Clove grows on an evergreen tree that produces a flower bud, which consists of four long spreading sepals, and four unopened petals that form a small ball at the center. The sweet aroma of cloves is due to eugenol, the essential oil in them.  The antiseptic and anesthetic properties of the oil make it effective in dental procedures.

The spice also contains minerals like potassium – an important electrolyte body and cell fluid that helps to control blood pressure and heart rate. It also contains vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin and mucus membranes while improving vision. Cloves also contain vitamin K, which helps in blood coagulation and vitamin B6 that helps in haemoglobin production. This aromatic spice helps to improve digestion by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions, which help relieve indigestion and constipation problems.

The aphrodisiac nature of cloves makes them excellent stress relievers and can be used to relieve fatigue and mental exhaustion. Go for whole buds with stems and sepals instead of powder as it may contain other impure spicy powders. Start including cloves in rice dishes and vegetables curries and enjoy its many health and well-being benefits.

Published in June 2012