Saturday, July 10, 2010

WHOLE CLOVES are::::::::::::

Like other spices, cloves are available throughout the year. They are renowned for providing their uniquely warm, sweet and aromatic taste to ginger bread and pumpkin pie, but they can also make a wonderful addition to split pea and bean soups, baked beans and chili.

Health Benefits

Clove contains significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which has made it the subject of numerous health studies, including studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants like carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation. In the United States, eugenol extracts from clove have often been used in dentistry in conjunction with root canal therapy, temporary fillings, and general gum pain, since eugenol and other components of clove (including beta-caryophyllene) combine to make clove a mild anaesthetic as well as an anti-bacterial agent. For these beneficial effects, you'll also find clove oil in some over-the-counter sore throat sprays and mouth washes.

Anti-Inflammatory Activity

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, and in some studies, further reduces inflammatory symptoms by another 15-30%. Clove also contains a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove's anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties.

A Nutrient-Dense Spice

Like its fellow spices, clove's unique phytonutrient components are accompanied by an incredible variety of traditionally-recognized nutrients. Using our nutrient ranking system, we determined cloves to be an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Cloves have powerful medicinal properties. They are stimulating and have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. They are also a natural anesthetic (due to the eugenol oil) which is why they were often used for dental procedures in centuries past and are still used in some cultures to remedy toothache. It is the oil that is derived from the cloves that is so powerful, and this is often used for medicines both topically and internally. This oil contains compound that helps with blood circulation and can stimulate the skin when applied directly to it.

Today, the health benefits of cloves are not mentioned much in the Western world, but this ancient spice is still a popular herb with Ayurvedic healers who use it in teas and powders both topically and internally. It is even found in the arsenal of aromatherapy practitioners.

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