Small but very powerful, this spice is used in sweet and savoury dishes. Loved by the French, Dutch & English in their cheeses and apple pie. Used in breads in America, they love to put it on ham glazed with brown sugar. Great with vegetables, fruits, ham, onions, apples, oranges and chocolate. Blends well with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg, coriander.
Tip – add clove per serving to your favorite mulled wine
Medicinal properties and health benefits of cloves.
- The active principles in the clove are known to have antioxidant, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
- The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol. It is a phenyl-propanoids class of chemical compound which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to the clove-bud. Eugenol has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; useful in dental care essentials as well as in treatment procedures.
- The other important constituents in this spice include: essential oils: acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid; tannins: gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller); the flavonoids: eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin; triterpenoids: such as oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol and several sesquiterpenes.
- The active principles in the clove may increase gut motility as well as improve the digestion power through increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. Thus, helps relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
- The spice also contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium. Potassium is an important electrolyte of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
- Further, the spice buds contain very good amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required by the body for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin in addition to essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Additionally, this spice is a good source of vitamin-K, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), vitamin-C and riboflavin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.