Scientific: Syzygium aromaticum [WikiPedia]
Composition: Cloves contain –
among other compounds – gallotannins, triterpenes, flavonoids, and
phenolic acids. Oil derived from Cloves contains additional compounds
including b-caryophyllene, eugenol, and eugenol acetate.
Appearance: Clove is a small
evergreen tree with smooth gray bark and large, bright green, aromatic
and lanceolate shaped leaves. The flowers grow in yellow to bright red
clusters at the end of branches. It is in the Myrtaceae family, with
relatives ranging from guava to allspice to eucalyptus. The clove of
commerce is the pink or reddish flower bud that turns dark brown when
dried. The entire tree is highly aromatic and its Latin specific name
aromaticum, refers to this intense aroma.
Parts Used: Dried flower buds
whole or powdered as a culinary spice, as part of a tea blend, or as an
essential oil. Occasionally dried leaf is used as well.
Common Uses: An extensively
utilized culinary spice since ancient times, clove rivals other
well-known spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for popularity.
Clove is used in liqueurs and mulled wine, perfumes and even love
potions. More recently, clove oil has been employed for its analgesic
effects in dentistry. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, clove is
considered a warming herb that breaks up stagnant energy by encouraging
chi (energy) flow, and is used to support the kidney, spleen, and
stomach meridians. The main component in the volatile oil is eugenol
(cinnamon also contains high levels of this constituent) thought to be
responsible for clove’s analgesic effects. In addition to their sweet,
aromatic flavor, cloves are known for their potent medicinal properties.
Cloves contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, so using whole or ground
cloves to add flavor to your food can provide some important nutrients.
As well as containing several important vitamins and minerals, cloves
are rich in antioxidants. Studies show that cloves may promote oral
health, thanks to their antimicrobial properties, which may help kill
harmful bacteria. Some studies also show that cloves and the compounds
they contain may help reduce oxidative stress and protect the liver.
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Topic Specific References:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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