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iVillage.com: What to Eat When: Food Fixes for Everyday Aches and Pains

You Have a Toothache: Chew Cloves

If you can’t get to the dentist -- or you suspect the ache is only going to be temporary -- gently chewing on one or two cloves can ease your tooth pain and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. The credit goes to a natural compound in clove oil called eugenol -- it’s a powerful anesthetic and bacteria-killer, and cloves are packed with almost five times more of it than any other plant studied, say researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens. One tip: Store cloves (and any other spices that you don’t use weekly) in a cool, dark cupboard. Eugenol -- and the medicinal ingredients in many other spices -- can be damaged by prolonged exposure to light and heat.

(CREDIT: U. Alter/Photodisc/Getty Images)
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