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Cloves - Syzygium aromaticum

An evergreen conical-shaped tree which grows up to some 50ft and is strongly aromatic. Cloves are the dried flowers buds, and have been used as a culinary spice and herbal medicine for thousands of years - they were one of the earliest spices to be traded and were imported into Alexandria in 176AD - and who doesn’t remember the clove stuffed oranges so readily used to freshen wardrobes, ward off infection, and repel insects?

Cloves have powerful antiseptic qualities and a local anaesthetic effect, making it ideal as a remedy for toothache and mouth infections - dab a little essential oil on to the affected tooth; alternatively nibble away on a whole clove, ensuring that you use the tooth which is causing you pain, spitting out the remains (never use more than 2 cloves). An infusion of crushed cloves makes a soothing mouthwash.

A warming spice, with anti-spasmodic properties which make it particularly useful at easing coughs. Add a bruised clove to winter drinks, or to a hot lemon and honey drink with a pinch of cinnamon, to ward off chills, coughs, colds and ‘flu. Cloves are effectively used for treating viral infections, and in tropical Asia are often employed in treating cases of malaria, cholera and tubercolosis.

Clove tea can help hay fever sufferers, especially if sweetened with local honey.

Clove oil should not be used during pregnancy - but can be reserved for labour and childbirth : clove oil can be used as an abdominal massage during labour as it helps stimulate and strengthen the uterine muscle contrations, whilst easing pain.

The wonderfully spicy aroma makes crushed or ground cloves an ideal addition for a warming incense mix.
Cloves are a stimulant, both to the body and mind, and have been used as an aphrodisiac in India and the West.

! Essential oil should not be used during pregnancy !


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