These tiny, fragrant, dried flower buds deliver a wallop when it comes to taste – and health. While familiar to some of us as the teeny, tiny pin in a piece of baklava, cloves are flower buds harvested from an evergreen tree that ranges throughout Asia. Since ancient times its ability to numb, especially toothaches and mouth sores, has been noted. A natural antiviral, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal agent, clove also holds aphrodisiac and circulation-stimulating capacities, according to Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
Oil of clove has been used for a variety of health conditions including stress, indigestion, parasitic infestations, coughs, toothaches, headaches, and blood impurities. It is also great for skin problems such as acne. Cloves can naturally and effectively cure many digestive problems such as indigestion, nausea, loose stools and flatulence. If you happen to be one of those people interested in clove oil pulling, an Ayurvedic tradition of rinsing the mouth with antioxidant oils to help, among other things, clear gum issues such as pain and infection, and generally remove toxins and mucous, an excellent page to check out is from the Institute of Complimentary Therapy’s page: http://www.ict-energyschool.com/ICT/GrassrootsBlog/Entries/2011/3/15_The_Benefits_of_Oil_Pulling_with_Essential_Oils.html
And according to the website Ayurveda Healing, clove is also an effective acne treatment. “Cloves help clear acne, thank to eugenol, a natural antiseptic that balances the skin, stopping future breakouts. Try combining 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of honey and 3 drops of fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. Apply to your entire face and leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water for clear skin.” You can read more here: http://ayurvedahealing.org/2012/08/28/cloves-not-just-for-cooking/
Speaking of cloves and deliciousness, here’s an incredible autumn smoothie recipe featuring the antioxidant power of pumpkin and clove from our friends over at Gourmandelle.
- 1 cup cubed pumpkin, frozen or fresh (I like it frozen)
- 1 1/2 glass cold green tea, unsweetened (It’s best if you make this ahead and put it in the fridge to cool down)
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2g ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric (it doesn’t change its taste, just adds more antioxidant goodness)
- 2g Ganoderma powder (optional – if you don’t have it you can skip it)
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey or ginger cold pressed syrup (I love ginger syrup!)
Directions: Place the frozen or fresh pumpkin in the blender, add green tea and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend a little more. Serve!