The clove of commerce is the air-dried unopened flower bud obtained from evergreen medium sized tree. The tree grows to a height of 10-12 mtrs and start flowering in about 7 years. It continues to produce flower buds for 80 or more years. It is a valuable spice of the orient. Clove clusters are plucked by hand when the buds are fully developed with a pronounced pink flush and then dried over several days in the sun. Unopened flower buds, leaves and stalks yield essential oil.
ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION
The plant is indigenous to North Molucca Islands of Indonesia. It is also grown in Zanzibar, Madagascar, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. The tree prefers well drained rich soil with sufficient soil moisture throughout the year. High atmospheric temperature (25 to 35 degree C) with heavy sun light, good and well-distributed rainfall (above 150 cm) and high humidity (above 70%) are preferred.
The use of clove in whole or ground form is mainly for culinary purposes and as a flavouring agent in food industry. Its flavour blends well with both sweet and savory dishes. It is highly valued in medicine as carminative, aromatic and stimulant. In Indonesia, the lion share of production is consumed in production of ‘kretek’ cigarettes. The antiseptic and antibiotic properties of clove oil are used in medicine especially in dentistry, oral and pharyngeal treatments. It has wider applications in preparations of toothpaste and mouthwashes, soaps and perfumes. It is also reported to help diabetics in sugar assimilations.
INDIAN NAME OF SPICES
Hindi : Laung Bengali : Lawang Gujarati : Lavang Kannada : Lavanga Malayalam : Grambu Marathi : Luvang Oriya : Labang Punjabi : Laung Sanskrit : Lavanga Tamil : Kirambu, Lavangam Telugu : Lavangalu Urdu : Laung
FOREIGN NAME OF SPICES
Arabic : Kabsh ,Qarunfil Chinese : Ding xiang French : Clou de girofle Indonesian : Cengkeh German : Nelke