Clove or laung
Clove, the dried unopened flower obtained from the clove tree, has been used in Indiaand china for more than 2000 years as a spice, as well as for its medicinal properties. A native of the Molucca islands, this middle-sized evergreen tree was obtained and imported by the Chinese in 3rd century B.C. The Egyptians obtained this spice as early as A.D. The Persians and Chinese considered it an aphrodisiac, but it was more widely used as a cure for toothache and bad breath.
Quick Facts about Cloves or Syngium aromaticum:
Nomenclature Common name: Lavnga, Laung Sanskrit name: Devapuspa English name: Clove Scientific name: Syngium aromaticumBio-energetics Rasa: Katu, Tikta Guna: Laghu, Tiksna Virya: Sita Vipaka: Katu Karma: Sulahara, Dipana, Rucya, Kasahara, Pasana, Kaphapittasamaka
The clove tree grows up to 8 to 12 meters, and is very abundant in countries in the Old World, such as Zanzibarand South Asian countries. The flowers are at first a pale color, turn green over time, and then become bright red when they are ready for harvesting. The window within which the flowers have to be harvested is very delicate, since otherwise the flowers lose their properties and volatile oils.
On extraction, cloves yield 16 volatile substances, out of which eugenol makes up for 71.56%, and eugenol acetate makes up for 8.99%
- Better digestion: Cloves improve digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes and hence reduce flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia and nausea. One remedy for digestive disorders had the powder made of roasted cloves taken with honey.
- Antibacterial properties: The extracts of cloves are potent enough to kill pathogens, including cholera-causing bacteria.
- Anti-carcinogenic properties: Cloves have anti-carcinogenic properties. They have been proven to be helpful in controlling lung cancer when it is in the early stages.
- High levels of antioxidants: The spice contains high levels of antioxidants which not only help in detoxifying the body and delaying ageing, but protect internal organs like the liver. Over the due course of time, metabolism increases the free radical production and encourages a high lipid profile in the liver—all of which are counteracted by this spice.
- Diabetes control: Cloves have been used inIndia for the control of diabetes—studies show that cloves’ extracts perform and imitate insulin in certain ways thus helping to control blood sugar levels.
- Treatment of osteoporosis: Eugenol and its derivatives (which include flavones, isoflavones and flavonoids) are beneficial in the preservation of bone density, mineral content of bone and bones’ tensile strength; and so it helps in the prevention and cure of osteoporosis.
- Boosts the immune system: The spice contains compounds that increase the white blood cell count, thus improving immunity and delaying hypersensitivity.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: The eugenol in cloves helps in the reduction of edema. This extract also possesses pain-killing properties.
- Cure for oral diseases: Clove controls the growth of oral pathogens and hence helps in the cure of gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis, as well as other dental problems.
- Aphrodisiac properties: Cloves and nutmeg have been claimed to be effective aphrodisiacs according to Unani medicine, and tests proved these observations.