Cloves… One of the highly prized and expensive spices in the world, Clove is a great culinary as well as medicinal spice that was at one point of time even used as currency and in barter.
The rich aroma and subtle taste that it adds to any dish, as well as its ability to transform a simpler tasting dish to a gourmet delight, makes it a coveted and must-have ingredient in any Indian kitchen.
The clove is a predominantly Middle Eastern spice, was used mainly in Persia and surrounding countries, but found its way in the course of centuries to Asia and India.
During the initial period of germination, the clove spice ( Botanical Name- Sygizium aromaticum ) has pale green flower buds which develop into bright red clove buds by the time they are harvested. These when dried, give us the black fragrant clove which can be added to rice, gravy, desserts and several other dishes.
Cloves have myriad medicinal properties and health benefits, that include;
- Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties besides helping digestion and gut health
- The spice contains an essential oil called ‘eugenol’ that helps reduce pain in teeth and maintains dental health.
- Potassium, manganese, sodium are also present in this spice, and that’s why it’s perfect when used in little quantities for overall health.
- Carrots are not the only beta-carotene suppliers, since cloves also help vision, and protect the body from lung and oral cancers
- As a medicine, the spice is used as a temporary pain reliever in dentistry, and has found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.