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June 28, 2008

Cloves

I have always loved cloves, but became even more enchanted by them when I learned they are actually tiny dried flower buds! These blue flowers originated in the Spice Islands and have been popular around the world in Europe, Asia and the Middle East for at least a couple of thousand years. The expensive little flowers have been used in everything from cigarettes to incence to sterilising surgical tools.

Ayurvedically speaking they are hot, oily and light, stoking the fire in your body. It follows then that they raise Pitta and lower Kapha and Vata. They speed things up, working on the digestion, circulation and metabolism.

Cloves are a natural painkiller and renowned for managing toothache. Hold a whole clove in your mouth against the offending tooth and it will be numbed. This will also help cover bad breath. For indigestion the essential oil can diluted and used topically, or a tea can be made from the spice. Cloves induce sweating and are used to break fevers and relieve sore and tense muscles like deep heat. Cloves are also antibacterial, antiseptic and sedative.

Cloves smell wonderful too. You can throw some cloves and orange peel on the fire or on top of the heater or oven in winter to fight off the cold. 

Cloves are commonly used in cooking. Boil one clove with your tea or coffee, or fry them in ghee before making dahl. Whole cloves are best cooked in dishes for a while to soften them, and can then be eaten whole. If you want to use cloves for a short cooking time grind them first.

But be warned; cloves are very powerful so treat them with respect. Clove oil should not be applied neat on the skin or in cases of rash, sensitive or broken skin. Cloves taste very strong and can damage the kidneys in excess. Avoid cloves in cases of hot pitta conditions.

2 comments:

lothi said...

Hey julia there's an award waiting for you in my blog. Sorry I didn't link my Url in the back msg.

Julia said...

Hi Lothi, sorry, I am traveling overseas and not keeping up to sate with blogging! Thankyou so much for the award, it may take me some time to pay it forward!