The plant chosen is cloves. Cloves’ scientific name is Syzygium aromaticum, and it is part of the family Myrtaceae (Rani & Jena, 2021, pg. 1969). Cloves’ local name is Zobo pepper or “Kanafuu,” as the people in Yoruba call it. While in the Swahili language, it is called “Karafuu.” This paper examines cloves as a medicinal plant and discusses how it grows and is used to treat ailments. Also, how the plant is collected and processed will be addressed.
Figure 1: Cloves (Rd, 2023)
How the plant is grown
Cloves are dried flower buds that grow from an evergreen woody bust. It originated in Indonesia in the northern parts. Cloves grow in places with a humid tropical climate and a rainfall of about 200mm (Rani & Jena, 2021, pg. 1969). the temperature should also be moderate, and the soils should be loamy and moisture-rich. The plant grows where the sun is not too much. The seed of the plant is extracted and then grown after drying them. Clove tree grows in about six years to about 30 feet tall. It becomes mature after 20 years and produces cloves 80 years later.
How the buds are harvested
On the maturity of the buds, they turn into a bright red colour. The method of harvesting commonly done is by hand picking. The bud is picked just before the flower opens. After picking, the unopened flowers are spread in an open area under the sun to dry or may be put in a dryer to dry quicker (Rani & Jena, 2021, pg. 1969). This process takes about four to five days to achieve the best results.
Figure 2: Picking the buds (Traditional Farmer Picking Cloves Tree Bali Stock Photo 1778961878 | Shutterstock, no date)
How are cloves processed?
The buds are ready after drying when they are light brown (Rani & Jena, 2021, pg. 1969). Here, they are prepared to be sold to the market as they are or may be ground to make a powder and are processed further to make things like oils, toothpaste, perfumes, and other cosmetic products. Some of these cosmetics include the manufacture of hair growth oils.
Figure 3: Clove oil (Clove Oil for Toothache, Plus Other Benefits, Uses, Side Effects – Dr. Axe, 2021)
Ailments treated by cloves
Due to the minty nature of cloves, it is used as a mouthwash as it heals mouth sores and kills bacteria between the teeth (Rani & Jena, 2021, pg. 1969). Also, the plant is known to help prevent cancer as it stops tumour growth and kills cancer cells. Cloves also treat asthma, common colds, cough, sinuses, and other lung-related diseases, as when inhaled and drunk; it opens the air passageways. Clove also treats stomach-related problems. These include indigestion, gas irritability, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Cloves treat these diseases by boiling the buds and drinking the cloves’ water.
In conclusion, cloves are a potent medicinal plant. Although it takes very long to grow, it has many benefits to human beings. It is most appreciated for having the ability to respiratory diseases and prevent other diseases hence keeping the body healthy.
Clove Oil for Toothache, Plus Other Benefits, Uses, Side Effects – Dr. Axe (2021). Available at: https://draxe.com/essential-oils/clove-oil-uses-benefits/.
Rani, R. and Jena, M.K., 2021. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): Beneficial effects on human health: A review. Plant Archives, 21(1), pp.1967-1972.
Rd, R.A.M. (2023) 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cloves.
Traditional Farmer Picking Cloves Tree Bali Stock Photo 1778961878 | Shutterstock (no date). Available at: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/traditional-farmer-picking-cloves-tree-bali-1778961878.