Cloves Health Benefits And Healing Properties
Cloves are an extremely powerful super-food and have some of the richest anti-oxidants of all spices.
They have been used throughout the centuries as both a spice and medicinal herb.
Cloves are native to Indonesia, but are also produced most commonly in Zanzibar, Eastern Africa, as well as India, The West Indies, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Pemba and Brazil.
Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree.
These buds are picked by hand when they start to turn pink and are dried until they turn brown in color.
The size of a clove is about 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch in diameter at the top of the bud – they have a tapered stem that resembles tiny nails.
Cloves have a hard exterior, but their flesh features an oily compound that is essential to their nutritional benefits and spicy, sweet and pungent flavor.
You can purchase cloves at most grocery stores in powdered or whole form but organic whole cloves are considered superior – as clove powder loses its flavor more quickly.
Whole cloves can be crushed or bruised with a mortal & pestle to release its prized oils right before use.
Cloves should be kept in a tightly sealed bag or glass container in a cool, dark and dry place.
Ground cloves will keep for about six months, while whole cloves will stay fresh for about one to two years if stored properly.
General uses of Cloves
• Cough and cold
• Labor pain
• Muscle spasms
• Flatulence (gas)
• High cholesterol
Healing Properties and Benefits of Cloves
The abundant health benefits and healing properties of cloves have been well known for thousands of years.
Cloves are highly regarded for their analgesic, antiseptic and germicidal properties that help fight infections and relieve pain for many conditions.
These properties are due to the significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which has made it the popular subject of numerous health studies and research.
Eugenol, the primary component of clove’s volatile oils, functions as a powerful anti-inflammatory substance.
Cloves have 36 active ingredients and they contain several flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which additionally contribute to clove’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
They are an excellent source of manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and vitamin C. They also contain significant amounts of phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Cloves are considered by many health practitioners to boost memory and increase blood circulation which is beneficial for the heart, liver and stomach.
They can effectively treat many digestive problems like stomach ulcers, flatulence and dyspepsia because they stimulate your body’s enzymes and enhance digestion.
In Aromatherapy and massage, clove oil can treat the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. The aromatic clove oil, when inhaled, can help relieve many respiratory conditions including coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis.
Studies have also shown that cloves may also be effective in treating lung and skin cancer.
Ayurvedic Properties of Cloves
In Ayurveda Cloves are used as an expectorant, carminative, analgesic, stimulant, and aphrodisiac to treat coughs & colds, indigestion, cramps or gas, pain & inflammation, and sexual dysfunction.
Cloves are commonly used in Ayurveda as a stimulant and aromatic for the lungs and stomach.
They dispel chills and disinfect the lymphatics.
Cloves can also be chewed to disinfect and clean the teeth and mouth. Applying a cotton ball with some clove oil to the gums and teeth can reduce pain and swelling.
Tastes – Cloves are pungent in taste.
Energetics – Cloves are heating in nature. They have an energizing effect increasing Pitta but reducing Vata and Kapha.