Clove is a spice that has been consumed in Asia for more than 2,000 years. It has a sweet and fragrant taste. It is used for freshness of breath. In Ayurveda clove has been called as Swargapushap meaning a flower of heaven. It is native to Indonesia but its aromatic and fragrant flavour has made it every chef’s choice and is being used in most of the cuisines all around the world.
The active component in clove is eugenol which has wide range of benefits and health care uses due to its astringent properties. In dentistry it is used in Root canal treatments, temporary restorations, dressings and gum paints. Clove has mild anaesthetic as well as anti-bacterial properties. Its regular use prevents bad breath, bleeding gums and also prevents premature ejaculation.
Acne becomes an embarrassing situation when you see it just the night before an important day. Now you need not worry as we have a cure for you. Clove is an immediate cure for acne. Apply clove powder directly on the acne. Clove has astringent property, so it precipitates surface proteins and reduces the size of your acne.
- Digestive disorders: Ajiran, adhyman and udarshool clove powder is beneficial. It ameliorates hyperacidity, flatulence, imparts mild anti colic and anti-diarrhoeal activity.
- Halitosis: Due to its aromatic and anti-bacterial properties it is one of the best remedy for bad breath or halitosis. You can chew the whole seed as mouth freshener.
- Rheumatic joint pain and backache: Clove oil is beneficial for massaging.
- Dental caries: Clove oil swab is beneficial.
- Loss of appetite and indigestion: Decoction is used as it is good digestive cordial.
- Cold and cough: Decoction mixed with honey brings relief. Lavangadivati a commercial preparation is used in cough with proven benefits.
- Pregnancy: In pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting it is given with pomegranate juice.
- Nausea and vomiting: They can also be treated by cold infusion of lavang.
- Tuberculosis: In tuberculosis it alleviates the cough and increases appetite.
- Venereal diseases: In venereal diseases Devakusumadi ras, a clove preparation is widely used in south India.
- Dysuria: As clove also possess diuretic properties, it is used as an adjunct in dysuria.
- Aphrodisiac: It is one of the ingredients in aphrodisiac (increase sexual desire) preparation and especially to curb premature ejaculation.
- Hyperacidity: Avipattikar churna is one of the most popular preparations of lavanga used as a panacea for hyperacidity.
- Cholera: In cholera decoction of lavang + jatiphala + musta is useful.
- Parts used: Oil and tuber or dried flower buds (clove)
- Dose: Buds: 1-2 gram, Oil: 1-3 drops
- Hindi name: Laung (लौंग)
- Sanskrit name: Lavang (लवंग)
- Rasa (रस): Katu (कटु), Tikta (तिक्त)
- Guna (गुण): Katu (कटु), Tikshna (तीक्ष्ण), Snigdha (स्निग्ध)
- Virya (वीर्य): Sita (शीत)
- Vipaka (विपाक): Katu (कटु)
- Doshakarma (Pharmacological Action): Kaphapitashamak (कफ़पित्तशामक)
The other Ayurvedic properties of clove are as follows-
Modern scientific explanation
Chemical constituents: Proteins, fat, fibre, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid and tannic acid. Aromatic oils: eugenol, eugenol acetate, caryophyllene.
- Eugenol is the active principle in clove and is an effective secretagogue causing dose dependent augmentation of gastric secretions according to a research published in Indian journal of pharmacology - feb 1997.
- The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol. It is a phenylpropanoids 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 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 cofactor 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 B1), 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.
- Eugenol, the primary component of clove's volatile oils, functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. In animal studies, the addition of clove extract to diets already high in anti-inflammatory components (like cod liver oil, with its high omega-3 fatty acid content) brings significant added benefits.
- The active principles in the clove may increase gut motility as well as improve the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. Thus, helps relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
- The active principles in the clove are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-septic, local anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
- Clove has carminative properties and is great in improving your ability to digest food. This is also one of the reasons this spice is added to a number of foods and is offered as a mouth freshener after a meal. Apart from this, the essential oils in clove are also highly effective in fighting stomach ulcers, reduce inflammation and are known to kill bacteria within the stomach thereby keeping stomach infections at bay.