Charismatic Cloves

Clove an extremely aromatic crop is the dried flower bud from Clove tree. The name clove comes from the latin word clavus which means nail,  as the shape of dried clove resembles that of a nail. It is native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. Cloves are known for their strong taste and smell.

Clove an extremely aromatic crop is the dried flower bud from Clove tree. The name clove comes from the latin word clavus which means nail,  as the shape of dried clove resembles that of a nail. It is native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. Cloves are known for their strong taste and smell. They are popular flavouring agent used in a variety of ways across the world. During 13th and 14th centuries, cloves were transported all the way from Indonesia to China, India, South Africa and Europe. The plant is an evergreen with crimson flowers  among large leaves. It grows in tropical and subtropical conditions. It has the height of eight to twelve meters.

Clove constitutes an integeral part of Indian Ayurvedic Medicine where it is called as Devpushpa meaning heavenly flower for its exotic aroma and stupendous healing benefits. In Ayurveda, it is mentioned to be used as pain killer in dental diseases and joint pains. It is used as natural anthelminthic to expel intestinal worms. It acts as a carminative to combat flatulence. It is also used to treat upper respiratory infections and digestive ailments. It works best as a mouth freshner. Ayurveda suggests the use of clove oil as an aphrodisiac for reproduction problems in men.

Cloves are not only used as a spice and condiment but also as a medicine for many ailments. The main constituent of clove which works as a medicine is eugenol which is 70-90% of total clove constitution. Other bioactive substances in clove extract are tannins, flavonoids and thymol. These substances possess antioxidant, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties. The nutrients found in cloves include dietry fibers, proteins, minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. The vitamins include folate, vitamin A, vitamin K and niacin.

Clove has been a valuable spice for centuries. It possess numerous health benefits for human beings. Though cloves have got rough exterior but the core of this flower bud features oily compounds which are imparting it nutritional as well as flavour profile.
Oral Diseases
Cloves are very effective in the treatment of gum and tooth diseases like gingivitis, dental caries and dental pain. It works as an antiseptic and pain reliever due to the presence of oils in it. These oils are effective in establishing an environment that is resistant to harmful organisms. Eugenol in cloves  depresses the sensitivity of receptors that register discomfort. It defeats foul breath by cleansing the decaying material in the oral cavity. Its powerful fragrant qualities modify the smell with in the mouth. Gargling with clove oil (1-2 drops) in 1 cup warm water is helpful in dental and gum diseases.
Gastric Diseases
Cloves are highly effective in ensuring that gastrointestinal tract stays healthy. They are useful in eliminating stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, bloating, indigestion and constipation. Cloves enhance the release of digestive enzymes and improve appetite. They can be roasted and powdered and taken along with honey for relief in digestive complaints. 
Sore Throat
Due to anti inflammatory properties of clove oil, it can be used in nasal and throat infections as steam and gargle. It has soothing effect on nasal and throat mucosa.
Painful Joints
Cloves are excellent analgesics due to the presence of eugenol. Eugenol possesses anti inflammatory properties thus alleviates swelling and pain in joints and assists muscle relaxation.
Cloves promote insulin production and improve the function of pancreas cells that produce insulin by its antioxidant properties.
The powerful calming aroma of clove is excellent to assist relaxation. Eugenol in cloves is well known muscle relaxant and may relax the most stressed muscles. A known aphrodisiac, clove can help to awaken the senses and put the mood in happy mode.
Clove has been used for centuries to treat headaches by reducing the perception of pains by blocking pain receptors. It is used by diluting it with a carrier oil and is applied on temple for headache relief.
Skin Conditions
Clove oil is used to treat many skin rashes, eczema and fungal infections due to multitude of antiseptic properties.
As  An Antiaging 
Clove oil helps fight signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging of skin. It helps exfoliating dead skin and increases blood flow which helps revive the youthfulness of skin.
As Antioxidant
The oxidative damage caused by free radicals wreaks havoc that can interrupt cellular functions and affect human health. To combat this oxidative stress, body needs antioxidants and the spices play a good role. Cloves contain concentrated amount of antioxidants that encourage normal cellular integrity in the body and raise immune system function.
Ideal For Bone Health
Eugenol in dried cloves helps preserve bone density, prevents bone loss and protects their tensile strength.
Hair Fall
Clove oil when applied on scalp boosts blood circulation which reduces hair fall and promotes hair growth. Clove oil mixed with olive oil can work as a great hair conditioner.
Strengthens Immune System
Cloves are effective in increasing white blood cells of body thus boosting the immune system.
As cloves have been in use since ancient times and are well described in ayurvedic texts with their health benefits, therefore this herbal medicine can be used to prevent the diseases and to treat chronic ailments. It can be taken  as ground powder or in boiled water. Its oil can be steam inhaled.  There are many formulations in Ayurveda which contain clove as a main ingredient.

Dr. Sanjeev Sood
Principal, Dayanand Ayurvedic College,  Jalandhar. Mob.: 9814004142,