Having been born and brought up in Mombasa and living among the Arabs taught me so many things. And one of the things that I will forever be grateful to one Arab lady- Mama Fahima- who used to love me like daughter was teaching me how to cook using herbs and also teaching me about their benefits.
I had a difficult childhood when growing because I had so many health complications, but I took all that in my stride and never let any of those illnesses put me down for any reason. One of the many health complications that I experienced as a child was suffering from Rheumatism.
I had terrible nights crying out loud to my mother to help me because I had terrible stiffness on my legs and I would experience excruciating pains. For many years no one except my family knew about this condition until I had an attack at Mama Fahima’s place when she was teaching how to cook chapattis.
At that time I was around nine years old but I still remember how she massaged my legs and feet with oil made of cloves ( Mafuta ya Karafuu). I had never experienced relief so fast before; after that I slept like a baby.
She later on came and talked to my mother and directed her where to buy the oil made of cloves, but later on she taught me how to make the clove oil at home; to date clove oil is something I cannot miss to have at home because of rheumatism.
Many people do not know the use of cloves. For others it is just another herb with a strong smell, while others it’s a herb used in cooking. While both of these suggestions are true, but underneath this small herb there are lots of useful things that one can do with it.
First things first; cloves originated in Moluccas volcanic islands in Indonesia, previously known as the Spice Islands. Times have changed and today Zanzibar is the largest producer of cloves. Cloves have so many benefits that it will be hard to put down all its uses.
Also known as Eugenia aromatic, cloves are an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C, K, dietary fibre and also of calcium and magnesium. In my case cloves have not only helped me relieve pain in rheumatism, but have also helped with bowel movement every time I experience constipation.
When you partake take clove in black tea in the evening, you go and flush everything out by morning which means that it is also a very good detoxifying agent which eliminates any built up chemicals and toxins in the body.
Preliminary studies in cancer research have suggested the chemo preventive potential of clove for lung cancer, and to delay and reduce the formation of skin cancer.
The eugenic compound from cloves has also been found to be a potent platelet inhibitor which prevents blood clots, because when you consume clove tea you experience hot flushes which help in the circulation of blood, thereby preventing any possibility of one suffering from blood clots.
In addition, clovers are one of the richest sources of a particular class of isoflavones known as phytoestrogens. Because phytoestrogens seem to behave in the same way as estrogen in the body, they may be helpful to menopausal and post-menopausal women.
Every once a week my friends Patricia, Catherine, Ann, Rose and I treat ourselves to at least a cup of black hot tea with just enough cloves in it to detoxify our bodies. What can I say it has worked miracles for us- but a word of caution please use cloves in moderation.