About Cloves and Clove Essential Oil

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs | Posted on 13-02-2014

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clove plant 2 Clove Plant

When I was a little girl we used to do crafty things. My mother used to send me to arts and crafts class in the summer and we would make the most interesting things. One of the most interesting of all, a thing that I remember clearly all these years later was the orange pomander. For those of you who don’t know what a pomander is, it is an aromatically smelly thing that goes in your closets or drawers in order to freshen up your clothing and things. Of course, nowadays you have some amazing “store-bought” ones, but back in the dinosaur days we used to have to make them ourselves, and one of the old favorites was the orange pomander.

The way it was made was by taking a fresh orange and poking it full of cloves. You would cover your orange practically full of them, and then attach a nice ribbon on the top of it for hanging in your closet. I used to love making those things, and the aroma sticks with me up to today. Naturally, when you put this fresh orange in your closet it would begin to dry up, and this process would continue until it was totally dried up. This is one of those true American traditions, as I don’t think there is anyone in the world who knows about those!

In the world of natural herbs and essential oils, the clove also plays an important role. Scientifically, the clove is known as “Eugenia caryophyllata”, and it is the flower buds that are used to get the essential oil, which is derived by steam distillation. Cloves are most famously known for their use in cooking, especially in this part of the world, along with the Asian Sub-continent. There is practically not a single food that is cooked without the help of a few cloves thrown in for good measure. The best traditional Bedouin style Arabic coffee must have some cloves in it for their aromatic powers.

In fact, in ancient China, and ancient civilization of Persia, cloves were considered to be a very strong aphrodisiac! In a lesser known world, the world of natural healing and herbal medicine, cloves have been used for centuries for healing a multitude of ailments. Also, in ancient China, people who were coming to hold audience with the emperor would be required to put a clove in their mouth and keep it there while addressing the emperor in order not to bother him with their halitosis (bad breath)!

One of the most commonly known uses is for its pain reducing powers. In fact for pain there is practically nothing better. It is an ancient and well-known use of cloves, when you are suffering from a toothache, that you grind some cloves up to a fine powder and put some of it right on and around the tooth for instant relief. It can also be used on babies with teething pain, but be careful to use only a little bit. The main idea is that the cloves are so antiseptic that, if you are suffering from a tooth infection, you can get rid of that with the cloves or clove oil. It is also good for gum inflammations and mouth ulcers.  

Clove Oil

NOW Foods Clove Oil, 2 ounce

Cloves are great for respiratory problems, including bronchitis, asthma, coughs, the flu, and more! It not only calms the cough, but also encourages the phlegm to come out (expectorant) and helps to kill the infection too.

If you suffer from digestive problems, cloves will help you a lot, and they are easy to take. If you don’t have access to essential oil of cloves, that is not a problem, since there isn’t a single supermarket in this country that doesn’t carry a wide variety of cloves. Cloves are great for nausea, indigestions, diarrhea, and more.  

People who suffer from chronic muscle aches and pains, arthritis or rheumatism will find a great help in cloves. In this respect it is usually the clove essential oil that can be blended into a wonderful massage oil that you can rub over the painful areas.

Cloves are so antiseptic, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral, that if you suffer from warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm or other miserably uncomfortable ailments, just a little clove or clove oil will do the trick!

Alcoholics will do well to have some cloves around, as if you are recovering from alcohol addiction, all you need to do is carry a clove around in your mouth, and you will be less likely to crave the alcohol.

It has been said that cloves improve the memory!  It is calming, and good for those who suffer from high blood pressure and anxiety. So, next time you are ready to explode, don’t stress it! Just pop a clove into your mouth! Not only will you feel much better, but your breath will be nice too! 

            So you have a veritable medicine chest right there in your kitchen! Just make sure to always remember that less is more, and that statement is even truer when it comes to some of the stronger, more pungent herbs like cloves. A little certainly goes a long way, so go easy and light, but don’t be afraid of cloves, because they are safe enough that even little babies can be treated with cloves. And talk about convenient! Also, while you’re there, try my orange pomander!

Organic Cloves

Frontier Cloves Whole Certified Organic, 16 Ounce Bag

Indus Organic Cloves

Indus Organic Clove Whole Jar, Premium Hand Picked, Freshly Packed




About Cardamom and Cardamom Essential Oil

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Information About Herbs | Posted on 13-02-2014

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Cardamom Plant

Cardamom is one of those things that you either love or hate, usually. Arabs and easterners often adore the flavor, and westerners sometimes do, and sometimes don’t. Here in Kuwait, cardamom is an expensive spice, and in America it is even more expensive. So, what’s the big deal about cardamom?

