Cloves, as we know them, derive from the evergreen plant called Eugenia caryophyllata belonging to the Myrtaceae family, more commonly called clove tree. The spice is obtained by drying the pink flower buds, which turn brown after drying. The plant from which the cloves derive is native to Indonesia and has been cultivated in plantations for over 2000 years.
Cloves make up a large part of Zanzibar's commercial exports, although it is now grown in almost all tropical areas of the world.
In addition to being known for its healing properties, they were widely used in India and China to combat bad breath. Even the emperor used it for this purpose, chewing them regularly. In ancient times, the Persian people trusted in the aphrodisiac qualities of this spice.
Cloves are not to be confused with the carnation pepper which is actually allspice.
The main element contained in cloves is a propenylphenol called eugenol. This substance represents eighty percent of the essential oil and is responsible for the particular aroma of the spice. The same substance is the one that gives the spice its antiseptic and anesthetic properties.
Thanks to the discreet presence of beta caryophyllene, cloves are also a natural anti-inflammatory.
Cloves have local anesthetic and analgesic properties. In less recent times, in case of toothache, a clove to be crushed was applied to the affected area, to relieve the pain. A natural remedy for toothache.
Even today, cloves enter the composition of many oral disinfectants, it is included in the recipes of many toothpastes and antibacterial products for the mouth, it is a valuable aid for the hygiene of the oral cavity in general.
Thanks to their high content of flavonoids, cloves are also known for their high anti-inflammatory effect.
In aromatherapy, cloves are widely used to relieve conditions such as: arthritis, rheumatism, colds, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis.
Cloves still have antiseptic and antispasmodic properties.
The digestive system also benefits from the use of this spice, which favors the passage of food in the intestine, without causing an accumulation of harmful toxins for the whole organism.
In case of acute toothache, we can relieve the pain by putting a drop of clove oil directly on the painful part. To relieve rheumatic pain, we can massage the affected area with olive oil to which we have added a few drops of clove oil.
To alleviate the effects of inflammation of the oral cavity, we can rinse or gargle with a solution of water and clove essence.
Help against loss of appetite or digestive disorders can be provided by administering clove tincture.
Finally, the spice is also used to combat mycosis of the skin and mucous membranes.