The Importance of Cloves
Clove is a spice with a rich history and one that comes with a number of benefits. Following its origins from the Maluku islands to its use in todays society, you will see the importance of cloves and the impact it can have on your every day life.
Island of spice (and everything nice)
Getting its name from the French word for nail, ‘Clou’, clove was one of the first spices to be traded. It was local to the Maluku islands (also known as the ‘Spice Islands’). There is evidence that cloves have been found in vessels from 1721 BC. Both the Ancient Romans and Chinese have been believed to see the spice as a treasured commodity. The Chinese would in fact, chew the buds to improve their breath.
Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200
In the 16th and 17th Century, clove, alongside nutmeg, was considered one of the most precious spices. In 1605, the Dutch decided to get involved in the spice trade and ventured to the Maluku islands. They wanted a monopoly on cloves so went destroying clove trees that were outside their control. This led to trouble with the natives, as it was a tradition to plant a clove tree upon the birth of a child.
Cloves come from the dried flower bud of an evergreen tree. In the 18th Century, clove trees were being grown in a number of other countries. Zanzibar, Brazil, Madagascar and Mauritius were just a few that started to grow them. This meant that the price of cloves dropped. The spice then became available for all classes of society across the world.
Cl-‘overall’ You’ll Be Healthy
With the spice becoming more readily available, the chance to explore clove’s health benefits improved. It’s said that clove oil was one of the main uses in preventing people from getting the bubonic plague. As clove contains an elevated level of eugonol, it became popular in a lot of homeopathic natural medicines. Some of its main uses are:
- Eliminating acne
- Killing parasites
- As a natural anti-inflammatory
- Reducing gum disease
- Treating candida
To treat acne, wash your face with a mix of 3 drops of clove oil and 2 tsp. raw honey.
You Have a Clove-ly Smile
Cloves have been adopted in to the dental industry due to its natural anti-inflammatory capabilities. In 1604, the first documented use of clove oil for toothache appeared in the French ‘Practice of Physic’.
In 2006, the ‘Journal of Dentistry’ published that clove oil had the same numbing effect as benzocaine. Products such as ‘Dentogen’, therefore, offer a more natural alternative to relieving toothache. For a traditional remedy for soothing teething infants, try mixing clove oil with coconut oil. Then apply this to your child’s gums.
Clove oil is used in a lot of homemade toothpaste recipes. It has significant abilities in slowing tooth decalcification. It also means you can avoid fluoride chemicals.
Antioxi – ‘dants-ing’ on the ceiling
Clove has an enormous ORAC* value of 290,283. The importance of cloves and their antioxidant values have led to many important findings. Some benefits of antioxidants include:
- Reduced signs of aging
- Reduced cancer risk
- Protection against heart disease and stroke
- Longer life span
- Reduced risk for vision loss
Although the importance of cloves lies predominantly in the medicinal world, it also has a few other uses:
- Flavouring in food
- Active ingredient in soaps
- Ingredient in perfumes
- Clove cigarettes (research suggests these can be even worse for you than normal cigarettes)
From its indigenous Indonesian origins, to its use in a number of medicinal and homeopathic remedies, the importance of cloves is obvious. Its antioxidant levels combined with the rest of its benefits truly show its worth as an impressive spice.
*(Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)