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Cloves, Not Just For Cooking

How many times during the holiday season have you pulled out cloves to put on your ham or to use as a spice in your holiday cooking and baking? Did you know that cloves can help clear up colds, mold and skin problems too?

Believe it or not, a tea containing cloves, it Chai can help you kick a respiratory infection. Cloves work as an expectorant, loosening mucus in the throat and esophagus so that you can cough it up. After seeing your doctor to rule out a bacterial infection, you can try a healing brew of 2cloves, a stick of cinnamon and 2 crushed cardamom seeds in an infuser or steeper; place in a large mug with a black tea bag. Add boiling water and let it steep for 1 to 2 minutes. Then sip away your symptoms.

To give your clothes an intoxicating aroma and sweeten up musty spots like the basement, toss a few whole cloves in the bottom of an old clean sock and tie with a ribbon. The spicy scent covers up odors and keeps your stuff smelling fresh. Swap out the cloves every 2 to 4 weeks so the scent stays at its sweet and spicy peak.

Cloves help clear acne, thank to eugenol, a natural antiseptic that balances the skin, stopping future breakouts. Try combining 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of honey and 3 drops of fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. Apply to your entire face and leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water for clear skin.

Got mold? Skip harsh chemicals and eliminate it with cloves. It works as a natural antiseptic and reduces existing outbreaks and prevents future one in affected areas. Add a dash of clove oil (about ½ teaspoon) to 2 cups of water and pour it into an empty spray bottle. Scrub the susceptible spots, spritz on and let sit to deter further growth. Then sit back and breath easy.

Lastly cloves are an excellent source of manganese, a trace mineral that helps you metabolize carbs and proteins. Sprinkle the powdered clove in your baked treats for a flavor and nutrient boost.

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