Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dessert ingredient: cloves

Clove oil by amandaslater/Flickr

Cloves are an important ingredient in the sweet kitchen's spice cabinet.  Clove nails, powder or oil can be used in baking, cooking, in perfumes or potpourris, scented crafts, mouthwash, toothpaste, and even some cigarettes.

The health benefits of clove oil can be attributed to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and stress relieving properties. The oil is used for treating a variety of health disorders including toothaches, indigestion, cough, asthma, headache, stress and blood impurities.

According to the American Cancer Society, "Some practitioners claim that a mixture of cloves, black walnut hulls, and wormwood can cure cancer (see our documents Black Walnut and Wormwood)."

The Chinese are said to have used cloves as medicine as early as 600 AD, and they are used in various folk medicine traditions around the world. In modern times some dentists have started to swab clove oil on the inside of patients’ mouths to lessen the pain of anesthetic injections.

Check out this dessert recipe for Warm Caramelized Pears with Clove Zabaglione.

And don't forget about tomorrow's Vintage Recipe Thursday.


1. Cloves, 2. Cloves at Spice Plantation, 3. Cloves drying, 4. Sea of Cloves


  1. clove oil is a really good anesthetic. my mom used to rub it on my gums when i had a toothache.

    random info for the night: since it can be diluted in water it is a eco-friendly anesthetic for transporting live fish :)

  2. Thanks Callista! That is a great tip for transporting live fish.


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