Cloves

Cloves

Syzygium aromaticum

Cloves are high in antioxidants, are anti-bacterial and help regulate blood sugar.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flower Buds
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About Cloves

Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) are known to mankind for its powerful and punchy flavor. Surprisingly, these hard and not-so-easy to crack nails are the dried unopened flower buds that are owned by the family Myrtaceae.

The best thing that anyone could ever come across is clove because they are available throughout the year. The evergreen tree of the clove can reach up to a height of about 40 feet. It accommodates large leaves and a lot of flowers that are sometimes pink but can darken up to attain a crimson appearance. A small ball can be witnessed in the center of the flower that signifies four unopened petals.

Cloves proudly perch with other spices in the kitchen cupboards all around the world. They are utilized for a plethora of reasons such as medicinal and culinary treats.

They are high in nutrients such as calories, carbohydrates, fibers, manganese, and vitamin K. It possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, bone-strengthening, and so forth. It also aids in treating indigestion, stomach ulcers, and improves liver health.

In the culinary region, it is readily used to both in the grounded and intact form to impart a promising warm, sweet-spicy taste.

The active compound over which the sincere activity of the cloves depends is eugenol. From treating dental pain to acting as an aphrodisiac, this small nail knows all the secrets to a nuisance free life.

Growing

Cloves tree is a dweller of tropical regions i.e. they are indigenous to a hot and wet climate. They can grow efficiently when the temperature reaches 59 degrees Fahrenheit and the annual rainfall is about 50 to 70 inches.

Planting the seeds in well-drained and fertile loam promises a tree that can live for centuries. But the gardener is supposed to wait for at least 20 years for the plant to yield a full crop.

For a containerized plant, a large pot of 18 inches diameter is required with well-drained moist soil. To stay healthy, this plant demands a lavish supply of water as it dries out very quickly.

The best place to plant this specie outdoor is near a sea and preferably in the wild as these both settings proffer the tree what it exactly it needs: water.

Harvesting

The heavenly buds yield seeds that germinate magnificently in loose and well-drained soil. Primitively, the plant needs the shelter of about two to three years and promises to yield like a pro in upcoming years. So, the plant is obliged to spend its shelter period in a pot after which it is planted in the ground.

At the age of about 8 years, the tree starts proffering flowers at the onset of September and continues to bloom till February, but they are highly unproductive.

The fertilization is followed by fruit formation that yields seeds for the continuation of the cycle.

The most enjoyable aspect of the clove is that it can be harvested at any time of the year. The only thing that needs consideration is to check for the maturation of bud that is indicated by the distinct crimson color and length of about 7 inches.

The closed flower buds of this auspicious tree are of great importance and are utilized widely.

The buds are plucked by bare hands with great care to ensure that no damage has been incurred to the branches because those branches are responsible for the next yield.

After harvesting the cloves, they are sun-dried until the color of the stem transform into dark brown and the weight drops down to two-third of the original weight.

Store the cloves in an airtight jar to keep its powerful pungent smell alive.

Usage

Cloves are readily enjoyed all around the globe in a diverse variety of preparations. Some of them are listed below:

  • Tincture - Infuse cloves in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Cloves are steeped in boiling water for about five minutes and the tea is enjoyed after straining it.
  • Decoction - Ground or whole cloves can be used to prepare a decoction.
  • Salve - Grounded dried clove buds are utilized and mixed with coconut oil and aloe vera (optional) to form a salve.
  • Syrup - Coarsely ground cloves are boiled in water. After straining, sugar is dissolved to form a syrup.
  • Infused oil - Intact dried clove buds are infused with olive oil to form clove oil.