Cloves, a pungent aromatic spice are a dried flower bud of clove tree which is often used to enhance the flavor of meats, curries, and meat marinades. The clove trees take around seven years to start flowering and it would live for around 80 years. Matured clusters in a pink flush color are plucked and are dried in the sun for several days. Cloves impart a very homely flavor to food. It is used in almost all rich or spicy dishes as an ingredient of a mix named garam masala, along with other spices. Interestingly clove goes well with both sweet and savory dishes. Clove is also used to add essence to few sweet dishes containing fruits. The carminative and stimulant properties give clove high medicinal value. It is a preservative and is also used as a flavoring agent for meat dishes. Cloves impart a very homely flavor to food.
- The clove oil made of buds, leaves and stalks have medicinal properties and are widely used in dental care.
- Besides oral and pharyngeal treatments, cove oil is used in the manufacturing of tooth pastes, mouth wash, perfumes and soaps.
- Additionally, it treats digestive disorders such as diarrhea, abdominal pain of spastic origin, bloating and dyspepsia.
- Since it is an antiseptic, it can also be used in a sore throat.
The important clove growing regions in India now are the Calicut, Kottayam, Idukki and Trivandrum districts of Kerala, Nilgiris, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu, and South Kanara district of Karnataka.