Table of Contents
|2. What is Clove?|
|3. Ayurvedic Properties of Clove|
|4. Health Benefits & Uses of Clove|
|5. Side Effects of Clove|
Clove, also known as Syzygium aromaticum, is a popular spice that is commonly used in cooking and traditional medicine. It is native to Indonesia and is now grown in several parts of the world, including India, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree and are known for their aromatic, warm, and slightly sweet flavor. In this article, we will explore the various health benefits of clove, its traditional uses in medicine, and its potential side effects. We will also discuss how to use clove in cooking and its various forms, including whole cloves, ground cloves, and clove oil. Whether you are looking to spice up your favorite dish or explore the medicinal properties of this versatile spice, this article will provide you with all the information you need to know about clove.
2. What is Clove?
Clove scientific name is Syzygium Aromaticum, some common names are laung, lavanga, and qaranfal, the name “clove” derives from the Latin word for the nail, clavus. The clove has been used in India for over 2,000 years as a spice to check tooth decay and counter halitosis, which is bad breath. In Persia and China, it was considered to have aphrodisiac properties. Clove is a spice that is derived from the dried flower buds of the clove tree, a tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia. Cloves are commonly used in cooking and baking for their strong, warm, and slightly sweet flavor. They are often used in dishes such as stews, curries, and baked goods, as well as in mulled wine and cider. Cloves are also known for their medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including toothaches, digestive problems, and respiratory issues.
Morphology of Clove
Clove is the dried unopened flower bud obtained from a handsome, middle-sized, evergreen tree. The tree has a straight trunk and grows up to a height of 10 to 12 meters. The clove’s buds, stem, and leaves yield a substantial amount of essential oil on steam distillation. The clove bud oil, derived from the dried buds by steam distillation, contains free eugenol, eugenol acetate, and caryophyllene. Steam oil contains more free eugenol than bud oil, besides a small quantity of eugenol acetate. The leaf oil contains much less eugenol than the bud oil and a very small quantity of eugenol acetate.
Chemical Composition of Clove
An analysis of clove shows it to consist of carbohydrates, moisture, protein, volatile oil, nom-volatile ether extract, and crude fiber besides minerals matter, ash is insoluble in hydrochloric acid, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C and A, its calorific value is 430.
Habitat of Clove
The clove tree is a native of the Maluku Islands, the Chinese obtained it by the 3rd century BC. Cloves were imported into Alexandria as early as 176 AD. By the fourth century AD, it was well known in the Mediterranean and by the 8th century, throughout Europe. Today, Zanzibar is the leading producer of cloves, it is also cultivated in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
3. Ayurvedic Properties of Clove
Clove, known as "Lavanga" in Ayurveda, is a highly aromatic spice with various medicinal properties.
Ayurvedic properties of clove:
1. Rasa (Taste): Clove is believed to have a pungent (Katu) and slightly sweet (Madhura) taste.
2. Virya (Potency): It is heating in nature (Ushna Virya).
3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).
4. Dosha Effects: Clove is generally considered balancing for Kapha dosha and Vata dosha, but its heating nature can increase Pitta dosha in excess.
Digestive Health: Clove can stimulate digestion, enhance appetite, and alleviate gas and bloating.
Oral Health: Clove is widely used for oral health due to its antimicrobial properties. It may help alleviate toothaches, gum issues, and bad breath.
Respiratory Health: Clove is used to manage respiratory conditions, as it may help manage cough, congestion, and sore throat.
Antioxidant: Clove is rich in antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative stress.
Anti-inflammatory: Clove contains compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, making it beneficial for managing inflammatory conditions.
Circulation: It is believed to promote healthy blood circulation and cardiovascular function.
Nervous System: The aromatic nature of clove is thought to have a calming effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation.
4. Health Benefits and Uses of Clove
Clove has multiple medicinal virtues that are useful in counteracting spasmodic disorders and relieving flatulence. They help to stimulate sluggish circulation and thereby promote digestion and metabolism. In the Indian system of medicine, cloves are used either in the form of a powder or a decoction. Clove oil contains ingredients that help stabilize blood circulation and regulate body temperature. Clove oil on the body stimulates the skin, producing heat and redness.
Here are some Health Benefits and Uses of Clove
Clove is an effective remedy for asthma, a tsp of decoction prepared by boiling 6 cloves in 30ml of water can be taken with honey thrice a day as an expectorant.
Cloves are very useful for treating cholera, about 4 grams of cloves are boiled in 3 liters of water until half the water evaporates and taken in draughts, which helps check severe symptoms of the disease.
Chewing a clove with a crystal of common salt eases expectoration, relieves throat irritation, and stops cough in the pharyngitis – that is, inflammation of the pharynx. Chewing a burnt clove is also an effective medicine for cough caused by congested throat and pharyngitis.
Three to five drops of clove oil mixed with honey and a clove of garlic help alleviate painful spasmodic cough in tuberculosis, asthma, and bronchitis. It should be taken once before going to bed.
Cloves promote enzymatic flow and boost digestive functioning; they are used in various forms of gastric irritability and dyspepsia. Licking powder of fried cloves mixed with honey an effective remedy for controlling vomiting. The anesthetic action of clove numbs the gullet and stomach and stops vomiting.
A clove sautéed in a tsp of sesame oil and 3 to 5 drops of warm oil put into the ear cure earache.
A paste of clove and salt crystal in milk is a common household remedy for headaches. Salt, as a hygroscopic agent, absorb fluid and decreases tension.
Muscular cramps are often relieved by applying the oil of the clove as a poultice near the affected portion.
Clove is one of the best remedies for styes i.e., inflammation around the eyelash. A clove stub rubbed in water and then applied over the stye gives relief.
Using a clove in toothache decreases pain, and the antiseptic properties of a clove help control tooth infection. Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, also relieves toothache.
Cloves are used as a table spice, mixed with chilis, cinnamon, and turmeric it is used in preparing curry powder. They are also used to flavor betel quid. Clove oil is used in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps, and bath salts and as a flavoring agent in medicine and dentistry.
Clove contains compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Clove contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce inflammation in the body and relieve pain associated with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Controlling Blood Sugar
Clove may help to regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and increasing glucose uptake by cells.
Promoting Skin Health
Clove oil has antimicrobial properties that may help to treat acne and other skin conditions, and it may also help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Side Effects of Clove
All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based and don’t have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues. Excessive or improper use of clove may cause the risk of bleeding, burning sensation, serious trouble in the mouth like sore gums, and irritation.
Some potential side effects of clove include:
Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to clove, which can cause symptoms like itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Gastrointestinal problems: Consuming large amounts of clove or clove oil may cause digestive problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Blood thinning: Clove may have blood-thinning properties, which can increase the risk of bleeding in people taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin.
Liver damage: Taking high doses of clove supplements or oil may cause liver damage, especially in people with liver disease.
Skin irritation: Applying undiluted clove oil to the skin may cause irritation, redness, and burning.
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