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Cloves – The Tiny Flowers that Changed the World
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Cloves – The Tiny Flowers that Changed the World

Cloves – The Tiny Flowers that Changed the World

Clove Flowers
Cloves are one of the famous spices that drove the famous “spice trade” and offered riches for colonials to fight wars over.

Cloves – The Tiny Flowers that Changed the World

One of the most widely used spices in the world and one that wars and kingdoms fought and fell over is the Clove. The dried buds of a tropical evergreen tree, cloves have an amazing flavor, smell and a utility in our diets and medicine. Here is some of the information we have compiled on cloves. Feel free to check back as the information here is updated and we learn more. 

Cloves and plant botanical drawing

About Cloves

Cloves are an aromatic flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum an evergreen tree in the Myrtaceae family which is native to Indonesia . Despite finding their way into historical usage all over the world from India to Europe, until modern times, clove trees grew only on “the Spice Islands‘ of Maluku. Being native to the Maluku Islands (the Moluccas) cloves have been highly sought after and traded since ancient times and are commonly used as a culinary spice and in medicine. The spice was highly desirable and hard to get making it expensive and highly sought after. Cloves are available throughout the year owing to different harvest seasons in different countries. They are commonly sold in a dried form that can be stored for some time. 

The name clove is derived from the French word “clou” which means nail and likely refers to the shape of the dried clove bud. Cloves are often pressed into foods or fruits like nails when the clove flavor is desired in the food. Cloves are also often associated with protection.

History

Cloves are truly an ancient spice. Evidence of cloves has been found at Terqa, Syria dating to 1720 BCE. Putting a spice that could only be produced in the Moluccas some 10,000 km (or 6,200 miles) away far before modern trade routes were established.

Learn more about the deep history of cloves, where they came from and who fought over control of the clove trade by reading the article above.

Folklore and Customs

Moluccan natives planted a clove tree for each child in the tribe and they believed that the health of the clove tree was directly related to the health of the child they had planted the tree for. When the European colonizers decided to control the trade by killing trees in certain areas the tribes began to revolt leading the eventual decline of the monopolies.

Clove is thought to be endowed with powers of protection, love, exorcism, and money.

Some people burn clove as an incense to attract money, drive away hostility and negativity, produce spiritual vibrations, and purify an area.  It is said to be able to stop people from gossiping about you.  When carried upon a person, it is believed to attract romance and bring comfort to a bereaved heart.

Cloves are thought to enhance psychic abilities, especially when burned.

Sucking on two full cloves without chewing them is rumored to help control the desire for drinking alcohol.

Clove is thought to be endowed with powers of protection, love, exorcism, and money.

Some people burn clove as an incense to attract money, drive away hostility and negativity, produce spiritual vibrations, and purify an area.  It is said to be able to stop people from gossiping about you.  When carried upon a person, it is believed to attract romance and bring comfort to a bereaved heart.

Cloves are thought to enhance psychic abilities, especially when burned.

Sucking on two full cloves without chewing them is rumored to help control the desire for drinking alcohol.

Culinary Uses

The clove bud aroma is widely used. This combined with it’s antiseptic powers makes it highly desirable in toothpaste, detergents, creams, perfumes, and mouthwashes. It is also a preservative and so the aroma is often cooked into meats, sauces and other foods as well as alcohol and soda recipes. It is popular in holiday dishes for it’s spicy yet sweet flavor. Used sparingly in a huge variety of culinary applications you might be surprised to learn that cloves are even used in ketchup.

Whole love are often used to stud hams and other animals and proteins by pushing the pointed meat into a nail. Once can also stud onions and cook the food with the onion to create a more elusive flavors. Cloves can be strong so don’t use to many in your food. They particularly improve game meats like venison, wild boar and hare. 

Many traditional spice mixtures use clove including Ras el hangout, curry powders, ponder spices and pickling spices. Cloves outline the flavor of Worcester sauce and can even be used in rices. 

Flavors that go with clove include Cumin, Cinnamon, Garlic, Black Pepper, and Nutmeg.

Try our clove spice rub to get a taste of cooking with cloves!

Make your own bread and butter pickles!

Eartha Astrya Pure Clove Bud Oil

Fragrance

The clove bud aroma is widely used. This combined with it’s antiseptic powers makes it highly desirable in toothpaste, detergents, creams, perfumes, and mouthwashes. It is also a preservative and so the aroma is often cooked into meats, sauces and other foods as well as alcohol and soda recipes. 

Make your own incense out of herbs!

This homemade potpourri is easy to make, smells amazing and adds a festive scent to holiday parties and celebrations. Perfect for any occasion!

Medicinal Benefits

Chinese physicians have used cloves to take care of indigestion, diarrhea, hernia, ringworm, athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. India’s ancient aruyvedic heather use cloves to take care of respiratory and digestive disorders. German herbalists in the middle age used cloves  to create a potent anti-gout mixture. Even American herbalists have been using it to bitter herbal medicines to make them taste better and digest easier. They also started extracting clove oil from the cloves to treat tooth ailments. A few drops can help prevent vomiting, and a mixture is used to ease nausea. 

Essential Oil of clove is effective against strep, staph and pneumocci bacterias but always ask your doctor about your use of clove and don’t use it as an excuse to avoid reputable doctors advice. 

Today herbalists use it fo so many things digestive complaints, ulcers, vomiting, flatulence, and to encourage the digestive systems. It is an influential local antiseptic and makes meek anesthetic actions. Cloves also contain antioxidants. The chemical eugenol found in cloves has been instituted to be a feeble tumor promoter making clove one of the many therapuetic herbs with both pro-effect and anti-cancer effects. 

Anti-Oxidant

Laboratory studies have shown cloves to be high in anti-oxidants.

