Cloves

Cloves are dried flower buds from an evergreen tree.

· Spice

Have you ever thought cloves can be one of the ingredients in a cigarette? Me neither ….
In fact, it so popular that largest share of the world’s cloves goes into making the popular Indonesian cigarette called “kretek”. The cigarettes contain 40% cloves, which gives the cigarettes a sizzling sound as they are smoked.

What are cloves?

Cloves are dried flower buds from an evergreen tree. This flower blooms only twice a year. Growing and harvesting cloves is very tricky, because the cloves must be hand-picked at the perfect time.

Cloves are native to the Malukus (“spice islands”) of Indonesia. According to the clove fans, Penang cloves from Malaysia are believed the best, followed by cloves from Zanzibar and Madagascar. Cloves are grown in several other places today including Sumatra, India, Brazil, Jamaica and the West Indies.

Cloves have a distinctive aroma and flavor. Its spicy, pungent, somewhat woodsy and striking taste. Cloves mellows from cooking, but no doubt they can overpower a dish, if used in excess.

It’s very important to use cloves as fresh as possible, especially the ground form. Once ground, they start to lose their volatile oil, losing their exotic aroma. Best practice is to buy them whole and grind as needed.

Health Benefits

1. Cloves eliminates toothache
Clove contains which possesses natural painkilling and antiseptic properties. They both help in reducing inflammation in the mouth. Clove oil is anti-inflammatory and antifungal as well. According to the study, eugenol is much more effective compared to other painkillers when it comes to oral surgeries and tooth extraction.
For toothache place 1-2 cloves in mouth, next to the tooth-causing pain. Let the cloves soften and grind them. This will releases the clove oils into your mouth. Then, with the help of tongue spread it over the affected area to ease the swelling and pain. Feel free to chew and eat the cloves. Don’t worry if you experience a slight burning sensation in your mouth. That’s common. It will lessen in few minutes. If not, You can rinse your mouth with a warm salt solution and spit the pieces out.

In the ancient imperial court of China, during the Han Dynasty, no one was allowed to speak to the emperor without a clove in his or her mouth. And that traditional use has continued to this day in Asia, where cloves are often used as an after-meal breath freshener.

2. Cloves can be used in treating Stye
Stye is a small pimple which appears at the root of eyelids' hair. It is caused by bacterial infection of the gland at the base of an eyelash.
Apply a paste of water and cloves on it for 2-3 times a day for quick relief.

3. Cloves can help cure sinus infections
Eugenol from clove makes it a very powerful expectorant agent which helps clear up the congestion, mucus and spreads warmth. It has antiseptic and antifungal properties that sooths irritated sinuses.
i. Boil 2 cups of water with 5-6 cloves drink it couple of times a day or inhaling its steam.
ii. Consume fresh expectorant with 3 cloves, 5 black pepper and 1 tsp honey everyday for 3-5 days.

Cloves helps in digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. Cloves are also good for reducing gas, digestive issues and nausea.

Around the world

The French stud onions with cloves to add aroma to stocks and stews. The French add cloves to a home-brewed orange liqueur made with coffee beans and vodka.

Germans are fond of adding cloves to pot roast and other long-cooking meat and game dishes.
The British put cloves in Christmas pudding and apple tart. Clove is a key ingredient in mulled wine, and an element of many other alcoholic beverages.


German use cloves to spike popular fire-tongue punch (Feuerzangenbowle), which is made with wine, hot rum, citrus juices, and sugar. Similar versions are also made in Italy and Spain. Clove is also used in some sweet vermouths.


Clove has been used for thousands of years in India and China not only as a spice and condiment but also as a medicine for many ailments.


Clove is found in many of India’s spice blends, including the basic blend garam masala.
Ayurvedic medicine used cloves for tooth decay, halitosis, and bad breath.


In Chinese medicine, clove was considered to possess aphrodisiac properties. In China, clove is a key ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder.


Clove is one of the four spices in French quatre épices. And it’s a key ingredient in the Moroccan spice blend ras-el-hanout and the Ethiopian baharat.

Home Remedies

  • Toothache: 1-2 drops of oil placed on a cotton ball. Rub over the affected tooth for relief.
  • To remove bad breath: chew cloves.
  • Colds or sneezing: Boil 6-7 clove buds with 2 Tbsp aniseed in 2 cups liter of water and cook down to ½ cup. Drink with sugar.
  • Cough: Prepare a decoction by boiling 5-6 cloves in 30 ml of water. Take this decoction with honey thrice a day as an expectorant.
  • Cough: mix 1 tsp honey with a pinch of clove powder. Take this mixture 2-3x daily.
  • Cough: Chew a clove with salt.
  • Cough or sore throat: Roast clove and chew.
  • Hoarse voice: 1 pinch clove, 1 pinch cardamom, ½ tsp. licorice root powder, 1 tsp honey--mix well and slowly lick this mixture.
  • Asthma: Soak 2 cloves, 1 tsp(tulsi) Indian holy basil and10 black peppercorns in boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, add two tsp honey and drink with milk.
  • Spasmodic cough e.g. in bronchitis and asthma: mix a few drops each of clove oil and garlic oil in honey and eat at bedtime.
  • Acid indigestion: Chew a clove.
  • Indigestion: add 1t of powdered clove to 1 cup boiling water. Drink 3 times each day.
  • Stomachache: Take a drop of clove oil with sugar.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Mix clove powder in honey and lick.
  • Morning sickness: Boil a clove bud boiled in half a cup of water and sip.
  • Diarrhea: Take ½ cup yoghurt and mix in 1 pinch clove, 1 pinch saffron and 1pinch nutmeg. Eat twice daily.
  • Headache: Prepare a paste of clove with salt. Mix in milk and drink.
  • Headache: Apply paste of clove over forehead and temples.
  • Joint pain, muscle cramps: Apply a few drops of clove oil mixed with mustard oil.
  • Earache: mix a few drops of clove oil in sesame oil. Warm the mixture and put 2-3 drops in the ear.
  • Acne: apply a paste of clove powder in honey over the affected area.
  • Acne and acne scars: Mix a few drops of clove oil in jojoba oil or coconut oil and apply over acne or scars.
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