Clove – Eugenia Earyophyllata Myrtaeeae - Spice

Blending note: Top

Main Benefits: Tummy Problems

Properties: Carminative, Anthelmintic  

Origin: Moluccas

Other Producers:Tanzania, Zanzibar, Madagascas


Allergy Warning: Reduced Blood Sugar, Sensitive Skin, Shortness of Breath, Not to use on Children

Short History:

Archaeologists have found cloves in a ceramic vessel in Syria, with evidence that dates the find to within a few years of 1721 BC. In the third century BC, a Chinese leader in the Han Dynasty required those who addressed him to chew cloves to freshen their breath. Cloves were traded by Muslim sailors and merchants during the middle Ages, in the profitable Indian Ocean trade, the clove trade is also mentioned by lbn Battuta and even famous Arabian Nights characters such a Sinbad the Sailor are known to have bought and sold cloves from India. 

Until modern times, cloves grew only on a few islands in the historically called the Spice Islands, including Bacan, Makian, Moti, Ternate, and Tidore. In fact, the clove tree that experts believe is the oldest in the world, named Afo, is on Ternate. The tree is between 350 and 400 years old. Tourists are told that seedlings from this very tree were stolen by a Frenchman named Poivre in 1770, transferred to France, and then later to Zanzibar, which was once the world's largest producer of cloves. 

Until cloves were grown outside of the Maluku Islands, they were traded like oil, with an enforced limit on exportation. As the Dutch East India Company consolidated its control of the spice trade in the 17th century, they sought to gain a monopoly in cloves as they had in nutmeg. However, "unlike nutmeg, which were limited to the minute Bandas, clove trees grew all over the Moluccas, and the trade in cloves was way beyond the limited policing powers of the corporation. 

About clove:

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to 8–12 m tall, with large leaves and sanguine flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds initially have a pale hue, gradually turn green, and then transition to a bright red when ready for harvest. Cloves are harvested at 1.5–2.0 cm long, and consist of a long calyx that terminates in four spreading sepals and four unopened petals that form a small central ball. Cloves can be used to make a fragrance when combined with an orange.

When given as a gift in Victorian England, such a pomander indicated warmth of feeling. Clove stalks are slender stems of the inflorescence axis that show opposite decussate branching. Externally, they are brownish, rough, and irregularly wrinkled longitudinally with short fracture and dry, woody texture. Mother cloves are the ripe fruits of cloves that are ovoid, brown berries, unilocular and one-seeded. This can be detected by the presence of much starch in the seeds. Exhausted cloves have most or all the oil removed by distillation. They yield no oil and are darker in colour.

Medicinal Uses:

Digestive Problems. Toothache, Hiccups, Diarrhoea, Vomiting, Fever, Blood Sugar.

Other Uses:

Toothpaste, Cooking, Cigarette, Ant Repellent, Perfume, Massage, Tea, Mosquito Repellent