Cloves in Traditional Medicine: Insights from Different Cultures

Cloves have been used for medicinal properties for centuries in different cultures worldwide. This small dried flower bud of the evergreen tree, Syzygium aromaticum, is known for its sweet and pungent aroma and flavor. Besides being used in cooking, cloves have been traditionally used for their therapeutic benefits.

This article will explore how cloves have been used in traditional medicine in different cultures and the benefits of clove.

Cloves in Traditional Medicine

Chinese Medicine

The buds have been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. They are considered to have warming and stimulating properties that can promote circulation and help alleviate pain. Cloves are also believed to help with digestive issues, including bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. They are often used in combination with other herbs to create healing formulas.

According to Chinese medicine, the buds can also help improve lung function and clear phlegm. They are thought to help treat respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis, and coughs. They are believed to contain a compound called eugenol, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help soothe sore throats and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

Indian Ayurvedic Medicine

These dry buds have been an essential part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that focuses on the balance between the mind, body, and spirit. In Ayurveda, the dry buds are considered warming and stimulating and treat many conditions.

Cloves are believed to help improve digestion and increase appetite. They are often used in digestive tonics and can be added to meals to help aid digestion. They are also used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat toothache, as they have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain and inflammation in the gums.

Ayurvedic practitioners also use it to treat respiratory issues like coughs and colds. The buds are believed to be effective in breaking up mucus and phlegm and can help relieve chest congestion. They are often used with herbs like ginger and black pepper to create a potent healing formula.

Middle Eastern Medicine

For centuries, spicy dry buds have been used in Middle Eastern medicine to treat various ailments. In Islamic medicine, they are believed to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that can help boost the immune system and fight infections.

Cloves are also used in Middle Eastern medicine to help alleviate pain and inflammation. They are often used topically to treat skin conditions like acne and eczema. They can be infused into oil or used as a poultice to help soothe and heal the skin.

In addition to their topical uses, they are used in Middle Eastern cuisine to help aid digestion and add flavor to dishes.

Native American Medicine

Native Americans have long used it for its medicinal properties. The Cherokee tribe used it to treat toothaches and other oral health issues. They would place a bud between their teeth and bite it to release the oils and alleviate pain.

The Navajo tribe also used it to treat digestive issues like indigestion and bloating. They would brew tea using buds and herbs to help soothe the digestive system.


Cloves have been used in traditional medicine in different cultures for centuries because there are several benefits of clove. Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Middle Eastern medicine, and Native American medicine all recognize the healing properties of cloves. They are believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial properties that can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and fight infections. They are often combined with other herbs to create potent healing formulas. Whether you use them in cooking or healing remedies, this valuable spice can provide many therapeutic benefits.

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