This unopened flower bud of a tropical tree, native of Indonesia, is also offered to local deities. When fresh, the clove is pink and turns rust-brown when dried. It is called 'lavang' in Hindi. The curative properties of clove and its oil are legendary. Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, relieves toothache. The oil is used to treat skin disorders such as acne, pimples, and severe burns.
Clove-infused water is used to treat stomach upsets, nausea and diarrhoea. Folklore says that sucking two whole cloves without chewing or swallowing them helps to curb the desire for alcohol.
Cloves were traded by Arabs in the Middle Ages as part of their buying and selling on the profitable Indian Ocean trade route. That's how it happened to reach Europe and beyond. Cloves, along with nutmeg and pepper, were highly prized in Roman times, and Pliny the Elder once famously complained that "there is no year in which India does not drain the Roman Empire of fifty million sesterces."
At Christmas time, cloves are pressed into an apple or the peel of an orange and used as a warm-smelling adornment in the kitchen or elsewhere in the house. Clove oil warmed in oil burners gives an aromatic holiday scent to a room.
Clove, as a herb or an essential oil, is also used to treat magic spells and matters related to Jupiter — growth, legal matters, meditation, money, prosperity, settling legal matters, and spirituality.
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