Clove is a unique kind of herb. The dried bud of the pink flower is used across the entire world to add flavors to the food. However, only a few users are aware of the medicinal properties it possesses. Clove has been used across the Asian sub-continent for thousands of years, not only as a condiment but also as an ayurvedic medicine. While the health benefits of cloves may seem endless, we’ve taken the top 20 and detailed them in this article.
Nutritional breakdown of clove:
Clove is a nutrient-dense spice, to say the least. It is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and is rich in minerals (especially Magnesium) and vitamins. Minerals found in clove include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc and calcium. The vitamins in clove include thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin C, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin D.
To add to the nutritional value, clove possesses various biochemicals such as eugenol, ethanol, thymol, benzene, flavonoids, hexane, and methylene chloride that make it rich in antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties.
Here’s is a comprehensive list of medicinal and health benefits of cloves along with natural remedies that will help you reap the benefits of this amazing spice.
Medicinal and Health Benefits of Cloves:
1. Aids in digestion
Blessed with biochemicals, this multi-nutrient spice helps in improving digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. It also aids in reducing dyspepsia and nausea.
How to improve digestion using the health benefits of cloves: Roast a few clove buds and powder them. Take this powdered form of clove with honey for relief in digestive disorders.
2. Protects liver
Hepatoprotective properties and antioxidants in clove extracts are helpful in protecting the organs from free radicals. It aids in increasing metabolism and decreases the production of antioxidants in the liver. To take advantage of this benefit of cloves, you can use either whole cloves or ground powder in your meals.
3. Antibacterial properties
Extracts of clove are effective against bacteria that spreads cholera. Moreover, the buds are known to carry strong antibacterial properties that are potent enough to kill human pathogens.
4. Cloves for toothaches and oral diseases
Cloves are listed as an ingredient in over 99% of toothpaste. The primary reason for doing so are the biochemicals that contain pain-killing properties in clove. They are known to provide relief from toothaches. Also, cloves are highly recommended in ancient ayurvedic medicinal practices for gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. The extracts from the buds control the growth of pathogens that can lead to various oral diseases, thus, maintaining a healthy oral hygiene.
5. Possesses anticarcinogenic properties
In the disease-ridden world, spices like cloves can do wonders. Apart from the many properties that the little spice boasts of, one of the most valuable health benefits of cloves is due to its anticarcinogenic and chemopreventive properties. Cloves have been tested for their anticarcinogenic properties and it was revealed that cloves can aid in controlling lung cancer in the early stages.
6. Preserves bones
Clove buds contain hydroalcoholic extracts like eugenol, flavonoids, isoflavones and flavones. These phenolic compounds aid in preserving bone density, are helpful in increasing the tensile strength of bones in osteoporosis and maintain a healthy mineral content for the bones. Moreover, the minerals and vitamins present in clove extracts such as magnesium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and vitamin K help your body absorb calcium from food, thus leading to healthier bones.
7. Boosts immunity
A healthy immune system is a function of the food you consume. Including clove as a spice in your daily preparations or adding it as a condiment in dishes can increase the food’s immune boosting power. Moreover, it increases the white blood cell count which results in improving delayed type hypersensitivity.
8. Possesses anti-mutagenic properties
First of all, the chemicals that change the genetic makeup of the DNA by mutations are known as mutagens. One can control mutagenic effects to a certain rate with the help of biochemical compounds found in cloves—like phenylpropanoids these compounds possess anti-mutagenic properties.
9. Controls diabetes
The health benefits of cloves have been in use for thousands of years. Because of this, it has become a useful remedy for a number of diseases. One such disease is diabetes. Patients suffering from diabetes have a less amount of insulin produced by their body and one can use clove to overcome this devastating disease. Scientists have revealed that extracts from cloves imitate insulin in certain ways and maintains sugar levels in the body.
10. Bad breath
Bad breath can be cured by consuming the buds of clove daily. Its bud release necessary enzymes that kill the bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Clove can be consumed as a power or as a whole bud. To eat the bud, simply soak them in water for about 10 minutes before adding them to your favorite soup or salad. Just one of the many benefits of cloves to make your day brighter.
11. Treats morning sickness
Even though this condition is called morning sickness, it isn’t limited to just the hours before noon. Pregnant women of all kinds can experience this draining sickness throughout the day. Fortunately, one of the amazing health benefits of cloves is that it proves to be a wonderful spice to treat morning sickness and to kick start the day in a fresh, energized way.
How to treat morning sickness using clove: Mix around eight to ten cloves in palm sugar and tamarind. Add water to this mixture. Drink this solution twice a day for a period of two weeks for an effective treatment.
12. Aids in overcoming flatulence
Flatulence is caused due to the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal. This not only causes uneasiness in the body, but it also leads to pain in the lower abdomen. Not to mention the embarrassment caused by flatulence. One of the less-known health benefits of cloves is the fact that it can help reduce the amount of flatulence that accumulates throughout the day to alleviate pain and give you a much-needed boost of confidence.