Improving Digestion

All over the world cloves are often used to help treat indigestion. this includes helping with abdominal pain, bloating, and dyspepsia.

Antiseptic

Both Clove OIl and Eugenol have strong antiseptic properties.

Anti-Fermentation

Clove will help slow the process of food fermentation in a jar AND in your gut.

Great Source of Manganese

One Teaspoon of ground clove buds has 55% of your daily allowance of Manganese.

Used for Bone Health

Some studies have suggested that ingesting cloves will improve your bone health.

Regulate Blood Sugar

There is very strong evidence to suggest that both cloves and eugenol are good for regulating blood sugar and can be a benefit to those suffering from diabetes.

Improve Liver Health

There are some studys that suggest a diet that includes cloves will help your liver to function better.

Toxicity – Important Warning!

Oil of cloves is considered safe in very small quantities (less than 1500 parts per million) as a food additive (Bruneton 1995). However, clove oil is toxic to human cells (Prashar et al. 2006). If ingested in sufficient quantity or injected, it has been shown to cause life-threatening complications, including Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Fulminant Hepatic (Liver) Failure, and Central Nervous System Depression; the lethal oral dose is 3.752 g per kg body weight (PTCL 2005; Hartnoll et al. 1993; Brown et al. 1992; Lane et al. 1991; Kirsch et al. 1990). The internal use of the essential oil should be restricted to three drops per day for an adult as excessive use can cause severe kidney damage.

Large amounts of cloves should be avoided in pregnancy. Cloves can be irritating to the gastrointestinal tract, and should be avoided by people with gastric ulcers, colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome. In overdoses, cloves can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Severe cases can lead to changes in liver function, dyspnea, loss of consciousness, hallucination, and even death (Bensky et al. 2004).

Clove Oil has all kinds of wonderful uses. It is widely popular to use cloves to ease swelling and pain from tooth infections in the mouth.

Magical Uses of Cloves

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

Powers: Exorcism, Healing, Love, Money, Protection

Magical Uses and History: The name “clove” originates from the Old French world clou and the Latin clavus meaning “nail” for its shape, like that of a nail. For this reason, cloves are often seen as protective. 

Cloves are also historically linked to healing and protection from illness. Clove oil has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, especially dental ailments and is naturally antiseptic. However, one of its most famous uses is in the pomander ball or pomme d’ambre which translates to “apple of amber.” Pomanders were balls made from different perfumes that were worn or carried in a vase for protection against infection and bad smells.

They mostly started out as mixtures molded to look like fruit and kept in wooden, metal, or porcelain. This is evidenced in several painting os Queen Elizabeth II. Recent versions of this charm include the popular practice or using oranges covered in cloves and wrapped in ribbon. Beginning in the eighteenth century, many wealthy Europeans ran with the idea of studding oranges with cloves and giving them to loved ones as a gift for Christmas or the New Year, hence why modern pomanders are often associated with Yule and Christmas.

These charms are often hung and then allowed to cure dry and placed in drawers and closets to protect again pests, or as a charm to help the ill recover faster. While cloves were not nearly as expensive as they had been, oranges were definately expensive, making orange and clove pomanders something only the wealthy originally indulged in. Especially in feudal times only the wealthy could afford to use food as an air freshener instead of eating it. As such, modern pomanders are also associated with wealth and prosperity and is said to bring good luck to those that have them.

Pomanders have been used for centuries to scent and protect rooms and clothing. You can make your own with your family and each can be creative with their own design a little like creating jackolanterns!

Syzygium aromaticum is an evergreen tree that can grow more than eight meters high. Learn how it is cultivated!

Cloves and plant botanical drawing

Science

Eugenol comprises 72–90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves, and is the compound most responsible for clove aroma. Complete extraction occurs at 80 minutes in pressurized water at 125 °C (257 °F). Ultrasound-assisted and microwave-assisted extraction methods provide more rapid extraction rates with lower energy costs.

Eugenol is the most obvious and compelling component of cloves and is responsible for both it’s flavor and medical uses. Many studies have shown Eugenol to be beneficial medically. 

Cloves also contain a high level of manganese but few other nutritional benefits. 

Other important essential oil constituents of clove oil include acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene, vanillin, crategolic acid, tannins such as bicornin, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller), the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin, triterpenoids such as oleanolic acid, stigmasterol, and campesterol and several sesquiterpenes.[25] Eugenol has not been classified for its potential toxicity.

Taxonomy

Clove Etymology

Clove

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:Tracheophytes
Clade:Angiosperms
Clade:Eudicots
Clade:Rosids
Order:Myrtales
Family:Myrtaceae
Genus:Syzygium
Species:S. aromaticum
Binomial nameSyzygium aromaticum
(L.) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Source: Wikipedia

Sources:


Wikipedia – Clove https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clove
About Cove uses, pairings and recipes  https://www.mccormick.com/articles/mccormick/about-cloves – 
New World Encyclopedia – Clove https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Clove
McComick Science Institute – Cloves https://www.mccormickscienceinstitute.com/resources/culinary-spices/herbs-spices/cloves
Thetreeographer – The Clove Tree that ended a Monopoly. https://thetreeographer.com/2017/09/08/the-clove-tree-that-ended-a-monopoly/
Indian Mirror – Clove https://www.indianmirror.com/ayurveda/indian-spices/clove.html
Flying the Hedge – Clove  https://www.flyingthehedge.com/2019/12/magical-uses-of-cloves.html
Solidago School of Herbalism – Clove, A Spice That’s Extra Nice https://www.solidagoherbschool.com/blog/2020/12/4/pzlyjvnquk2dpmjstxeg5mr7g98mr8

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