Medicinal Properties of Cloves


Botanical name : Caryophyllus aromaticus
Indian name : kerambu

Other names: Clou Nail (French), lavanga (లవంగ) - Telegu, Cengkih (Malaysia/Indonesia)

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The clove is an evergreen tree, 15 to 30 feet tall, native to the Spice Islands and the Philippines but also grown in India, Sumatra, Jamaica, the West Indies, Brazil, and other tropical areas. It has opposite, ovate leaves more than 5 inches long; and its flowers, when allowed to develop, are red and white, bell-shaped, and grow in terminal clusters. The familiar clove used in the kitchen is the dried flower bud. The fruit is a one- or two-seeded berry.

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Has anodyne, anti-emetic and antiseptic properties.

Toothache, oral hygiene:
Dentists use clove oil as an oral anesthetic. They also use it to disinfect root canals.

Antiseptic Uses:
Clove oil is the active ingredient in several mouthwash and a number of over-the-counter toothache pain-relief preparations.

Infection fighter:
Clove kills intestinal parasites and exhibits broad antimicrobial properties against fungi and bacteria supporting its traditional use as a treatment for diarrhea, intestinal worms, and other digestive ailments.

Digestive aid:
Like many culinary spices, clove may help relax the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract.

Clove oil will stop the pain of a toothache when dropped into a cavity. A few drops of the oil in water will stop vomiting, and clove tea will relieve nausea. Eating cloves is said to be aphrodisiac.

"In Chinese medicine cloves or ding xiang are considered acrid, warm and aromatic, entering the kidney, spleen and stomach meridians, and are notable in their ability to warm the middle, direct stomach qi downward, to treat hiccough and to fortify the kidney yang. Because the herb is so warming it is contraindicated in any persons with fire symptoms and according to classical sources should not be used for anything except cold from yang deficiency. As such it is used in formulas for impotence or clear vaginal discharge from yang deficiency, for morning sickness together with ginseng and patchouli, or for vomiting and diarrhea due to spleen and stomach coldness.This would translate to hypochlorhydria. Clove oil is used in various skin disorders like acne, pimples etc. It is also used in severe burns, skin irritations and to reduce the sensitiveness of skin."

Recipes using Cloves - Clove Cookie

  • Directions:
    3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon Lemon Extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
    2 cups all-purpose flour

    Lemon Glaze:
    1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
    2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
    1/4 teaspoon Lemon Extract

    Method :

    1. Beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add egg, lemon extract and salt. Beat until smooth. Stir in ground cloves and flour.

    2. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in wax paper to form a cylinder about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 9 inches long. Chill dough.

    3. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. Prepare Lemon Glaze.

    4. Combine confectioners sugar, water and lemon extract. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

    Makes 30 (2 cookie) servings

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