The Medicinal and Culinary Uses Of Cloves 

They are one of the world’s most unique and versatile ingredients and the uses of cloves go much further than just spicing up your food. And for centuries, folks have been using them in a whole host of ways, ranging from cooking to ceremonial to ritual uses.

One of the primary uses though, over the many years, has been for the health benefits of cloves...

The Many Benefits of Cloves

...And today, they are still used in Chinese and Indian medicine to treat digestive and stomach ailments, as well as fungal infections and breathing problems.

In West Africa, they are soaked in water and used as a cure for diarrhoea, nausea and general stomach problems. More on the benefits.

Used externally, essential oil of clove can be applied to spots, acne, skin irritations and also burns and you're probably aware that this oil is an effective painkiller for toothache. More on the oil.

Some Other Uses of Cloves

But it's not just in food and medicine that you'll find it used; if smoking's your thing, then you can even get kreteks, a type of clove cigarette!

Due to its strong fragrance, the essence is commonly used in perfumes, scents and incense. And along with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and mace, cloves are what are commonly known as "warming spices".

And in some cultures, a cup of clove tea is often drunk to cure various ailments. Click here for my simple recipe.

Culinary Uses of Cloves...

Due to their potency, ground cloves are an important part of many Indian blends, and you'll find them used in many garam masala blends and, depending on the region, various curry powder recipes.

It works well in savoury and sweet, mild and spicy recipes, and you'll find it in dishes as diverse as sweet gingerbreads, fierce Indian vindaloos, spicy Mexican cuisine, pea soup and pumpkin pie.

Making a baked ham or roast pork? Why not spice it up by "studding the meat". Just push the pointed end of whole cloves into the ham or pork before putting in the oven. 

Links to Other Spices and Their Uses You May Enjoy

Uses and Benefits of Cinnamon

Health and Culinary
Uses of Cardamom

All You Need to Know
About Paprika Pepper


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The Herb & Spice
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