The gorgeous aroma of cloves is incredibly warming and soothing, but did you ever stop to wonder where they come from? The clove is the dried, unopened ﬂ ower bud of the evergreen clove tree, native to the Moluccas (Spice) Islands. It now grows more widely in Asia, India and the Middle East and is a distinctive seasoning in each of their cuisines. So what can you get out of the jar of cloves lurking in your cupboard? Well you could kick things off with a hot toddy, stud a slice of lemon with a couple of cloves, add to a heat proof glass with a teaspoon of honey and a shot of whisky, top up with boiling water allow to infuse and enjoy. Make a pomander to fragrance your wardrobe or room by studding a fresh orange with cloves and tying with ribbon, leave in the hot press to dry. Pop a clove or two into your home made Bolognese sauce or beef stew and let it intensify the meaty ﬂ avour. Make a tea for a chest cold with one teabag, two cloves, a stick of cinnamon and a cardamom pod, infuse and drink. Clove oil is very potent so use sparingly — gargle with a few drops of clove oil in water to treat a sore throat and banish bad breath. The antibacterial properties of a tiny drop will ease a toothache or mouth ulcers. Add a teaspoon of clove oil to a litre of water to remove mould from window frames and walls. A couple of drops in tea will aid a dodgy digestion and reduce ﬂ atulence. And last but not least ladies, cloves are a powerful aphrodisiac.