The clove tree is a middle-sized, evergreen tree that grows up to a height of 10 to 12 meters. Clove is the dried unopened flower bud having many medicinal virtues.
Cloves consist of carbohydrates, moisture, protein, volatile oil, non-volatile ether extract (fat), and crude fiber besides mineral matter, ash insoluble in hydrochloric acid, calcium, phosphorous, iron, potassium, sodium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins C and A.
Botanical Name- Syzgium aromaticum
Indian Name- Laung
Below are some of the medicinal properties of cloves:
- They are beneficial in the treatment of cholera. About 4 grams of cloves are boiled in 3 liters of water until half the water has evaporated. This water, taken in draughts, will check severe symptoms of the disease.
- Chewing a clove with a crystal of common salt eases expectoration, relieves the irritation in the throat and stops cough in the pharyngitis – that is, inflammation of the pharynx. Chewing a burnt clove is also an effective medicine for cough caused by congested throat and pharyngitis.
- They promote enzymatic flow and boost digestive functioning. They are used in various forms of gastric irritability and dyspepsia. Licking the powder of fried cloves mixed with honey is effective in controlling vomiting. The anesthetic action of clove numbs the gullet and stomach and stops vomiting.
Three to five drops of clove oil mixed with honey and a clove of garlic helps alleviate the painful spasmodic coughs in tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis. It should be taken once before going to bed.
- They are effective remedy for asthma. A teaspoon of decoction prepared by boiling 6 cloves in 30 ml of water can be taken with honey thrice daily as an expectorant.
- The use of cloves in toothache decreases pain. They also help to decrease infection due to their antiseptic properties. Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, also relieves toothache.
- A clove sauted in a teaspoon of sesame oil and 3 to 5 drops of this (warm) oil put into the ear can cure earache.
- Cloves are one of the best remedies for styes which are an inflammation around the eyelash. A clove stub rubbed in water and then applied over the stye gives relief.
- Muscular cramps are often relieved when the oil of clove is applied as a poultice near the affected portion.
- A paste of clove and salt crystals in milk is a common home remedy for headaches. Salt, as a hygroscopic agent, absorbs fluid and decreases tension.
Cloves are used as a table spice and mixed with chillies, cinnamon, turmeric and other spices in the preparation of curry powder. Its oil is used in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps, bath salts and as a flavoring agent in medicine and dentistry. Cloves are also used to flavor the betel quid.