A warm and pungent herb that is a YANG tonic. This herb works to warm the interior of the body and acts mainly on the spleen, stomach and kidneys.

Nutrition: Cloves are an excellent source of manganese. They are also a very good source of vitamin K and dietary fibre. They are also a good source of iron, magnesium and calcium.

History: Cloves are native to the Moluccas, formerly known as the Spice Islands of Indonesia. They have been consumed in Asia for more than 2,000 years. Owing to their sweet and fragrant taste, Chinese courtiers dating back to 200 BC would keep them in their mouths in order to freshen their breath when addressing the emperor so as to not offend him.

Arab traders brought cloves to Europe around the 4th century, although they did not come into widespread use until the Middle Ages when they became prized for their pungent flavor that served to mask the taste of poorly preserved foods. While for a long time, they were cultivated almost exclusively in Indonesia, today the leading clove-producing region is Zanzibar in Eastern Africa. In addition to these two regions, cloves are also grown commercially in the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Pemba and Brazil.