Health benefits of cloves

Cloves are one of the highly prized spices, They might be tiny, but cloves are giants when it comes to nutrition and natural health. Cloves are widely recognized all over the world for their medicinal and culinary benefits. They are the "flower buds" from evergreen rain-forest tree native to Indonesia. Over 1000 tons of cloves are imported to the US ever year.


Like other spices, cloves are available throughout the year. They are renowned for providing their uniquely warm, sweet and aromatic taste. Botanically, the spice belongs to the family of Myrtaceae of the genus; Sygyzium, and scientifically named as Sygizium aromaticum.

Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. The buds are picked by hand when they are pink and dried until they turn brown in color. Cloves are about 1/2-inch long and 1/4-inch in diameter and with their tapered stem, they resemble tiny nails. In fact, their English name is actually derived from the Latin word clavus, which means nail. Although cloves have a very hard exterior, their flesh features an oily compound that is essential to their nutritional and flavor profile. 

Cloves are native to the Moluccas, formerly known as the Spice Islands of Indonesia. They have been consumed in Asia for more than 2,000 years. Arab traders brought cloves to Europe around the 4th century, although they did not come into widespread use until the Middle Ages when they became prized for their pungent flavor that served to mask the taste of poorly preserved foods. 

While for a long time, they were cultivated almost exclusively in Indonesia, today the leading clove-producing region is Zanzibar in Eastern Africa. In addition to these two regions, cloves are also grown commercially in the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Pemba and Brazil.

Health Benefits of cloves
This powerful plant can be used in myriad ways to heal the body. Along with other vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, K, and calcium, cloves can treat multiple diseases which are caused by a deficiency in nutrient dense foods – from cardiovascular problems, depression, and even cancer.

1) The active principles in the clove are known to have antioxidant, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties. The super spice also contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol. It is a phenyl-propanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to the clove-bud. 

2) Clove oil contains a chemical that may decrease pain. People use the oils, dried flower buds, leaves, and stems to make medicine.

3) Eugenol has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; useful in dental care essentials as well as in treatment procedures. Clove is applied directly to the gums (used topically) for toothache, for pain control during dental work, and for a complication of tooth extraction called “dry socket.”

4) The active principles in the clove may increase gut motility as well as improve the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. Thus, helps relieve indigestion and constipation problems.

5) Clove oil is also applied to the skin as a counterirritant for pain and for mouth and throat inflammation. 

6) Clove is used for upset stomach and as an expectorant. Expectorants make it easier to cough up phlegm. Clove oil is used for diarrhea, hernia, and bad breath. Clove and clove oil are used for intestinal gas, nausea, and vomiting.

7) The spice also contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium. Potassium is an important electrolyte of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,superoxide dismutase.

8) In combination with other ingredients, clove is also applied to the skin as part of a multi-ingredient product used to keep men from reaching orgasm too early (premature ejaculation).

9) In manufacturing, clove is used in toothpaste, soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and cigarettes. Clove cigarettes, also called kreteks, generally contain 60% to 80% tobacco and 20% to 40% ground clove. Eugenol, one of the chemicals in clove, acts like menthol to reduce the harshness of tobacco smoke.

10) Further, the spice buds contain very good amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required by the body for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin in addition to essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.

11) Additionally, this spice is a good source of vitamin-K, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1),vitamin-C and riboflavin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

12) Eugenol also has been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, but further detailed studies required to establish its benefits.

13) It is a good remedy for treating morning sickness. Take around ten grains of cloves, mix them with tamarind and palm sugar and make it into a nice mixture using water. Drink this solution twice a day as an effective treatment.

14) Common cold can be treated effectively by drinking a lukewarm mixture made with ten drops of clove oil and honey. Drink it twice or thrice a day.


15) The essential volatile oils functions as a rubefacient, meaning that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer, making it a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.

16) Cloves and clove oil when taken together can provide relief from Nausea.

17) Clove is mixed with water and used in the preparation of tea to overcome flatulence.

18) Clove is also an aphrodisiac and its fragrance eliminates exhaustion and fatigue related thoughts. It thus soothes the senses and relieves stress in the body. Mix cloves with basil, mint and cardamom in water to make a flavoured tea. Take this along with honey to provide you relief from stress.

19) It is also thought to have natural anti-parasite (kills intestinal worms) function.

 20) In foods and beverages, clove is used as a flavoring. Its seasoning capabilities make it very easy to blend in many dishes, beverages and desserts. It helps to provide strong flavour and aroma to the food.

So what are you waiting for Experience health benefits of cloves today!

Safety precautions:
Recipes prepared with this spice should be avoided in individuals with stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis conditions. Consumption of dishes prepared with large quantity of clove can cause gastrointestinal irritation, central nervous system disorders. Eating cloves is also avoided during pregnancy.

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