Well, other than the fact that it is one of the best, exotic, and most aromatic flavoring herbs anywhere, it is also a medicinal herb, and its volatile oil makes one of the most versatile essential oils. The fact is, though, that cardamom is still mostly used as a food enhancer, more than as a medicament, although this is fast changing, and will continue to do so more and more as people begin to discover the vast and amazing benefits of cardamom essential oil.

The scientific name for cardamom is “Elettaria cardamomum”, and although coming originally from areas of the Asian subcontinent, it is now most often brought from Guatemala. The essential oil is derived by steam distillation, and it is from the fruit (seed pod) of the plant that this oil is gotten.

Cardamom has been used for thousands of years in India and China as both a flavoring and a medicinal oil as well. It was also well known in ancient Egypt, and it was used there in perfumery and incense making, while, at the same time, chewing it for its tooth whitening benefits. But, it is not just in the East that it is used, and in European and Scandinavian countries, cardamom is well-known and loved as a flavoring for their famous baked goods, among other things.  

From a medicinal point of view, cardamom has a wide array of uses, and although people are less familiar with it than some of the other essential oils, when it comes to efficacy, cardamom is right up there with the best of the stars of the natural world of essential oils.

Cardamom is known worldwide for its use as a digestive herb, and is used all over the world in this capacity. In this same vein, it is also great for the loss of appetite, colicky stomach and gassiness, and is, perhaps, most well known for its use in the fight against halitosis (otherwise known as bad breath). In fact cardamom’s use as a halitosis fighter is so strong, that it is said a little cardamom in a cup of hot water will cure the strong effects of garlic or onions any day. Also, here in the Arabic world, people are not very keen on the smell that comes with the use of fenugreek seeds, although that herb is widely used in this region for a number of medicinal purposes, but with cardamom, they have the antidote to the pungent aroma of that other useful herb. It is also great for those who suffer from heartburn, and general chronic nausea. But, as a strong medicine, it is also traditionally known to get rid of digestive parasites.  

Cardamom Essential Oil

  Cardamom 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 10 ml

Cardamom is also known as a good herb for handling stress, and adding a couple little pods to your tea every day, might be just what the doctor ordered, of you are suffering from tension and nervousness. (But use it with caution if you suffer from high blood pressure).  

For the respiratory system cardamom is a star, and is good for use with bronchitis, coughs, colds, and any other kind of chest congestion or infection. It is also good for fever.

For feminine problems it is known to help with menstrual ills, particularly with ladies who suffer with symptoms of PMS. Along the same line, cardamom has been used as an aphrodisiac practically since the beginning of time.

Cardamom is known for its urinary benefits as well, and is said to be great for urinary inflammations, urinary retention, and is a general antiseptic.

Cardamom is great for dealing with all sorts of spasmodic pain in the body, including that from muscle spasms. So, you can use the essential oil blended into a base oil, in order to soothe painful muscles. 

Although cardamom is most often used as a flavor enhancer and a food additive, you can see that there is so much more to those little green pods that the Indians serve you at the end of a spicy Indian meal.

So, if you are in the throes of discovering new and wonderful ways of keeping yourself in the best of health, cardamom is one of the options you simply must explore!

Frontier Cardamom

Frontier Cardamom Pods, Green, Whole Certified Organic, 16 Ounce Bag

Indus Cardamom

Indus Organic Green Cardamom Pods 16 Oz Jar, Super Jumbo Grade, Hand Picked, Freshly Packed




About Cinnamon

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Information About Herbs | Posted on 13-02-2014

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Cinnamon Tree

There is one aroma that is so well-known in practically every place and in every culture, that everyone knows it well, and even has loving comfortable memories about it. This aroma is generally associated with happy days, pleasant times, relaxing moments, and often the careless days of childhood. Lately, this same aroma has become associated with long strolls at the mall, with its wafting delight surrounding us and pulling us over for a taste, or at least a good strong whiff. The aroma that I am referring to is cinnamon! It seems that nowadays the aroma of cinnamon is everywhere, and the amount of little coffee shops that specialize in cinnamon buns and variations thereof have certainly been on the increase for some time now, and show no signs of stopping. That is probably because cinnamon is one of those smells that we can’t get enough of, and the taste of cinnamon is nothing short of “to die for”!

