Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cloves- Syzgium Aromaticum

The very fragrant cloves you find on the spice shelf of your kitchen start their life in the tropics. They come from a tender evergreen tree that reaches 30'. The tree has large, glossy leathery leaves and gets red bell shaped flowers twice a year. The cloves on your kitchen shelf are actually the pink flower buds that turn brown and hard after drying!
Here are some uses for clove buds-
  • use in pomanders and potpourri
  • chew to freshen breath
  • put a clove bud on an aching tooth to help relieve pain until you can get to the dentist
  • infuse as a tea for nausea- gently boil 10 cloves in one cup of water for 10 minutes.
Clove oil is antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic. The oil is quite powerful and has been used in the past to sterilize surgical instruments. Always dilute it before using on the skin. Clove oil makes a great addition to a soap for the kitchen and to add a spicy note to potpourri.


  1. i love the smell of cloves and a few years ago I saw this really beautiful craft project idea for the holidays "poking" the sharp end of cloves into tangerines and other citrus fruit in lines and patterns and then filling a bowl with them - SMELLS WONDERFUL! I hadn't thought about it in years, may just do them again this Thanksgiving!

  2. That is one of my favorite holiday projects! It's SO relaxing and smells great. The directions for making them are on my list of future blog posts.