Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) is an evergreen tropical tree, which belongs to the Myrtaceae family. The dried (ground) unopened flower buds of the clove tree are the most known part of it and are used as a spice. They are commonly cultivated in Madagascar, India, Zanzibar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan. The tree grows up to 12 meters tall. Since ancient times aromatic cloves were used in medicine, culinary, manufacturing and as mouth freshener. Today ground cloves or just dried are used in African, Asian, Near and Middle East cuisines for adding flavour to marinades, vegetables, fruit and other dishes. The spice is also used to cook very aromatic and healthy tea. It can be found in any supermarket or store.
There are certain benefits of cloves in medicine. The main component of clove is eugenol that provides very important biological activities: antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, antinociceptive. Eugenol, phenolic compound and essential oils make the clove extremely valuable and effective in treating:
- stomach upset;
- intestinal gas;
- throat and mouth inflammation;
Cloves benefits are endless, but remember that using it large medicinal or even food amount may cause some side effects. Before using clove oil by mouth, consult a doctor and be very careful when applying it directly to the skin, it may damage gums, tooth pulp, mucous membranes and skin. Pregnant and breast-feeding women are not recommended to use cloves in medicinal doses.