Buying whole cloves, you can easily produce ground cloves when needed. This is desirable because ground cloves, like any ground spice, will quickly lose potency and depth of flavor. You can use a spice grinder, mortar, and pestle, or a clean coffee grinder you designate for this purpose. Be sure to clean the grinder well afterward before you use it with other spices as the clove flavor and aroma will linger. A common non-culinary use of cloves is the kretek clove cigarette produced in Indonesia. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for stress relief. In the traditional medicine of non-Western cultures, cloves are used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine as a warming and stimulating substance.
Cloves have long been used in home remedies to treat for toothache pain.2 The eugenol that provides the flavor of cloves is also a pain-reliever and that it can be toxic for children4, so keep any clove oil out of reach and use only child-safe, diluted preparations on children. Read the directions carefully and consult your dentist or pediatrician if you have any doubt as to the safety.