Clavo en Polvo
The clove is a tropical evergreen tree of the myrtle (Myrtaceae) family. The tree can grow to be 90 years old and may yield 800lbs to 1,000lbs of cloves per year. The familiar clove buds are the dried, aromatic flowers of the tree. They are picked before the blossoms open and dried for 48 hours in the sun, becoming brown in the process. These are then ground down into a fine powder and added to our products. The name clove comes from the Latin word ‘clavus,’ meaning nail, as the buds were thought to look like them.
Clove trees are believed to have originated in Indonesia and Moluccas, then known as the Spice Islands. They were traded from there to China as early as 100-200 BC. They were cultivated by the Dutch and smuggled to the West Indies and Mauritius by pirates of various nationalities. There was a centuries-old struggle for a monopoly on cloves, which is a very valuable spice. It takes 5-7,000 dried cloves to make a pound of spice.
Cloves are used in herbal medicine, including medicine in China. They were first mentioned in Chinese medicine in about AD600. Clove is known in Europe particularly for its soothing effect on toothache. The ancient Chinese used to hold a clove in the mouth to perfume the breath when speaking to the emperor.
Clove is a spicy, warming and stimulating herb and can boost circulation. It has an anaesthetic and analgesic effect. It is also anti-fungal and antiseptic, which makes it useful in products for the feet.
We use clove powder in the warming, spicy Li’l Lush Pud, our Christmas Ballistic. It looks and smells just like a traditional Christmas pudding!