Herbs eugenol oil is something you may have a passing interest in, as I have. However, there's no earthly point getting neurotic about whether you've had enough of this wonderful anti inflammatory phenol compound.
It's the eugenol oil that gives cloves and sweet basil their divine scent. Unless you're a biochemist, you probably won't be interested in its structure.
Let's just recognise that it's one of those many substances, loosely called phytochemical foods that research is increasingly showing have a vital and oft mysterious role in sparkling good health.
For example, Deepak, Kruger and Coetzee et al have published in the journal Connective Tissue Research that eugenol oil inhibits two pathways that induce osteoclast formation.
Osteoclasts are the cells that lead to bone destruction and porosity, hence the interest of chiropractors in herbs and eugenol oil.
Thus even small amounts of sweet basil and cloves, ingested regularly, will contribute to stronger bones; a wonderful flavour in any case.
I always add a clove to butternut soup, for example; we made it last night. And right through the summer there's half a dozen fresh sweet basil leaves in every salad.
Herbs eugenol oil is found in sweet basil giving pesto its unique aroma.
Whenever making a spicy dish, simply add a few cloves for its eugenol oil.
And when making salads be sure to include periodically one of the most delicious and simple to make dressings called pesto. The principal ingredient is sweet basil; think stronger bones, and less painful teeth.
Eugenol oil has long been used by dentists, combined with zinc oxide, in applications such as sealing root canals. It acts as an anti inflammatory and helps prevent bacterial build up under a crown.
I'm sure you recognise the distinctive smell of herbs eugenol oil when you've had dental work. Ask your dentist about it about its analgesic properties.
It's also used in many perfumes because of its wonderful fragrance.
Don't go out and buy it. Simply plant some sweet basil in your garden next spring. It's a simply divine smelling herb that will contribute to discussion around the dining room table! 'Darling, what a divine salad. What on earth have you put in it?'
You can't see them in this picture, but the bees from my hives go crazy over the tiny white flowers. I'd just love to try the honey from three acres of sweet basil!
It's quite sensitive to very hot weather, so water frequently, and alas gets a nasty blight in misty, damp conditions. It's extremely frost sensitive, so harvest the leaves and freeze them as soon as they are ready. You can also hang them in bunches to dry. Throw handfuls into your stews.
Sweet basil is simply my favourite herb; just squeeze a handful of leaves up in your hand and take in a deep whiff. I could get high on the volatile essential oil; it contains the herbs eugenol oil.
Pesto is a wonderful condiment made primarily of sweet basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese; the sweet basil is the source of the herbs eugenol oil.
Pluck the leaves from your sweet basil and crush them in your fingers; the fragrance is divine. Then make into a pesto.
Can you see the pesto in this wonderful salad and in that bottle near the butter? Yes, butter is back; research conclusively shows there's no advantage in margarine and it tastes awful. Margarine is made with hydrogenated oils which have been proved very toxic for the body.
There's lots of interest in the photograph above, just a typical lunch not unlike that we enjoy every day. Enjoying nine coloured foods per day, research shows decreases all cause of death by 35 percent. That's massive.
In particular, notice the sourdough bread that I make several times a week. What's really interesting about it is the bacterium lactobacillus in the sourdough breaks down the stubborn amino acid proline that gives folk so much trouble with gluten. It's so much more digestible, and even folk with Celiac disease are finding they can eat it.
Cloves are richly endowed with herbs eugenol oil too which is why, for centuries the treatment of toothache was a clove squished into the offending cavity. Add them regularly to your cooking. The wife just yesterday added a couple cloves to her pickled beets recipe.
Bernard Preston is busy with his seventh book, provisionally called Priests Denied. It won't be available until 2017 at the earliest.
His other six books are to be found in the navigation bar; they are inexpensive as ebooks at Amazon.
Healthy choice slow foods, made fast is his passion. Dropping a few sweet basil leaves with their herbs eugenol oil into a salad turns a dull green salad into a gem; add homemade hummus or pesto and you have a divine lunch.