Scientifically, cinnamon is known as “Cinnamomum zeylanicum”, and the plant is considered a native of Indonesia, although it is widely cultivated these days in India and Sri Lanka.  (In fact, cinnamon was a great part of the reason that the Portuguese, the Dutch, and then the British, occupied Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, in the 16th century and after). The leaf is the part that is generally steam distilled in order to get the essential oil of cinnamon, although most people are more familiar with the actual herbal use, which is the bark of the cinnamon, that is most used in cooking all over the world, in practically every country. You must be very careful though, when using the essential oil, since it is extremely strong and potent, and might cause irritation if used directly on the skin, so it must always be well diluted for topical uses of the essential oil of cinnamon. But the safest use of cinnamon is the bark itself. The amazing thing is that this curly bark can be continuously gathered without harming the tree, and anyone who has grown up in the United States, in the UK, or in most other European countries will have seen those beautiful curled cinnamon sticks that are used in tea, hot chocolate, and apple cider, among other things. Cinnamon has especially strong connotations when associated with winter aromas, and its use in the West from Halloween to Christmas to New Years often has more meaning and memories than the actual holiday itself.

In ancient history cinnamon was used in many different capacities. In ancient Greece, for example, cinnamon was used as incense in religious temples. In ancient Egypt it was used for medicinal purposes, and even love-potions, and its reputation as an aphrodisiac precedes its modern day uses. (Aha! That’s the secret behind its attraction, and why everyone likes it so much! It may also explain some of the girl chasing and amorous getting to know one another that occurs most of the time at the malls here!) It is also one of the oldest remedies in Chinese medicine, dating back more than 2000 years!

Cinnamon Oil

NOW Foods Cinnamon Cassia Oil, 1 ounce (Pack of 2)

The great thing about cinnamon is that it works medicinally to help with a wide variety of ailments and complaints, in addition to its wonderful, attractive aroma. And, as of recently, there have been some very interesting scientific discoveries in its regard, that will surely revolutionize our lives. Take, for example, the recent discovery, according to a scientific study, that cinnamon acts as an insecticide that is stronger than one of the most famous and more widely used insecticides on the market today (Deet) for killing mosquito larvae, and all that without the nasty smell of the usual insecticides that are out on the market today, and although, the research in that area is only just beginning, it is very promising.

            Some of the most important uses of cinnamon are in our modern day herbal pharmacies. In fact, cinnamon can be used in so many different ways for medicinal purposes that it is difficult to choose which ones are the best.

            Cinnamon is a very energizing herb, and is great for those who are suffering from exhaustion and lethargy. Even those people who suffer from a low libido will find cinnamon helpful to their problem. And even those who suffer from depression will find relief with the use of cinnamon.

It is also good for low blood pressure. (Be careful though, for those with high blood pressure, or those taking anticoagulation drugs, because cinnamon will help make your blood thinner naturally, which is good for most people, but not under those circumstances). Cinnamon also seems to have a good effect on blood sugar and may turn out to help people suffering from diabetes.

A small amount of the essential oil of cinnamon mixed in base oil is great for rheumatic pain, and the misery of arthritis. Rubbing on a very mild blend will also help joint pain, headaches, tight muscles, and even menstrual cramps. It generally increases the circulation in whatever area it is used on.

            If you suffer from constipation, or gas, drinking some cinnamon tea may help you, but don’t have it when you are pregnant. In fact, it is definitely one of the best digestive herbs around. The use of cinnamon in the treatment of stomach ulcers has been successful for centuries.

            It is extremely antibiotic and antiseptic, and is great against viruses, fungi, and all types of bacteria, in addition to being a general immune booster. If you have a bladder infection, you can try some cinnamon tea to help relieve and kill the infection, thus comes its use with all kinds of respiratory ailments, including tuberculosis. It is also great for flu symptoms and coughs.  

            It is used in many places to help with tropical infection and typhoid, and in areas where head lice are rampant, cinnamon oil is a great solution that doesn’t involve potent chemicals. But, again, here remember that you must only use a little of the oil and always mixed lightly into a base oil.

As you can clearly see, cinnamon is not just a comfort aroma. It is still that, but it is also so much more. So the next time you are hit by the delicious wafting aroma of cinnamon, enjoy it, and know that it is not just another pretty smell, but a valuable medicine too!

Here are some of my favorite brands of cinnamon.. these are the ones that I use.. each one has a different flavor and they are all wonderful!

Frontier Cinnamon Organic Cinnamon

Indus Cinnamon Sticks