How Are Cloves Good For You?
Just one teaspoon of cloves contains decent amounts of manganese, fiber, and vitamins C and K. While manganese boosts brain function and helps build bones, vitamins C and K boost immunity and prevent blood clotting. Vitamin K is also important for bone health.
What Are The Benefits Of Cloves?
1. Cloves Fight Inflammation
Studies have shown that the eugenol in clove works as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This is also true with clove essential oil, one form of clove that is widely available.
Clove also fights inflammation of the mouth and throat. In yet another study by the University of Florida, subjects who consumed cloves on a daily basis had reduced levels of a specific pro-inflammatory cytokine in just seven days. Lowering these cytokines can significantly reduce the likelihood of arthritis and joint pains. In fact, long-term inflammation can lead to arthritis – and taking clove regularly could be a good step in preventing that.
2. Help Fight Cancer
One study showed how clove extract could prevent tumor growth and induce cancer cell death. The anti-cancer properties of clove can be attributed to eugenol, which had even shown to benefit in the case of esophageal cancer.
Cloves are also good sources of antioxidants. In fact, half a teaspoon of ground clove contains more antioxidants than half a cup of blueberries. Antioxidants fight inflammation and protect us against cancer.
Clove extract was also found to be lethal to breast cancer cells in yet another study.
“Cloves have excellent cytotoxicity towards MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Hence, they are a promising source for the development of anticancer agents.”
– Parvinnesh S. Kumar and Co., Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia.
Did You Know?
Ancient Romans used cloves for culinary and medicinal purposes. In fact, they were one of the most expensive spices in Europe in the Middle Ages.
3. Aid Diabetes Treatment
Volunteers in a study reported lower glucose levels after regularly taking cloves. Another animal study showed how cloves could moderate blood sugar spikes in diabetic mice.
Cloves contain another compound called nigericin, which was found to improve insulin secretion and the health of cells that produce insulin. This means that cloves, when taken as a part of a balanced diet, can keep your blood sugar levels in check.
4. Promote Digestive Health
Certain compounds in cloves can reduce stomach ulcers, as per some research. The oil from cloves can increase the thickness of gastric mucus, and this protects the stomach lining and prevents peptic ulcers. The fiber in cloves can also aid digestion and might prevent constipation.
5. Improve Respiratory Health
This is especially true with clove oil – it can be used for treating bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory issues like cold and cough. The oil soothes the respiratory tract and also has an anti-inflammatory effect. You can simply massage the oil into your chest, sinuses, and even the bridge of the nose – doing this opens the breathing passages and gives you relief. You can also add the oil (or steep a few cloves) to a glass of warm water and take it as tea. Chewing on a clove bud can ease a sore throat and even help treat cold and cough.
6. Stimulate Blood Circulation
As per some research, this is especially true with clove oil. The oil impacts the body’s metabolism and reduces body temperature, and this enhances circulation.
The antioxidant properties of cloves might also help purify the blood – though we need more research on this.
7. Relieve Stress
Anecdotal evidence suggests that massaging with clove oil might help relieve stress.
8. Improve Oral Health
The eugenol in clove is known to provide relief. The substance is an anesthetic and has antibacterial properties, and this helps you deal with the pain. One simple way to get rid of a toothache is to place a few whole cloves in your mouth and moisten them with your saliva – after which you can crush them with your teeth. The oil that is released fights the pain. You can use a whole clove for 30 minutes, before discarding it and repeating the process with a new one.
If you have a much severe toothache, such that grinding cloves with your teeth is not possible, you can use crushed cloves. Crush the whole cloves and place the powder on the affected tooth.
An Iranian study also speaks about the analgesic affects of clove, which can help relieve toothache. Cloves can also combat bad breath.
Did You Know?
About 42 million pounds of cloves are produced and consumed every year. And three-quarters of the cloves that are produced originate from Tanzania.
9. Can Fight Headache
The cooling and pain-relieving properties of cloves can work wonders here. All you have to do is crush a few cloves and put them in a clean handkerchief. Inhale the smell whenever you have a headache. You should obtain some relief.
Alternately, you can also add two drops of clove oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and gently massage over your forehead and temples.
10. Boost Testosterone Levels
Studies have shown how oral ingestion of cloves can enhance testicular function and ultimately boost testosterone levels. Though the study has been carried on mice, the potential for humans is encouraging.
Some sources say that cloves can also enhance fertility.
11. Cloves Treat Acne
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of cloves play a role here. Clove oil works well in treating acne and improving skin health.
The eugenol in the oil has antibacterial properties. The oil can kill infection and fight inflammation, thereby effectively treating acne.
These are the benefits of cloves. But that’s not all. There are a couple of other ways you can use cloves.
What Are The Other Uses Of Cloves?
- You can add cloves to cakes by grounding them. This gives your baked goods an extra kick. They combine well with nutmeg and cinnamon.
- You can also add a couple of cloves to your morning tea.
- You can also add them to your rice preparations. Or even use them for garnish.
For Killing Fleas
As clove oil is an aromatic essential oil, it can work as an excellent insecticide. After bathing your pet in warm water, rinse it off in water containing a couple of drops of clove oil. You can also add a drop of the oil to its collar – this will keep the fleas away.