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Clove: Spice It Up!
Caryophyllus aromaticus • Sanskrit: Lavanga • Hindi: Laung
Clove is a dried flower bud picked from a tropical evergreen tree. Traditionally, it is chewed whole after a meal to freshen the breath and stimulate digestion. It can also be taken as a tea for nausea, indigestion or gas. Mixed with honey it is used to alleviate colds and cough. Spicy clove is commonly added to aphrodisiac concoctions.
Clove has a strong, pungent, somewhat bitter flavor that can easily override the other spices in a batch of chai. For a balanced masala chai, start with one or two cloves at first, then add more if you like, to taste. Clove is a very hot spice, so leave it out during the summer months or if you have excess heat in your system.
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