The clove is the dried unopened flower bud from an evergreen tree. The clove has been used in India and other parts of Asia for many centuries.
In ayurveda, cloves are considered to enhance circulation, digestion and metabolism and help counter stomach disorders such as gas, bloating and nausea. The essential oil of clove is used as an ingredient in oral hygiene products to promote tooth health and freshen the breath.
The clove contributes the pungent and astringent tastes. Cloves help pacify Vata and Kapha and increase Pitta.
Cloves are used both whole and ground in ayurvedic cooking. Whole cloves sautéed in ghee with other spices such as cinnamon, bay leaves and peppercorns enhance the flavor of rice and pilafs. Cloves are an essential ingredient in curry powders and combine well with other ayurvedic spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and coriander.