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Cloves (labanga)

“At their early stages of development, clove flower buds are pale in color which, gradually turn green, and finally, develop into bright-red clove buds by the time of harvesting. The buds normally are picked up by hand when they reach 1.5-2 cm in length, then sundried and graded before dispatching to the markets.

Structurally, each bud consists of a long calyx, terminating into four spreading sepals and four unopened petals. These closed petals develop into a small ball (dome) at the top. The sweet aroma of cloves comes from an essential oil, eugenol in them.

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“The active principles in the clove are known to have antioxidant, antiseptic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol. It is a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to the clove-bud. Eugenol has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence, useful in dental care essentials as well as in treatment procedures.
The other important constituents in this spice include:
essential oils: acetyl eugenol, β-caryophyllene, and vanillin, maslinic acid;
tannins: gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller);
the flavonoids: eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin.
Triterpenoids: such as oleanolic acid, stigmasterol, and campesterol”