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  • Uses of Clove

    Uses of clove across industries

    Best known as a sweet, aromatic spice, Cloves are actually flower buds that grow in the Clove tree, which is scientifically known as Syzygium aromaticum. A native to Indonesia, it is mainly grown in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Madagascar.

    Highly-priced for its unique aroma, Clove was an ingredient that triggered many trade wars in the past and is still widely used in many industries across the world including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and alternative medicine industries.

    Shapes and Sizes

    Clove is available in many forms in the market. A clove is made out of the stem and bulbous head. The best quality cloves are screened manually and selected by hand and are exported as hand-picked cloves to the global market.

    The ground cloves can also be known as the powdered version of cloves. Cloves consist of high capacity of oil content. This oil which gives cloves their fragrance is known as Eugenol. Eugenol has turned out to be an essential component when it comes to the production of perfumes, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and cosmetic items. Clove oil can be extracted from either the leaves, stems or the buds. The process can either involve water distillation or the CO2 extraction method where instead of steam, CO2 is used as a solvent in the later process. Oil extracted through the C02 method is usually thicker.

    Cloves from Sri Lanka, identified with its geographical indication of Ceylon Cloves, are available as clove oil and clove pods.

    Health Benefits of Clove Products

    Clove pods and essential oils offer many health benefits including;

    • Benefits digestive system
    • Soothes mental tensions
    • Regulates blood sugar
    • Soothes acne
    • Improves liver health
    • Improves scalp health
    • Improves oral health
    • Rejuvenates skin
    • Improves respiratory tract health

    Find out more about the health benefits of clove

    Uses of Clove

    Clove has been a popular spice and essential oil for at least four centuries, traded across Indian Ocean trade routes through Africa to Europe. First used as a food additive, a preservative and a rubbing oil clove based products are used across industries, today.

    Food and Beverage Industry

    Clove pods, powder, and oil have always been a popular food additive celebrated for its sharp flavour and aroma. Ground cloves are mostly used as a spice since they are easily blended with other ingredients than whole cloves. With a shelf life of six to twelve months, cloves are a popular ingredient in many dishes across the world.

    While clove power and pods are used mainly in the preparation of foods and confectioneries, clove oil is used to flavour tea, coffee and other beverages such as wine. Clove is added to various types of wine to increase its aroma and flavour and is a unique speciality in the wine world.

    Cloves are also used in the production of a special type of cigarettes known as Kreteks, which are considered to be safer since they lack toxic chemicals. Made out of 60% to 80% of tobacco and 20% to 40% of ground clove oil, these cigarettes are mainly made in Indonesia, where additional spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin are also used in the production process.

    Pharmaceutical Industry

    Cloves hold a prominent place as an ingredient for medical and oral health products. It is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouth rinse because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

    Cloves are used in the production of dental gels that treat a range of oral conditions from gum issues to oral ulcers and periodontitis. Clove oil cream is another medicinal product used especially on Anal fissures. Similar creams are made using clove oil and are used to treat premature ejaculation.

    Since Eugenol in cloves can be repellent against certain insects such as mosquitoes it is the main ingredient present in mosquito repellent and the power to keep away mosquitoes for around 5 hours when applied on the skin.

    Cosmetic Industry

    Clove's prominent use in the cosmetics industry is mainly due to its remarkable fragrance and numerous benefits it has on the skin and hair health. Rich with Vitamins C and A, Potassium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Iron, and sodium clove oil is a potent treatment against acne and skin blemishes and helps the skin retain its elasticity. Therefore, it is used in the production of cosmetic items such as Ointments, lotions, scrubs, bath bombs and bath teas. Eugenol derived from clove oil is also used in soap and provides exfoliating and antimicrobial properties.

    Cloves positive effects on hair and scalp also make it a widely used ingredient in hair conditioner and hair oil. The spicy and musky aroma caused by Eugenol, Eugenyl acetate, and Caryophyllene in clove, makes it an essential ingredient in the production of fragrance and perfume. A fragrance that contains clove oil and essence is considered to be more stimulating and is even considered an aphrodisiac in popular culture.

    Alternative Medicine

    Widely used as a pain reliever and a mild anaesthetic, clove oil is a popular ingredient used in manufacturing various types of drugs and connotations. Clove oil is widely used in aromatherapy to relieve pain, stress, tension, and induce relaxation and sleep. Furthermore, clove oil is used in mouth rinses to relieve bad breath and promote oral health.

    Preservative

    Clove oil is often used on paintings as a preservative for water-based mediums such as watercolour, egg tempera, glue, and casein. The effect it has on paintings as a retarder for oil paint drying is still on the discussion as some artists have found out that it creates a film layer on top of the painting with time and makes the painting darker when exposed to sunlight.

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Sri Lanka is well known for the variety and quality of spices it provides. From Ceylon Cinnamon to cardamom, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and various others, the spice exports of Sri Lanka are at an all-time high.

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