Natural remedy to overcome flatulence: Take 4 to 5 clove buds and boil them in water. Drink this herbal concoction on an empty stomach every morning to treat flatulence.
13. Treats respiratory infections & common cold
Believe it or not, clove when added to food during respiratory congestions can help you kick the infections away. One of the many health benefits of cloves is that it works as an excellent expectorant that loosens mucus in the esophagus and throat to help us cough it out. Its antimicrobial properties kill the pathogens that can lead to throat infections and congestion in the chest. A common problem we all suffer from, especially when the weather changes is common cold coupled with cough.
How to get rid of common cold using clove: Consuming a bud of clove every day along with two to three buds of black pepper can help in curing the common cold naturally. Alternatively, mix a few drops of clove oil and honey in lukewarm water and drink the mixture two or three times a day to treat the common cold.
How to use clove for respiratory infections: Prepare a tea using 2 crushed cardamom seeds, a cinnamon stick, and 2 clove buds mixed with hot water in a large mug with a tea bag. Let the ingredients settle down in the mug for a few minutes.
14. Helps in beating stress
With stress taking over today’s lifestyle, it is extremely important to unwind and relax your mind, body, and soul for a healthier tomorrow. While yoga, meditation, and traveling are amongst the many ways to refresh your body, the right food can do wonders too. Stress relief is one of the most popular health benefits of cloves.
Clove’s magical stress relieving properties: Ancient Ayurveda suggests that clove should be consumed with basil, mint and grounded cardamom warm water to relieve oneself of stress. You may add honey to the mixture as well. Alternatively, one can inhale clove essential oil along with lavender oil using a diffuser at night to overcome a tiring day at work.
15. Treats cuts, wounds & rashes
Clove oil is known to have healing properties and can be topically applied over rashes, scabies, cuts, wounds, fungal infections, stings, bites and athlete’s foot. Make sure the infected area is clean before application. If the infection has spread already, do not hesitate to seek medical help. The health benefits of cloves are not intended to replace professional medical treatment.
16. Removes acne and cures blemishes and scars
One of the most lucrative secrets of this medicinal herb is its strong anesthetic property. The spice not only helps in controlling acne breakout on the skin but can also work on curing blemishes and scars and treating the bacteria that leads to skin problems. Clove and its extracts have widely been used in face packs, massage creams, and other beauty products that cure acne.
How to use clove to remove acnes, blemishes, and scars: The essential oil of clove has strong antimicrobial properties and can work wonders on the skin when applied topically. However, it is highly recommended to use clove oil directly on the skin under professional supervision. Alternatively, one can opt for using clove oil along with a carrier oil. This mixture is safe to use and needs no professional supervision. One can mix 1 drop of clove oil with 10 drops of coconut, jojoba or olive oil and apply the mixture topically over the affected area. You can know more about using essential oils for acne.
17. Clove face mask for facial treatment
This herbal mask not only cleans and kills the pimple-causing bacteria but also leaves the skin glowing and radiant by increasing blood flow in the applied area.
Clove mask for a clearer, glowing skin: Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered clove along with a few drops of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply this mixture on the face and neck and leave it for 20 minutes. Later, rinse with cold water.
18. Prevents hair loss
Thinning of hair and hair fall is a common effect of aging. However, it is believed that one of the benefits of cloves is that the oil can help grow and thicken hair and reduce baldness.
How to prevent hair loss using clove oil: Mix a part of clove oil with three parts of eucalyptus oil in olive oil and massage it into your scalp.
19. Refresh hair color & add shine to your hair
Another benefit of using clove in your health regime is its property to refresh the hair color and add the natural shine to your hair. Clove helps in the color conditioning of hair.
Process: Add a few clove buds to boiling water. Let the mixture settle. Rinse your hair with the cooled mixture after shampooing your hair.
20. Cures headaches
Another health benefit of cloves is that it can help in alleviating headaches. No one likes having a headache, but migraines can be debilitating. Some of the best remedies to help cure this ailment are natural and chemical free, like cloves.
How to use clove to alleviate headaches: Take about 6 to 7 pieces of clove and make a paste using them. Mix this paste with a dash of rock salt and add this to a glass of lukewarm milk. Drink this mixture for a quick and effective way to treat headaches.
How Do I Select the Best Cloves?
It is recommended to purchase whole cloves instead of clover powder. Typically, a clove is about .25 inches long. Good quality cloves can release some of their oil when squeezed with a fingernail. Moreover, select organically grown cloves for better results.
To test the quality of cloves, place them in a cup of water. The ones that float in the water vertically are of good quality. Those that sink or float horizontally are stale.
How Should I Store My Cloves?
Cloves should be stored in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep them in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Whole cloves can stay fresh for about a year whereas grounded cloves can be stored for six months only. To increase the shelf life of cloves store them in the refrigerator.
Now that you’ve learned about the many medicinal and health benefits of cloves for hair, skin, and body, it’s time to get those buds off of your shelves and put them to use. Feel free to share your experiences of using cloves with us in the comments section below!