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Behold the wondrous powers of cloves

Happy Easter.

Today in my bored sitting-around-reading-syntax-texts time, I decided to make myself a cup of very cheap herbal tea by raiding the spice rack and adding hot water. Basically, I dumped a little ginger, a little cinnamon, a little nutmeg, and rather a lot of ground cloves into the mug. The result smelled lovely, needless to say - cloves have such a delightful and comforting scent - but even better was the effect after drinking it.

I felt warm, relaxed, slightly anesthetized, cozy, just great; not to mention my mouth tasted delicious. This overall effect doesn't often happen in my dabblings with herb tea, so I (made another cup and) got online and looked up the health benefits of cloves.

As it turns out, they are considered to be amazingly healthful. They contain eugenol, which is an anesthetic and an anti-bacterial agent: as I was dimly aware, dentists and pharmacists have used clove oil to ease toothache and other problems in the past. Furthermore, cloves have loads of flavonoids, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including incredible amounts of manganese. Not that I have any idea what manganese does for us. (See this page for all the scientific details.)

Other sources claim that cloves are soothing to the digestion, good for the circulation, and traditionally regarded as an aphrodisiac. Hah, just what I needed. As if I didn't already have the libidinous mind of an 18-year-old sailor.

Anyway, I am much impressed. You should all start consuming cloves in their non-cigarette-form right away.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
kateelvellon
Apr. 20th, 2003 04:54 pm (UTC)
In Nepal they chew them up after meals. I remember someone handing me a clove while I was on a bus with some friends. I was going, "what is that for?" My friend says "It's to make the breath nice" and he rips off the top part of his and throws it out the window, then pops the thing in his mouth.
It's some strong shit. Numbs you really. But damn is it effective.
mollyringle
Apr. 21st, 2003 04:41 pm (UTC)
Mm, yep, that would do it. I haven't seen cloves offered raw like that, but at Kathmandu Kitchen here (the best Indian/Nepalese food in town) they do have the dish of fennel seed for chewing after the meal. That's supposed to help digestion too, but it's probably not as potent as clove.
kateelvellon
Apr. 21st, 2003 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re:
Yeah we get that a lot around here, but I don't remember having it in Nepal. Maybe at the tourist restaurants? Or maybe it's an Indian convention. Hmmm I wonder now...
It's so good isn't it?! Well, if it has sugar with it/on it. I didn't know that was good for digestion too! Mmmmm.
dirae
Apr. 20th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
My grandmother used to carry a cachet of cloves around in her pocketbook and nibble on them like most people nibbled on certs or tic tacs. This may explain why she had nine children.

There is also a wonderful clove gum out there... along with tea berry and blackjack flavors, this company (of whom I can't remember its name) has been around since the turn of the century.

Necco wafers also have a clove flavor in their packs.
mollyringle
Apr. 21st, 2003 04:50 pm (UTC)
Hehe...

Ah, yes, I remember that gum. Beeman's, I want to say. There was also a pepsin flavor or something like that. My parents made a big deal about it when they re-released them with the original wrappers. Strange what people will get nostalgic about...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )