Cloves (Syzygium Aromaticum) – Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects
What Are Cloves?
Cloves are one of the spices indigenous to Asian countries like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and even areas of East Africa. It is native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. They are a popular flavoring agent used in a variety of ways across the world, particularly in Asia. Cloves form the culinary base in a number of different Asian cuisines. Today, clove is a very important commercial crop all around the world.
Cloves (Grambu) are a very common type of spices that are extensively used for cooking and other purposes. It is also prominently used in Cigarettes to add flavour. It is used to make oil, as an antiseptic and even for other medicinal purposes. Its flavour is due to the presence of a compound called Eugenol which has a very strong aroma. Apart from the seasoning benefits, Cloves are also well known for their health benefits and have been traditionally used as a component in preparing remedies for many diseases.
It improves digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. They are also good for reducing flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia, and nausea. They can be roasted, powdered, and taken with honey for relief in digestive disorders.
Cough And Breath
These are very common problems that we all face and can be very well treated by the consumption of cloves on a daily basis. You can do this by including them in your dishes and also as refreshments at any time of the day.
The extracts of cloves were potent enough to kill those pathogens. Clove extracts are also effective against the specific bacteria that spread cholera.
Treats And Removes Acne
Clove oil has been found very potent for acne removal. It is often blended with face packs or massage creams for application on the skin. It gives a tingling sensation when applied to the skin. The reason behind the sensation is the potent nature of clove oil.
The essential oil obtained from the clove plant flower has great purifying properties. It helps to eliminate the inflammation caused due to painful pimples. It also helps get rid of the bacteria that increase the chance of skin breakouts.
Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are ideal for protecting the organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver. Metabolism, in the long run, increases free radical production and lipid profile, while decreasing the antioxidants in the liver. The extracts are helpful in counteracting those effects with its hepatoprotective properties.
It must not be used directly; instead they must be diluted either in olive oil or in distilled water. These oil is generally considered to be safe. There are two major components present in clove extract oil, eugenol, and B-caryophyllene. These compounds were particularly effective against fibroblasts and endothelial cells.
In Indonesia, cloves are consumed on a large scale in the form of cigarettes, popularly known as kreteks. These clove cigarettes have emerged as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, but research shows that clove cigarettes are actually worse than conventional cigarettes. In the case of clove cigarettes, the amount of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar entering into the lungs was higher than that from normal tobacco cigarettes.
How To Select Cloves?
They are available in whole and powdered forms. The powdered form gets weaker quickly than that of the whole form. It is recommended to choose whole cloves and grind them as needed. A sweet fragrance is released by good quality clove buds when they are pressed in between the index finger and thumb. One more reason to buy whole clove buds is that the powdered form can sometimes be adulterated with some other powders. The buds should be compact with sepals and stem.
Another way to find out if the clove is of good quality is by putting it in water. It is a good quality clove, if it manages to stand upright, and if it sinks or tilts horizontally, then it is not to be considered a good quality clove. The best ones can be bended even if they are dried. It is always best to pick those cloves, which are grown organically.
How To Store Cloves?
An airtight glass or plastic container is the best to store cloves, whether in the whole or powder form. The whole buds should be kept in a cool, dark and dry place. They should be hand milled, whenever required. In case of powder cloves, they should be placed inside the refrigerator. The powdered clove should be utilized as soon as possible as the flavor of the powdered form is lost quickly than that of the whole buds.