Cloves are the dried flower buds of a tree in the Myrtaceae family. Native to Indonesia, cloves are used a spice in food all over the world. The English name comes from the Latin word clavus which means nail, because the buds vaguely resemble small irregular shaped nails. Primarily, cloves are harvested in Indonesia, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Also, it is grown in India under the name Lavang. The clove tree is an evergreen. It grows to a height ranging from 10 20 meters and has large oval leaves. The crimson flowers are in numerous groups of clusters. The flower buds are a pale color at first and gradually become green. After this point they develop into a bright red when they are ready for collecting. The cloves are harvested when they are 1.5 2 cm in length.
Cloves grew only on a few islands in the Maluku Islands until modern times. Among these Islands were Bacan, Makian, Moti, Ternate, and Tidore. Before the first century A.D., they found their way west to the Middle East and Europe. In Russian times, cloves were highly prized, along with nutmeg and pepper. In the Middle Ages, cloves were traded by Arabs in the Indian Ocean trade. Cloves have been used for thousands of years for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Growing in warm climates, cloves are cultivated in Tanzania, Sumatra, and South America. This herb contains one of the most powerful germicidal agents that can be found in the entire herbal kingdom. Simply a few drops of clove oil taken with water will stop vomiting, while clove tea is able to relieve nausea. The oil that is found in cloves is also a diffusive stimulant and disinfectant.
Cloves can be used to relieve a toothache when they are dropped directly into a cavity. Additionally, this herb is frequently recommended for bad breath. Cloves are responsible for increasing the circulation of the blood and also promoting digestion.
Clove oil has also found to have both antihistaminic and spasmolytic properties. Research on the volatile oils in cloves has found evidence of antibacterial and antifungal properties that are able to inhibit both gram positive and negative bacteria and fungi. Cloves have been used by dentists to help relieve toothache and to disinfect root canals. For this reason, cloves are often found in some toothache remedies.
The seeds and flower buds of the clove plant are responsible for providing alterative, analgesic, anodyne, antihelmintic, antibacterial, antiemetic, antifungal, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, expectorant, germicide, rubefacient, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamins A, B complex, and vitamin C. Primarily, cloves are extremely beneficial in dealing with breath odor, bronchial catarrh, poor circulation, dizziness, earache, nausea, and toothaches.
Additionally, this herb is also proven to be very helpful in treating low blood pressure, colitis, diarrhea, dysentery, epilepsy, gas, indigestion, pain, palsy, spasms, vomiting, and an inhibited sex drive. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cloves, feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.