Clove seeds: Important Benefits and Uses
Are you looking for that special culinary ingredient that adds a pinch of enhancing flavor to your dish? If yes, we have got you, we are talking about clove seeds, the immature yet aromatic spice that acts as an essential ingredient in many signature dishes of various countries across the world; but a very common taste enhancer in Indian dishes. Clove seed is used for flavoring curries, marinades, and other dishes, the interesting part being that it also lends flavors to certain fruits like apple, rhubarb, and pears. A native of the Maluku islands of Indonesia, clove seed is cultured across many nations like Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Mexico, South America and, the Bahia state of Brazil. When clove seeds for planting have become a culture in various parts, no season around the year fails to produce cloves due to the variation in seasonal changes in different countries. Clove bean seeds are harvested throughout the year.
In Indonesia, the spice extracted from clove seed is used in Kretek, a type of cigarette. Once, being popular in Indonesia but now is famous across the world especially in the US. But besides all these, clove seed is an ayurvedic ingredient that is being used as a medicinal remedy for different causes including health issues, skin problems, and aromatherapy. In some cases, clove seed is also used as a food preservative along with some other spices like mint, oregano, cinnamon to name a few. Did you know clove is used in the preparation of tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce? Due to the extensive nutritional content and benefits from the presence of several compounds, clove stands out as one of the best among all the spices.
If you wish to acquire more knowledge about clove seed, its uses, and benefits you are on the right page. Keep scrolling!
Clove Seed Information
Clove is scientifically known as Syzygium aromaticum obtained from clove trees in the form of flower buds that are dried in the sun and through this process the precious clove seed is gained. The clove tree is a tropical evergreen tree that is best grown in hot and wet climatic conditions. Clove tree grows best usually near the 10 degrees of the equator and its growth is around 25 – 40 feet long. The tree has a unique feature of blueish-grey bark which makes it easier to locate in dense forests among other trees. Clove leaf resembles the size of a bay leaf and its shiny dark green leaves are extremely aromatic. The immature flower buds which are about an inch long arise in clusters near the tip of the plant before the maturation phase of flowering. These tiny little blooms are colorful and aromatic, attracting bees and pollinators. These are the clove seed that is used for the propagation of new trees. The dried form of these buds has a strong and distinctive sweet and spicy flavor. Clove seed due to its culinary uses and medicinal benefits has turned out to become a vital commercial crop.
Benefits of clove seeds include:
- Clove bean seeds or laung seeds have excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and rubefacient meaning warming and soothing properties present in them.
- Besides, it contains a compound rich in antiseptic properties named eugenol which has several health benefits and is used in clove oil.
- Clove Seed contains a wide amount of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, and selenium.
- Clove seed is a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Thiamine or Vitamin B, Riboflavin, and Vitamin C.
- Clove benefits through some of its other nutritional content including carbohydrates, calories, dietary fiber, fat, and sugar.
So, are you planning to plant a clove tree indoors? That can be done but you need to look at certain factors to propagate clove trees by their seeds. Though it is difficult to grow clove trees in households owing to climatic factors, following these quick tips would yield better results.
- First thing first, you need to purchase a well-pollinated clove seed from a reputed store. You cannot use those dried clove seeds for planting from your kitchen spice jar, it will not lead to germination. As soon as the tiny flower buds are plucked they should be planted or can be kept for a maximum of one week before plantation.
- Scatter the clove tree seeds on a nutritive potting mix containing moist and wet soil but not with excessive water. Never bury the lavang seeds, it adjusts swiftly with soil change. You will notice small sprouts growing after a certain time.
- While the tree is baby, try to provide a shed to the plant and transfer it to a big pot after the tree attains one-inch height.
- Delicately water the plant every day making sure it does not receive excess water. Give the proper amount of nutrients and fertilizers as the plant grows. But, it grows best in humid conditions. So, you are blessed if you have a home at such locations otherwise it's better advised to buy clove seed from reputed shops.
Health Benefits of Clove Seeds
Some health benefits of clove seeds are:-
- Healthy Eyes
Beta carotene is responsible for the rich brown color of cloves. The pigments of the carotene family are good antioxidants and provitamins. The presence of carotene pigments in cloves can be converted into vitamin A which is important for healthy vision.
- Oral Relief
Clove seeds are a very good solution for toothaches and tooth pains. Clove Seed is used to reduce gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. The anesthetic properties present in clove can relieve you from toothache. Moreover, clove seed helps in monitoring the growth of oral pathogens which is the cause for many oral problems. If you can have one or two clove seeds every morning it will provide you with all the oral hygiene necessary.
- Bone Strength
Bone health is responsible for phenolic compounds like eugenol and flavonoids along with manganese. Clove seed is a rich source of all the three essentialities, thus preserving bone health and strengthening the bone joints reducing the chances of osteoporosis.
- Improvement in Liver Health
The presence of the eugenol compound can be beneficial for liver health. The liver is responsible for body metabolism. This process might lead to an increase in the production of free radicals which further leads to a decrease in antioxidant level. The presence of a significant amount of antioxidants in clove seeds protects your liver by counteracting these problems.
- Improves Blood Sugar Level
If you are a diabetic patient, cloves are a must for your diet. The nigericin compound present in cloves helps in blood sugar level improvement as it uptakes sugar levels from the blood.
Why to use Clove Seeds
Benefits of clove seeds are uncountable. Here are some points stating why you should use clove seeds.
- Clove seed is an immunity booster. The presence of Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells which prepares your body to fight against diseases increasing your immunity level.
- The presence of eugenol is an amazing ingredient which gives you relief from headache.
- Clove seed is a rich source of antioxidants that damages cancer-causing cells, thus protecting you from the deadly disease.
- The grounded form of clove seed or clove oil is an excellent ayurvedic remedy for preventing acne.
- Consuming clove seed with your morning tea or warm water can reduce the chances of indigestion and congestion.
- Researches show that clove seed when turned into clove gel or clove oil can act as insect and mosquito repellent because of its anti-parasite function.
- Consuming clove seed at night can reduce the problems of diarrhea and constipation.
- Clove Seed protects you from cough and cold, bronchitis, and other viral infections.
- Consumption of clove seed will give you a relaxed and calm feeling taking away all your stress.
- Clove seeds kill germs and prevent bacteria from entering your lungs protecting you from diseases like asthma.
- The decoction that is obtained from clove seeds is used for the treatment of flatulence and indigestion.
Clove Seeds or laung seeds can be consumed whole or as clove powder. Cloves give a soothing taste to your food. From an essential spice in various dishes, it is also used in hot and cold beverages and desserts. While ground cloves are used as a sprinkler over pumpkin pie and mulled wine, whole cloves are used in pickle mix and chai lattes. They give a distinctive flavor in curries and chutneys. It has strong flavors, so always store them in airtight containers preferably in cool, dark places, and always know the proper quantity required to be used as an excessive amount of cloves used can give you opposite results; as consumption of dishes that are made with higher clove content can lead to certain irritation. In case you are under any medications just consult your doctor before you prepare anything with clove seed. But don’t miss out on a chance to add this precious spice to your diet routine.
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Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.