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Health benefits and uses of cloves

Sep 13, 2010

Cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree, an evergreen tree that grows in tropical climates. While cloves are mostly used for culinary purposes today, the health benefits of cloves have been known for centuries.The Indian name for cloves is Laung or Lavang, pronounced as long or love-ung.


Cloves have powerful medicinal properties. They are stimulating and have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. They are also a natural anaesthetic (due to the eugenol oil) which is why they were often used for dental procedures in centuries past and are still used in some cultures to remedy toothache.  


It is the oil that is derived from the cloves that is so powerful, and this is often used for medicines both topically and internally. This oil contains compound that helps with blood circulation and can stimulate the skin when applied directly to it.


Cloves are a great spice to heal ailments of the digestive system. They are well known for relieving flatulence and can actually help promote good digestion as well as metabolism. They may also help relieve vomiting and diarrhoea as well as a host of other digestive disorders.


Cloves have been well known as an all around healing herb and it’s not just digestive problems that cloves are reputed to help with. In fact, they are used in tropical Asia to treat conditions such as scabies, cholera, malaria and tuberculosis. As an antispasmodic it can be applied topically to relieve muscle spasms or in a tea to ease coughing.


It can also treat skin problems like sties and sores when applied as an ointment. It is said a paste of milk, salt crystals, and cloves can be a great headache remedy.


Cloves are believed to have other health benefits that aren’t necessarily connected with an immediate illness. For instance, they can make a great mosquito repellent, as well as a moth repellent. Clove studded oranges are often used to repel many kinds of insects in tropical climates.


Clove can be used to promote the flow of saliva and gastric juices. If you have stomach pain or gas in the stomach then the use of cloves can help to relieve the stomach pain.


You can prepare a cup of clove tea by taking a cup of boiling water and adding a teaspoon of clove powder to it. Then let the water and clove steep for a few minutes before you drink it. Clove tea has been known to relieve nausea and vomiting.


The clove herb keeps food fresh because the main active component of cloves is eugenol, which has long been known to help kill bacteria and viruses"


In the kitchen cloves make a powerful contribution to both sweet and savoury dishes. Generally whole cloves are removed from the dish before serving. To avoid discoloration of the dish, clear clove oil may be substituted for powdered cloves.


As a testimony to the power of the scent of cloves, the clove-studded pomander is a perennial favourite as a room or closet freshener and moth repellent.


Clove oil can be applied with a q-tip, a drop will do, remember it is very potent; you may even want to consider diluting it for this purpose. A whole clove can be crushed slightly and placed on the gum where the toothache is located, or place a small amount of ground cloves into a piece of coffee filter, wrap, wet and place between gum and lip.


Using any of these applications will alleviate the pain, the higher the potency, the quicker the relief. Using clove oil will not only alleviate the pain it will also draw out any infection from an abscess so you won't need antibiotics before seeing the dentist.


Making Clove Pomander
To make a clove pomander randomly insert whole cloves into an orange penetrating the skin and into the fruit.  Tie a string, ribbon or bow around it and hang.  A clove pomander is an effective respiratory aid, air freshener and fly deterrent for approximately 6 months.




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