Cloves are used as spices in many food recipes. These are known for the sweet, warm, and aromatic taste. Cloves are also used for more than just its food enhancing flavors. This particular spice is a rich source of antioxidants.
Cloves come from the evergreen clove tree, particularly the unopened pink flower buds.
Cloves originally came from north Moluccas where it is native plant until it was propagated and slowly spread to different parts of the world particularly the Mediterranean and parts of Europe.
Aside from its food enhancing flavors, cloves have been used for health benefits. Cloves are nutrient-dense spices and contain healthy components such a eugenol and phytonutrients. The benefits of cloves include:
- Protects the body against oxidative processes.
- Protects against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, macular degeneration, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Contains anti-inflammatory components.
- Works as a mild anesthetic.
- Contains anti-bacterial properties.
- Improves digestion and intestinal health.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Purifies the blood.
Cloves Medicinal Uses
Cloves and clove oil has been used in medicine for the treatment of different conditions.
- Cures flatulence, indigestion, nausea, and loose stools.
- Helps relieve symptoms of gastric irritability, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Used in the treatment of cuts, burns, wounds, fungal infection, bruises and athlete’s foot.
- Used in toothpastes, mouth wash, dental creams, as well as throat sprays.
- Relieves pain from tooth aches and sore gums.
- Helps improve overall dental health.
- Treats the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism.
- Helps relieve respiratory conditions including asthma, cough, colds, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
In order to make the most of cloves and its benefits, it can be used or incorporated in different recipes and eaten or taken in every day.
- Increases the health benefits of smoothies when added to the ingredients.
- Enhances the flavor of broths, soups, and poaching liquids.
- Can be added to sautéed spices such as onions and garlic.
- Can be incorporated to apple cider to give it an extra warm flavor.
- Add to stuffing recipes and together with raisins and walnuts.
- Gives pies and breads an extra zest.
Proper Selection and Storage of Cloves
To get the maximum benefit of the spice, proper selection of the quality kind and proper storage is important.
- Buy whole cloves rather than powdered cloves.
- When placed in a cup of water, good quality cloves float vertically while bad quality cloves sink or float horizontally.
- Select organically grown cloves to ensure that the herb has not undergone irradiation.
- Properly store in a tightly sealed glass container.
- Store the cloves in a cool, dry, and dark compartment or area.
- Ground cloves should only be kept for six months while whole cloves can be stored for up to a year.
- Shelf-life of cloves can be extended when stored in a refrigerator.