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. It is one of the most valuable spices that have been used for centuries as a food preservative and for many medicinal purposes.
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.
Health Benefits and Uses of Clove
Clove has multiple medicinal virtues which are useful in counteracting spasmodic disorders and in 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, applied 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.
The use of a clove in toothache decreases pain, and the antiseptic properties of a clove help to 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.
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.
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