Cloves make that sweet aromatic smell that you find emanating from ginger bread, pumpkin pie and so many foods around the holidays. They are a great addition to pea soup, ham, baked beans even chili. Cloves are the unopened buds of the evergreen clove tree. They are originally pink and turn brown after they are allowed to dry. Besides adding a unique taste to food, they have an abundance of antibacterial and germicidal properties. They have been used for centuries to fight infection, relieve digestive problems and help with some forms of arthritis and gum disease. Traces of their use go back as far as 300 AD in China. Their are at least 36 different ingredients contained within cloves which is why they are considered a strong antioxidant.