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CLOVES: AN AROMATIC SPICE OR A MEDICINE?

CLOVES: AN AROMATIC SPICE OR A MEDICINE?

02 Nov
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Posted By: Oxana Times Read: 1015

Family: Myrtaceae

Latin name: Syzygium aromaticum

The pungent and savory aroma of cloves makes any dish more appetizing and attractive. In fact, cloves are not only an important ingredient of many east Asian dishes but also a cure for a number of health disorders. Despite their small size, cloves have a rich chemical composition and a great health-giving power.

Botanical Description

Cloves are fragrant dried flower buds that come from an evergreen tree Syzygium aromaticum. The plant originates from the Maluku islands, Indonesia. Nowadays it grows mainly in Asian and east African regions. The tree is usually about 8-11 m tall. The leaves are large; the flowers change their color from pale green to red. They are produced in clusters. People harvest cloves when they reach the length of about 1.5-2 cm. They typically consist of an oblong calyx, 4 unopened petals and 4 sepals

Key Components

  • Vitamins A, В (В1, В2, В3 or РР, В4, В6, В9), C, E, K
  • Minerals (manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, iron)
  • Eugenol
  • Tannins
  • Protein
  • Fiber

Useful Properties

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anthelmintic
  • Analgesic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Carminative
  • Immune-boosting

Health Benefits of Cloves

  • Protect against cancer. Cloves slow down the development of cancer cells due to their beneficial component - eugenol.
  • Fight such gastrointestinal diseases as colitis, intestinal colic, flatulence, diarrhea, rectal disease.
  • Improve liver and bone health.
  • Strengthen immune system.
  • Enhance metabolism and blood circulation.
  • Improve digestion. Cloves help to increase appetite and are very useful for people who suffer from subacid gastritis. But they are not recommended for patients suffering from hyperacid gastritis and stomach ulcers.
  • Normalize blood sugar level.
  • Treat oral disorders (toothache, gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque, halitosis).
  • Fight pathogenic microorganisms. The spice is widely used in medicine to combat Staphylococcus aureus, diphtheria bacillus, bacillus anthracis and even tubercule bacillus. Moreover, cloves are recommended for the prevention of influenza.
  • Have an anthelmintic effect. Some scientific studies have shown that cloves are an effective remedy for ascariasis. In fact, they are widely utilized in Chinese medicine to fight parasites.
  • The spice has a calming effect. No wonder, people often make sedatives from the cloves extract.
  • Relieve spasms and inflammation.
  • Promote skin health and fight acne.

Precautions

  • Infants and small children should not consume cloves as this spice might cause seizures.
  • Large amounts of cloves are not recommended for pregnant and nursing women.
  • Cloves should be avoided by people suffering from bleeding disorders as it contains eugenol which has the ability to slow blood clotting.
  • Cloves shouldn’t be used by people with hyperacid gastritis.

How to Use Cloves

  • To maintain cardiovascular health, you can prepare and use mulled wine. But it is better to cook it according to a special recipe. To extract the maximum benefits from cloves, it should be infused for several weeks.

Take half a liter of red wine (it is important to take real wine). Add 5 buds of cloves and some cinnamon (optional). Close the bottle and put it in a dark place for 3 weeks. Take 1 tsp of this tincture with tea 1 or 3 times a day.

  • If you suffer from toothache or bad breath, just chew several buds of cloves.
  • If you want to stimulate digestion, chew 1-2 buds for 15 minutes before a meal.
  • To get rid of furuncles and boils, apply 1 drop of concentrated clove essential oil to the affected area. It’s also useful to take baths with clove oil.

There are many simple and unusual dishes and drinks with cloves. This fragrant spice is one of the most important and popular components of winter drinks: warming tea and coffee. It’s also often added to desserts, especially in combination with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Indian Spicy Coffee Recipe

What you need:

  • 1 glass of milk
  • 1 glass of  water
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 2 grated cardamom seeds
  • 1tsp of finely chopped ginger root
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp of coffee.

Add all the spices, ginger and mint leaves to the boiling water. Then bring this mixture to a boil (not completely, until the bubbles appear) and add coffee. Then boil it again and add milk. Reduce the heat and bring the mixture to a boil once again. Add some sugar according to your taste and let stand for about 5 minutes. Your warming and healthy drink is ready!

 

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