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Health Benefits of the Spice With a Bite - Clove and Clove Oil

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Cloves - The Spicy Spice

Latin Name : Syzygium aromaticum.

Cloves are called laung or lavang in India.

Clove is a spice that is obtained from the Syzygium aromaticum tree which is native to the Malaku islands or Spice islands as they are also known, of Indonesia. It is also grown in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Zanzibar.

Cloves are nail shaped and derive their English name from the Latin word 'clavus' meaning a nail.

The clove tree is evergreen and grows to a height of about 25 to 40 feet. Cloves, in fact, are the dried, unopened flower buds which are harvested when they are bright reddish in colour. The flowers grow in terminal clusters.

Cloves were a highly traded spice in the Middle Ages and later in the 15th century when 1 kg of cloves cost 7 grams of gold. Later on, in the 17th and 18th centuries, cloves were worth as much as their weight in gold since importing them involved huge costs.

Ground cloves stay good for about 6 months when kept in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. Whole cloves stay well for about 1 year. If kept in the fridge, their shelf life can be extended.

Syzygium aromaticum (Clove) Tree

Nutrients in Cloves

Cloves contain

  • Very good amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, copper and sodium.
  • good amounts of phosphorus, potassium, Vitamins C and K, choline, calcium and magnesium.
  • small amounts of iron, zinc, copper, selenium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate and Vitamin A and E.

Nutritional Values In Cloves

 Cloves (Sygizium aromaticum), 

 

Nutritive Value per 100 gms

 

 

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

 

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

47 Kcal

2%

Carbohydrates

10.51 g

8%

Protein

3.27 g

6%

Total Fat

0.15 g

0.50%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

5.4 g

14%

Vitamins

 

 

Folates

68 mcg

17%

Niacin

1.046 mg

6.50%

Pantothenic acid

0.338 mg

7%

Pyridoxine

0.116 mg

9%

Riboflavin

0.066 mg

5%

Thiamin

0.072 mg

6%

Vitamin A

13 IU

0.50%

Vitamin C

11.7 mg

20%

Vitamin E

0.19 mg

1%

Vitamin K

14.8 mcg

12%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

94 mg

6%

Potassium

370 mg

8%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

44 mg

4%

Copper

0.231 mg

27%

Iron

1.28 mg

16%

Magnesium

60 mg

15%

Manganese

0.256 mg

11%

Phosphorus

90mg

13%

Selenium

 

 

Zinc

0.2 mcg

<0.5%

Phyto-nutrients

 

 

Beta-Carotene

8 mcg

--

Beta-Crypto-xanthin

0 mcg

--

Lutein-zeaxanthin

464 mcg

--

Freshness Check For Cloves

A fresh clove will float vertically.

A stale one will either sink or float horizontally.

Health Benefits Of Cloves

  • The main use of cloves besides cooking is in dental issues. It relieves toothaches, gum pain and mouth ulcers. It removes bad breath and reduces cavities.
  • Because of its antiseptic activity, it is used to treat cuts, wounds, fungal infections like scabies, bruises, prickly heat, athlete's foot etc. Also used on insect bites and stings.
  • Treats acne.
  • It is an aphrodisiac - thus reduces stress and mental fatigue.
  • It induces sleep in those suffering from insomnia. Also treats mental problems like anxiety depression and loss of memory.
  • It relieves respiratory distress like bronchitis, asthma, cough, colds and tuberculosis and sore throat.
    Chew a clove to ease a sore throat.
  • It treats indigestion, flatulence, hiccups, nausea and vomiting even pregnancy-related. It is much used in the latter case.
  • It purifies blood, improves blood circulation and controls blood sugar levels.
  • Cloves boost immunity levels and increase resistance to diseases.

Home Remedies Using Cloves

  • COUGH

Take equal quantities of cloves and pomegranate skin. Grind both well. Take 1/4 th tsp of this mixture with 1/2 tsp of honey 3 times a day to relieve cough.

  • HEADACHE
  1. Grind a few cloves with a little milk to make a paste. Add a little salt. Mix well and apply on the area of pain. It relieves pain. One can apply clove oil too.
  2. Grind 5 cloves. Add them to a cupful of water. Boil this till 1/2 a cup of water remains. Strain the water, add sugar and cool just enough to be able to drink. Take 2 times a day; once in the evening and then at night.
  • TOOTHACHE
  1. Grind 5 cloves. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on the ground cloves. Mix well and massage this on the painful tooth for relief.
  2. Boil 5 cloves in 250 ml water. Swish this water around in the mouth 3 times a day.
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  • DENTAL DISEASES

In cases of tooth infection, keep a clove at the affected tooth or apply clove oil to that tooth.
If you happen to bite and cut your tongue, keeping a clove in the mouth heals the tongue.

  • COUGH & PHLEGM
  1. Keeping a clove in the mouth will loosen and remove the phlegm. It controls bad breath too.
  2. Roast 2 cloves and suck for relief. This also stops the formation of phlegm.
  • VOMITING IN PREGNANCY

Grind 2 cloves; mix 1 tsp honey and lick. It stops vomiting.

  • EXCESSIVE THIRST

Drink clove water. It reduces thirst.

  • MEASLES

Rub 2 cloves in honey and consume. It cures.

  • WHOOPING COUGH

Roast 2 cloves on fire. Mix in honey and lick for relief.

  • NAUSEA

Grind 2 cloves. Add 1/2 cup of water. Heat this water and drink. It relieves.

  • VOMITING

Grind 4 cloves. Add 1 cup of water. Boil till 1/2 cup water remains. Strain, add sugar and drink. Take 4 such doses. It stops vomiting.

  • HIGH FEVER

Grind 4 cloves. Mix in water and drink. It reduces fever.

  • TYPHOID

Drink clove water.

Make Clove Water As Follows :
To 2 litres water add 5 cloves. Boil this until 1 litre of water remains. Strain & cool. Drink this water frequently. Drink only boiled and cooled water

  • FEVER

Grind 1 clove and take it with hot water 3 times a day.

  • ACIDITY
  1. If you suffer from acidity regularly, keep 1 clove in the mouth and suck on it slowly, once in the morning and once in the evening or take clove syrup. (Recipe for clove syrup given on the right)
  2. Eat 1 clove after meals in the afternoon and night.
  3. Take 15 grams amla juice, 5 cloves ground, 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp sugar. Mix all and drink. Take thrice daily for some days.