Many know cloves only as a flower; I certainly would have, had it not been for the dentistry history of my family. You see, my grandfather was a traditional dentist back in the 1940s in Iran (meaning his dentistry knowledge was acquired not through university education, but by experiment and experience). Apparently, he used to use the dried flower buds of the clove tree (simply called clove) as an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-aesthetic substance.
Till my adulthood, I had no idea that the clove was mainly known and used as a spice in Asian cuisine. In fact, for many years the clove’s intense flavor reminded me of nothing but those nasty toothaches surfacing in the middle of the night when my mother, benefiting from his father’s dentistry tools and knowledge stuck a clove bud in the toot as a temporary relief.