Clove is one of the most precious spices that has been used for centuries as a food preservative and for its medicinal purposes. Cloves are the air dried aromatic buds of the flower from the tree Syzygium aromaticum which belongs to the plant family named Myrtaceae.
While the clove tree is native from the Maluku islands in east Indonesia, cloves are now commercially produced in many parts of the world including Madagascar, Brazil and Sri Lanka.
Historical evidence supports the trading of cloves as early as 1700 BCE. Cloves were said to be a highly prized commodity traded by ancient Romans and Chinese. In early 1600s Dutch set their monopoly in the clove industry when they colonized its native Maluku island. They made it their habit to burn down the clove trees wherever they could not establish their control over it which angered the natives who used to grow a clove tree at the birth of a child connecting that child’s destiny to the newly grown clove tree. The monopoly of Dutch in clove trade ended when clove was grown in other countries including Zanzibar, Madagascar, Brazil, Mauritius, Ternate, Tidore, Indian and Sri Lanka.
The Production of Cloves
Cloves are harvested from the estates and then the buds are manually separated from the stems. Then the separated cloves are sun dried, winnowed and graded before packaging.
Clove is a spice enriched with many nutrients and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The vitamins found in them include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
The bioactive substances found in cloves is the cause of many health benefits associated with cloves.
Cloves improve digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. Cloves are also good for reducing flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia, and nausea. They can be roasted, powdered, or taken with honey for relief in digestive disorders.
Enriched with antibacterial properties
Cloves are identified to act against a number of human pathogens especially the pathogen that spread cholera.
Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which help in protecting the organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver.
Cures oral diseases
Clove bud extracts significantly control the growth of oral pathogens, which are responsible for various oral diseases. Cloves can also be used for toothaches due to their pain-killing properties.
The smell of crushed cloves is said to alleviate headaches. You can also put 2 drops of clove oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil plus sea salt and gently massage your forehead and temples with it.