Heaven scent

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.