The health benefits of Cloves and their medicinal uses.
Cloves are small dried flowers buds which originally come from the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. These have been used for thousands of years as a cooking spice and also as a natural medicine.
In this article, we will explore 22 facts and benefits of cloves, and explain how they affect the human body.
1. Joint Health: Cloves are one of the best sources of manganese on the planet, a mineral which can help to strengthen the joints. This helps to relieve joint pain such as shoulder or knee pain, and also reduces inflammation in the connective tissues. Pregnant women should consume foods rich in manganese to protect their children from skeletal defects.
2. Relieving Tooth Pain is the prominent Health benefit of Cloves: If you suffer from tooth pain or aching gums then you may apply a small amount of clove oil to relieve pain. Studies show that the healing compounds in clove oil work as a natural anaesthetic in the mouth, and can also protect the teeth from erosion and cavities.
3. Breath: Historically, people would chew on a few cloves before meeting royalty to fight off bad breath. The strong aromatic smell of these dried flowers helps to destroy odour causing bacteria in the mouth and make the breath smell fresh.
4. Liver Support: Cloves contain natural compounds like eugenol which can help to fight fatty liver disease by improving liver function. This helps your body to filter out toxins and waste to protect you from long term illnesses and liver cirrhosis, especially if you consume lots of sugar or alcohol.
5. Fly Repellent: There is an age-old remedy to help keep flies out of the home during the summer months. Simply slice a fresh lime or lemon in half and place cloves into the fruit. The reaction between the acid of the lemon and the aroma of the cloves helps to deter flies. Place these near windows and doors to help keep these pests out of the home.
6. Fights Aging: Cloves are one of the richest antioxidant spices in the world and are even rated above cinnamon and turmeric on the ORAC scale. Antioxidants found in cloves help to protect the body against premature ageing and free radical damage. This can help to slow the ageing process and protect the organs such as the eyes from oxidative stress which comes with age.
7. Skin Health Clove oil can be used topically on the skin to help relieve chronic itching. We highly recommend mixing a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut oil and applying directly to the skin. The antibacterial compounds in cloves can reduce swelling, fight acne and kill infectious bacteria on the skin naturally.
8. Mouthwash: You can make a powerful natural mouthwash by mixing warm water with tea tree oil, cloves and basil. A study showed that using this mixture for 21 days improved gum health and reduced plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
9. Insulin Resistance: Cloves contain a compound called nigericin which has been shown to help muscle cells to absorb glucose and sugar. This helps to balance blood sugar levels and may be useful for those suffering from diabetes. We always recommend getting a good balance of healthy spices and herbs in the diet to help regulate blood sugar levels.
10. Lung Health: Clove oil has been shown in some studies to help fight off respiratory infections in the lungs such as pneumonia and influenza. Clove Oil was added to a liquid culture and used in a vaporiser to help kill off viral infections from within the lungs, however, more research is currently required.
11. Flavour: Cloves have a sweet aromatic flavour and are used in many seasonal recipes. You will often find ground cloves added to pumpkin pies, gingerbreads and mulled wine because it has a very pleasant aroma.
12. Clove Tea: One of the best ways to enjoy the medicinal properties of cloves is by steeping them in hot water to make a herbal tea. This tea is packed full of antioxidants and will help to strengthen your body and make it more resistant to disease. They have been shown to help fight off harmful bacteria, yeast and mould in the body.
13. Anti-Cancer: Test tube studies show that clove oil can destroy breast, cervical and colon cancer cells. Antioxidant-rich foods like cloves can help to repair DNA and cut off blood supply to cancer cells in the body. Following a healthy, no sugar diet is also very important when fighting this awful disease.
14. Oil Burners: You can purchase clove essential oil from aromatherapy stores and diffuse using an oil burner. This will help the room to smell fresh, warm and inviting, especially during the winter months. Some of its healing compounds are released into the air which helps to relax the body and mind.
15. Fungal Infections: Clove oil has been shown to fight fungal infections such as athletes foot, fungal toenail infection, and thrush. It contains potent compounds that destroy the fungus and help the cells to heal from damage.
16. Health benefit of Cloves in Hair Growth: Many people use clove oil as a natural remedy to promote hair growth because it contains antioxidants and minerals that help to produce collagen. Massaging diluted clove oil into the scalp can improve blood circulation and fight off any dandruff or fungus that may be blocking hair follicles.
17. Cooking: We recommend grinding cloves with a pestle and mortar and adding to delicious meat marinades and salad dressings. It has a wonderful flavour and works well with gamy meats and duck in particular.
18. Nausea: In folk medicine, cloves are used as a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness. The compounds inside are said to settle the stomach when taking long journeys by car or boat, however, we find that spice known as ginger works much better at fighting nausea.
19. Health benefit of Cloves in Bloating: We highly recommend mixing equal amounts of cloves and cardamom to help calm the stomach and dispel gas. These spices help to soothe digestion and improve the pumping action of the colon called peristalsis.
20. Weight Loss: When trying to lose weight it is important to get lots of leafy greens, spices and herbs into your diet. Spices like cloves, turmeric and cinnamon help to reduce insulin resistance in the body, so that you can tap into your own fat reserves for energy. Spices can help to speed up the weight loss process, especially when following a low carb diet.
21. Nutrients: Cloves are one of the richest sources of manganese and also contain Vitamin K, fibre and small amounts of iron, magnesium and calcium. Their main benefits come from their healing compounds including eugenols, and other phenolic compounds.
22. Origins: Clove Tree Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds taken from the evergreen clove tree. These are picked by hand and dried until they turn brown in colour. The Latin name for cloves is Eugenia caryophyllus. As you can see, cloves have some fantastic health benefits for the human body, especially when consumed regularly.