Though the health benefits of spices have been documented well, there are very few that are as full of healing and restorative powers as cloves. If you want to increase your antioxidant intake or provide immediate relief for a whole host of pains, cloves are exactly what you need. These earthy, autumnal-smelling spices are a kitchen essential, so if you don’t have any in your pantry, you should definitely buy some.
Cloves are considered an ayurvedic medicine by many doctors and experts and are packed with vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for a simple solution to some of your daily life problems, stay tuned to hear exactly how cloves can benefit you:
1. Natural bad breath cure
According to Chinese traditional medicine, bad breath is a result of Qi stagnation. Cloves encourage Qi flow and have been used in Chinese medicine as a home remedy for bad breath.
These tiny spices clean the tongue, palate, and upper part of the throat of any bacteria or decaying matter and their strong aromatic qualities alter the smell within the mouth.
Chewing on a clove is the easiest way to keep bad breath away. The pungent aromatic spice may burn slightly, so keep it moving in your mouth. Continue to bite until the essence permeates your mouth, then spit it out.
2. Improve Digestion
Essential oils like eugenic acid and crategolic acid, both of which are found in cloves, are important for digestion. Cloves promote an increase in digestive enzymes, and also increase digestive motility, preventing an overproduction of digestive gasses, which can contribute to stomach bloating and flatulence.
Cloves also relax the smooth lining of the gastrointestinal tract, preventing vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache.
3. Control Diabetes
Eating cloves with your meals decreases insulin resistance and enhances the effect of the hormones responsible for fullness after eating. They help insulin function more efficiently, so the body requires less insulin to get glucose into cells to provide energy.
Cloves also help keep your blood sugar levels in check, further controlling diabetes.
4. Good Bone Health
The hydro-alcoholic extracts found in cloves, like eugenol, flavones, isoflavones, and flavonoids, have been found to protect bone density and the mineral content of bone, as well as increase the strength of bones.
Cloves contain bone-friendly nutrients like manganese, which is essential for the synthesis of connective tissue in cartilage and bone, omega-3 fatty acids, which increase calcium absorption, reduce bone loss and maintain mineral density, Vitamin C, which boosts collagen production, and Vitamin K, which regulates the activity of osteoclast cells. All of these ingredients combined help to provide optimal bone health.
5. Liver Protection
The high antioxidant content in cloves protects organs from the harmful effects of free radicals, particularly in the liver. In the long run, our metabolisms increase free radical production while simultaneously decreasing the level of antioxidants in the liver – which causes us to fall sick more easily and succumb to skin ageing.
Cloves counteract those effects with their ability to counteract damage to the liver.
6. Improve Immune System
Cloves contain nutrients like Vitamin C, which helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection. It also contains iron, which similarly encourages the body to respond to infection.
The star ingredient that contributes towards immunity in cloves, though, is eugenol, which is effective against many harmful bacteria, fungus, and viruses. The anti-viral and blood purification properties of cloves reduce toxicity in blood and increase resistance against a multitude of diseases. They do this by stimulating antioxidant activity throughout the body, boosting the immune system.
7. Anti-cancer Properties
Recent studies found that clove extract halted the activity and growth of colon, breast, ovarian, and liver cancer cells. As with most research into cancer treatments today, there’s still a lot more that needs to be done before we can say for sure whether cloves can be used as, or as part of, a life-saving medication, but what we know so far is promising.
8. Treat Dental Problems
The germicidal properties of clove oil make it a very effective remedy for dental pain, toothache, sore gums, and mouth ulcers. Clove oil is best for treating your dental problems.
It contains the active ingredient eugenol, which is a natural aesthetic and helps numb and reduces pain to ease a toothache. Eugenol also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and can reduce swelling and irritation in the mouth.
If you need a short-term remedy for a tooth cavity, use a cotton swab to apply one or two drops of clove oil directly on the spot of the tooth cavity and allow it to soak in. Be sure to see your dentist for treatment as soon as possible, as clove oil can only ease the pain, not treat the source of the problem.
9. Treat Respiratory Ailments
Clove oil has been found effective in treating respiratory ailments like bronchitis, colds, sinusitis, and asthma because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cloves work as an expectorant, loosening mucus in the throat and oesophagus so you can cough it up.
You can clear your respiratory passages from consuming cloves or clove oil, which will improve your breathing and reduce congestion.
10. Relieve Stress
Cloves have been shown to successfully stimulate the mind while improving brain function and reducing mental exhaustion, which helps to significantly reduce anxiety and depression.
