Cloves have a strong and pungent flavor and aroma. They can be used whole or ground. Whole cloves are shaped like a small spike, usually around one centimeter in length with a bulbous top. Popular in the kitchen, they are often used to flavor sauces, soups and rice dishes. Medicinally, cloves can aid in the relief of a wide variety of ailments, both internal and external. These include quieting an upset stomach and general digestion enhancement, reducing the severity of coughs, clearing sinuses and providing effective relief from tooth pain due to analgesic properties. It has also been touted as an antimicrobial agent, with the ability to relieve excessive gas bloating.