Cloves can easily overpower a dish, particularly when ground, so only a few need be used. Whole cloves are often used to "stud" hams and pork, pushing the tapered end into the meat like a nail. A studded onion is frequently used to impart an elusive character to courts-bouillons, stocks and soups. Cloves are often used to enhance the flavour of game, especially venison, wild boar and hare. They are used in a number of spice mixtures including ras el hanout, curry powders, mulling spices and pickling spices. Cloves also figure in the flavour of Worcestershire sauce. They enjoy much popularity in North Africa and the Middle East where they are generally used for meat dishes, though rice is often aromatized with a few cloves.
India's traditional Ayurvedic healers have used Cloves since ancient times to treat respiratory and digestive ailments. They were also the first to extract clove oil from the herbal buds, which they used on the gums to relieve toothache. A few drops of the oil in water will stop vomiting, and an infusion will relieve nausea. Essential oil of clove is effective against strep, staph and pneumomocci bacterias. Contemporary herbalists recommend vloves for digestive complaints and its oil for toothache.