To experience the amazing stress-relieving benefits of cloves, make a tea with whole cloves, cinnamon, and mint leaves, or relax with aromatherapy by diffusing clove essential oil. Clove oil massages are also quite popular, as they reduce mental exhaustion, fatigue, anxiety, and tension due to their relaxing effect on the mind.
Cloves are one of the most valuable herbs that have been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac and for many medicinal purposes. They’re a potent libido enhancer and demonstrate a marked improvement in testosterone level and erectile health.
Cloves are also known to boost sexual performance by treating premature ejaculation. Recent research confirmed that the ethanol content in cloves has a positive impact on libido.
12. Encourage Healthy Skin
Due to the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of eugenol found in cloves, they have been shown to help treat acne by fighting against inflammation and destroying harmful bacteria found on the skin. Clove oil also exfoliates blemishes and scars, making your skin appear clear and healthy.
For a little DIY skincare, try combining ground cloves with honey and yogurt in a DIY face mask to help relieve acne flare-ups and soothe irritated skin. Leave the mask on your skin for 20 minutes before rinsing off and patting your face dry with a towel.
13. Treat Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Studies have shown that clove essential oil is both fast and effective in killing fungal infections. Research suggests that the antifungal and antibacterial properties of eugenol make cloves or clove oil an effective treatment for a number of bacterial and fungal infections, including ringworm, strep throat, thrush, and athlete’s foot.
One study even showed that clove essential oil killed three common types of bacteria, including E. coli, a strain of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
14. For Hair Health
Hair treatments created from cloves or clove oil have been a mainstay of homeopathic medicine for some time. Their purpose, in many cases, is to thicken hair or to prevent hair loss. It’s thought that applying clove oil to your scalp boosts blood circulation, which reduces hair fall and promotes hair growth. It also lends a much-needed shine to dry and dull hair.
15. Earache Cure
Clove oil is a useful natural remedy for nasty earaches. One study compared a mixture of clove oil, lavender oil, and herb-Robert oil with a popular over-the-counter eardrops remedy and found that the clove oil solution worked just as well to improve symptoms of tenderness, itchiness, and discharge.
To use clove oil for an earache, take a warm mixture of 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and 3-4 drops of pure clove oil and slowly apply this mixture inside your ears. Leave it for several minutes to let it take effect.
The mixture will ease the pain and you will feel relaxed. Obviously, for a major ear infection, you should seek treatment from a doctor, but clove oil will provide pain relief in the meantime.
16. Eliminate Toxins from Blood
Cloves can act as a blood purifier and also boost blood circulation. It’s thought that cloves can help eliminate toxins from the blood.
The aroma extracts in cloves can reduce toxin levels and rouse the antioxidant levels in the body, which will further purify platelets and boost the workings of the immune system.
17. Useful Insect Repellent
Clove oil works as an excellent bug or insect repellent. It is a common component in many insect repellents that you find in markets.
Traditionally, a few drops of clove oil was scattered around the room and the sleeping area to keep the mosquitoes away. You can make your own clove oil perfume and spritz it on yourself before leaving home if you live in an area where the pesky insect population is high.
18. Relieve Headaches
If you’re looking for natural headache treatment, head to the kitchen, mix four drops of clove oil with salt, and apply it to your forehead for instant relief. The flavonoids in clove oil have anti-inflammatory agents, and these anti-inflammatory properties will help ease the inflammation while having a cooling effect.
Clove oil can also be used to reduce as an excellent pain reliever for muscle pain and joints.
There are many ways to benefit from cloves on a daily basis. Consuming whole cloves, found in spice jars in most supermarkets, will help you to stay healthy from the inside out, and you can use them combined with other spices to create a number of spice blends for meats, curries and meat marinades.
If you prefer to use cloves to create a sweet dish, try adding them to apples, pears, or rhubarb. They have a delicious pungent flavour, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re not a fan of the taste of cloves, you can take clove supplements, which come in capsule form.
Clove oil offers a different way of enjoying the benefits of cloves. You can consume clove oil – it was traditionally used to add flavour to cough syrups – but be careful with your portions, as too much can cause breathing difficulty and can be very dangerous. You can also burn clove oil in an essential oil diffuser or use it as a massage oil or muscle rub.
If you’ve never tried cloves before, give it a go! Be sure to let us know in the comments if you use cloves for a health purpose that hasn’t been mentioned in this video.