Cloves are the flower bud of the clove tree, which is an evergreen.  It is a spice that is mainly known for being in gingerbread baked goods.  It is also a main staple in Indian cuisine.  It can add depth, spice and flavor to many foods in the kitchen.  Cloves can be found in either whole or ground form, as well as in an oil form.  Cloves have been shown to have medicinal uses on top of being a staple in many household kitchens. 

 

What are the health benefits of cloves?

Cloves contain fiber, vitamins and minerals.  They contain manganese which is important for brain function and building strong bones.  The manganese found in cloves has shown to help preserve bone mass and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  Cloves also contain vitamin K.  It is an immunity booster too.  

They are high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants are important to help reduce the oxidative stress in the body.  Oxidative stress can lead to chronic diseases.  Having cloves regularly in your diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. 

The high antioxidants can help reduce inflammation throughout the body which can reduce the risk of arthritis.  It also can help reduce body pain that is caused by inflammation. 

The eugenol found in Cloves can help reduce signs of liver cirrhosis and fatty liver disease.  Cloves are high in antioxidants which helps prevent liver disease from happening.  

Cloves have also been studied to show they can protect against getting cancer.  In one study it was shown that cloves stopped the growth of tumors as well as promoting cell death in cancer cells.  Clove oil promotes cell death in esophageal cancer.  Cloves contain eugenol which shows to have anticancer properties. Eugenol has shown to promote death in cervical cancer cells.  Eugenol can be toxic in high amounts. 

Cloves can also help with digestion health.  They increase digestive motility.  Help ease gas and nausea.  They can even help prevent and reduce stomach ulcers.  

Cloves have antimicrobial properties which help kill certain bacteria.  One of the bacteria that cloves have shown to kill is E Coli or food poisoning. 

Cloves have also shown to help decrease the amount of plaque and bad bacteria found in your mouth.  They can also help with gum disease and gum health.  Cloves can also stop bad breath.  

Cloves have also been shown to help regulate blood sugar.  If you have diabetes, cloves can help lower your blood sugar.  Overuse though can lead to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.  Cloves help increase the uptake of sugar from the blood to the cells, increase secretion of insulin, and improve function of cells that produce insulin. 

 

What are the ways to take cloves? 

There are lots of ways to add cloves into your diet if you don’t already use them in your daily cooking.  If you are a tea lover, you can add cloves to your tea.  Many digestive mixes include cloves in them, or you can make your own digestive mix at home using cloves and few other ingredients.  Clove water, which can be done with lukewarm water and whole cloves soaked in it.  This can help alleviate a sore throat.  Clove rice is another way to add whole cloves into your diet.  You can add whole cloves into soups and stews as well.  You can find clove extract oil that you can use as well in foods, or directly onto your skin to help clear up acne.  

 

What are the side effects of cloves?

Since cloves can be taken orally with food it seems to be safe to take daily by mouth.  If you use the clove oil be careful when applying directly to your skin.  Sensitive skin types may have some irritation or burning.  Also be careful when applying clove oil directly to gums and inside of your mouth.  It can sometimes cause irritation and gum damage.  If taken in high doses cloves may cause liver damage.  The eugenol found in cloves can be toxic in high amounts.  

 

Takeaway

Cloves have health benefits as well as keeping your kitchen spicy and rich in flavor.  Adding cloves to your daily diet can help regulate blood sugar, improve digestion health, and help lower oxidative stress in your body.  There are many ways to add cloves to your diet to make it easy to get some health benefits from this aromatic spice.  

 

 



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