Tobacco and Clove, What’s in it for us?

Historically, tobacco has been in use since 1 B.C. Native Indians began using tobacco as a means of religious and medicinal practice.

This native plant of North and South America was believed to be cure-all, as well as painkiller. It is also found that chewing tobacco was believed to aid toothache.

Tobacco and smoking


Since its early use, tobacco has been associated with the smoking activity. Either used for pipe smoking or rolled in cigarettes and cigar, tobacco has its long and prevailing history.

The trading activity between Americans and Europeans has given an impact on tobacco spread all over the world. While native Americans use tobacco smoking mostly for religious purpose, it was considered as a readily accepted trade item between them and Europeans.

The spread of tobacco to Europeans has enabled tobacco and smoking culture to widespread. It is believed that the Spanish introduced tobacco to Europeans in about 1528, and by 1533 Diego Columbus mentioned a tobacco merchant of Lisbon stating how quickly the traffic had sprung up.

Following that, the French, Spanish, and Portuguese initially referred to the plant as the “sacred herb” because of its valuable medicinal properties. Since then, tobacco use is widespread not only in Europe and America but also in Asia and Africa.

Clove and smoking


Cloves are aromatic flower buds that are native to Maluku Islands, Indonesia. Cloves are commonly used as a spice. Locally, most Indonesian called it cengkeh or cengkih.

It is an herb that is highly relatable to tobacco, hence cigarettes. Besides that, cloves are commonly used in cuisine of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern as well. For cuisine, it adds flavor to meats, curries, and marinades.

Clove oil as well has medicinal benefits as a painkiller. Although it has little evidence that clove oil contains eugenol, it is commonly used as an effective cure for toothache as painkiller.

In some drug store in Indonesia, clove oil is commonly available and familiar as toothache cure. Another use of clove oil includes aromatherapeutic use.

In the smoking culture, clove cigarettes are known as kretek cigarettes. Its widespread was based on a claim of its founder Haji Jamhari, a native of Kudus, Central Java, Indonesia.

Suffering from chest pain, he attempted to reduce the pain by rubbing clove oil on his chest. In seeking a means of achieving a deeper relief, he smoked his hand-rolled cigarettes that have dried clove buds and rubber tree sap added.

Since then, Jamhari’s story spread rapidly, and clove cigarettes were first marketed as a medicinal product and gain its popularity.

A myth of health benefits?


Although any claimed health benefits of smoking are still debatable and unconfirmed, several smokers believe that smoking has beneficial advantages to their body.

Perhaps, it is a long-prevailing placebo effect that is affected by the prevailing culture, practice, and believe of the society. The fact that cigarettes have a really long-prevailing story, it indicates that its popular ingredient, tobacco, and clove are believed to have many advantages in people’s daily life.


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