If you’re a cook, you’ve probably used cloves with baked beans, fish, chicken, squash, and a variety of desserts including gingerbread and chocolate cake. Monica Bhide, in the Seattle Times, wrote that “As I began to bake, I would do combinations of cinnamon and cloves for more flavor. I also like to pickle olives, and a small bunch of cloves in the pickling juice adds a wonderful earthy dimension of flavor. When I began barbecuing, I found that cloves added to barbecue rubs or sauces added a very nice depth of flavor.”
They’re dried flower buds, bitter when raw, that can be used ground or whole in cooking, often paired with cinnamon and cardamom. They’re very pungent and aromatic.
Medicinally, cloves have been used to treat stress, inflammations including arthritis, toothaches, and carminative. Healthline notes they contain fiber, manganese, calcium and vitamin E and are high in antioxidants.
My primary source is Hoodoo Herb and Root magic by catherine yronwode. She says that you’ll find cloves (Caryophyllus aromaticus) in friendship, money, and prosperity spells. Plus, if you press hold cloves into a red candle and burn it, you can stop your enemies from slandering you or gossiping. Crapshooters carry red mojo bags with retired dice, five-finger grass, cinnamon, Irish moss, cloves, thyme, and Hoyt’s cologne.
You can make friendship bags, according to Herbmagic.com by placing seven cloves in small bags and wearing them around your neck. For protection/cleaning, add them to a floor wash or a cleansing bath.
This post makes no guarantees about the medical or conjure uses of cloves, but simply presents them as traditional information for those interested in hoodoo.