Cloves as a Spice

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) is a highly important commercial spice that also has significant medicinal effects. The antioxidant effects of cloves not only impart excellent flavour qualities on certain foods, but can also preserve the food constituents of which they form a part. This makes them historically useful before the advent of modern refrigeration and freezing methods. The plant is extremely high in phenolic acids, a subclass of polyphenols, and it is thought that these phenolic acids are the reason for the high antioxidant effects of clove buds. A number of phenolic acids within cloves have been isolated including eugenol, eugenol acetate and gallic acid, although there may be others as well as metabolites. Clove buds may also possess significant antimicrobial effects which contributes significantly to their food preservative role and explains the use of clove extracts as dental treatments for pain and inflammation in the gums and teeth and may also explain some of the other health effects of cloves. 

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Cortés-Rojas, D. F., de Souza, C. R. F. and Oliveira, W. P. 2014. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): a precious spice. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine. 4(2): 90-96

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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