Scientific Name: Syzygium aromaticum

Bahasa Indonesian: Cengkeh

Batak: Cengkeh

Basic Information: Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands (or Moluccas) in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice. Cloves are available throughout the year due to different harvest seasons in different countries. The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to 8–12 m tall, with large leaves and crimson flowers grouped in terminal clusters. Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and the Near and Middle East countries, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as fruit such as apples, pears or rhubarb. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages, often combined with other ingredients such as lemon and sugar. The spice is used in a type of cigarette called kretek in Indonesia.

Health Benefits:

  1. Improve Digestion – Using cloves in your meals will add a burst of flavor to them and also aid the digestive process by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes.
  2. It Is Antibacterial – They have been tested for their antibacterial properties against a number of human pathogens.
  3. Enhances Immune System – They stimulate the production of white blood cells and lead to better defense against bacterial infections.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory – Cloves possess a compound called eugenol which has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  5. Oral health – Cloves are beneficial for gum diseases such as gingivitis, and the extracts are effective in inhibiting the growth of pathogens. They also have properties which mimic those of pain-killers so they can be used for toothaches as well.
  6. Cures Headaches – Using cloves to make a tea is effective in curing a headache and does not result in the harmful side effects of using medication.
  7. Relieve Stress – Using cloves to make some aromatic tea will soothe the nerves and reduce any anxiety that the person is facing.
  8. Treat Wounds – Being an exceptional analgesic and antiseptic, cloves are highly regarded as being effective for treating bruises and scrapes.
  9. Healthy Bones – The presence of phenolic compounds such as isoflavones, flavones, and flavonoids in clove extracts is beneficial for healthy bones.
  10. Treat Acne – The antibacterial properties of clove extracts can reduce such skin problems while the anti-inflammatory characteristic lessens the redness and swelling of such issues.

Fun Facts:

  • The name comes from the French “clou” meaning nail.
  • Archeologists have found cloves in a ceramic vessel in Syria, with evidence that dates the find to within a few years of 1721 BC.
  • As early as 200 BC, envoys from Java to the Han-dynasty court of China brought cloves that were customarily held in the mouth to perfume the breath during audiences with the emperor.
  • 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 famous Arabian Nights characters such as Sinbad the Sailor are known to have bought and sold cloves from India.
  • In Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries, cloves were worth at least their weight in gold, due to the high price of importing them.


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