The clove tree is an evergreen tree whose scientific name is Syzygium aromaticum. Cloves are the flower buds of the tree and are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. This spice is used whole and ground. This flexible ingredient serves various purposes.
These include seasoning pot curries and meats, adding flavour, and bringing spicy warmth to baked foods. It is a staple spice of Indian cuisine and is known for its sweetness and aroma.
It also has its use in traditional medicine. A combination of studies has propounded several health benefits of cloves.
This article evaluates everything you need to know about it, so let’s dive in.
Cloves: Nutritional Information
2.1 grams or one teaspoon of ground cloves contains:
- Calories- 6 kcals
- Protein- 0.13 g
- Total fat- 0.27 g
- Carbohydrate- 1 g
- Fibre- 0.7 g
- Manganese- 1.263 milligrams (mg)
The amount of manganese found in cloves serves 63% of the Daily Value (DV).
Health Benefits of Cloves
Apart from Indonesia and India, cloves are also native to Pakistan and certain areas of East Africa. They offer many health benefits like aiding digestion, boosting the immune system, and controlling diabetes. They have anti-mutagenic and antimicrobial properties too. These help fight oral diseases and headaches. So, let’s look at their benefits in detail.
1. Cloves Aid Digestion
Proper digestion is essential for the breakdown of food into nutrients. Our body uses these nutrients for energy, growth, and cell repair. If the food does not break down into smaller molecules, it hinders the absorption of nutrients by the blood.
Regular consumption of 1-2 cloves in the morning enhances the secretion of digestive enzymes, thereby preventing disorders like indigestion and constipation. Moreover, they have an ample amount of fibre which is also beneficial for digestive health.
2. Cloves Boost Your Immune System
An efficient immune system is helpful for the protection of your body from outside forces. These forces include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins, chemicals produced by microbes.
According to a study, Cloves have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and gastro-protective properties. This can help boost the immune system.
3. Cloves Control Diabetes
Cloves have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They help to keep your blood sugar levels in check. They also promote the process of insulin production for better diabetic control.
According to research, clove and fermented ginger supplements have anti-diabetic properties, especially in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
4. Cloves Fight Oral Diseases
You should know that your oral health is at stake if you suffer from symptoms like mouth and jaw pain, bleeding and sore gums, and loose or lost teeth.
Eugenol is a chemical found in cloves. Since the nineteenth century, it has found its uses in dentistry because of its anaesthetic and antibacterial properties. To get relief from the affected area, place whole cloves in your mouth for several minutes at a time.
As per the study, a herbal mouth rinse with clove, tea tree oil, and basil is perfect for dental health. It also serves as antiplaque and antigingivitis agents.
5. Cloves Treat Headaches
Headaches often happen because of deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or nose bridge. They worsen with sudden head movement or straining.
Cloves can ease such throbbing headaches. They do it with their cooling and pain-relieving properties. To treat your headache, crush a few cloves and cover them with the help of a handkerchief. Inhale the smell to put your mind at ease.
As per research, due to the above-stated reasons, cloves are used to develop medicines for humans and animals.
6. Cloves Help Lose Weight
Numerous health benefits accompany weight loss to a healthy weight. For example, it lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels and puts less stress on your bones and joints.
A study states that Cloves help in the stimulation of metabolism. They have anti cholesteremic properties to tone down cholesterol. Furthermore, they increase your metabolic rate when you combine them with pepper, cinnamon, and cumin seeds. Thus, these help you lose weight.
7. Cloves Increase Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is a sex hormone that regulates sex drive, bone mass, and fat distribution in men. In addition, it further enhances muscle mass and strength and the production of red blood cells and sperm.
Cloves boost testicular function, which increases testosterone levels. They also enhance fertility. Since they increase the blood flow and body temperature, they stimulate energy and nerve function and relieve stress and anxiety. It prevents quick ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. They help support a good intimate life.
Research states that cloves work as indigenous medicine to treat male sexual disorders in Asian countries.
8. Cloves Prevent Cancer
Eugenol in cloves possesses strong anti-carcinogenic or chemopreventive properties. Cloves contain betulinic acid and other triterpenes which fight breast, lung, and ovarian cancer in the early stages only. So, to prevent yourself from cancer, eat more cloves.
According to a study, cloves can be the future of cancer treatment because of their work in various cancer cells.
9. Cloves Cure Natural Bad Breath
The scientific name of bad breath is halitosis. There is an increase in bacteria and foul odour when food particles break down. So, naturally, this happens in and around your teeth.
Cloves clean the tongue, palate, and upper part of the throat by removing the bacteria or decaying matter. They have strong aromatic qualities that alter unpleasant smells in the mouth.
According to research, a blend of cinnamon oil and clove oil assists the treatment of dental caries.
10. Cloves Relieve Stress
We incorporate various activities in our daily lives to relieve us from stress and anxiety-like exercise, taking supplements, etc.
Cloves have anti-stress properties that make you feel relaxed and calm. They are rich in antioxidants to protect your cells against free radicals. Eugenol, found in cloves, is very helpful in reducing oxidative stress.
11. Cloves Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Clove enhances the sexual drive in men. Furthermore, it also reduces the risk of male sexual disorders. Erectile dysfunction is one of them which may eventually cause stress, relationship strain and low self-confidence.
As per a study, clove increases the erection time and improves sexual performance.
How to Use Cloves?
You have seen multiple benefits that this powerful ingredient provides. What remains is how to use it for various purposes.
- To flavour food: Cloves go well with many Indian dishes with intense flavours and aroma. Add a few cloves to your chutney and pickles and enjoy the special effects that they provide. For warm and spicy dessert, use crushed or ground cloves.
- With drinks: You can add it directly to your tea and strain it. You can also grind some cloves and use them with any hot beverage.
- As an air freshener: You can make your homemade air freshener with the help of cloves. Just mix 5-10 drops of clove oil in some water. Then pour it into a spray bottle and shake well.
- To cure a toothache: Gargle your mouth with some warm clove water to combat any nasty toothache.
Let’s turn to some of the delicious clove recipes to healthify you.
Cloves: Healthy Recipes
#1 Laung Kadha
Preparation time- 15 minutes
- Saunf or fennel seeds- 1 tsp
- Ajwain or carom seeds- 2 tsp
- Laung or clove- 4-6 pieces
- Sabut Kali Mirch or black pepper- 2-4 pieces
- Jeera or cumin- 1 tsp
- Water- 4 glasses
- Jaggery- 1 tbsp
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Add water and all the ingredients in a container except jaggery.
- Boil this water on full flame for around 5-10 minutes.
- Then add jaggery and boil on low flame/simmer for 15 minutes.
- Continue boiling till it gets reduced to 1.5 glasses.
- Use half a teaspoon of grated ginger to enhance the flavour.
Your Kadha is ready to heal you!
#2 Clove Tea
Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Ground cloves- 1 tsp
- Water- 1 cup
- Take one tablespoon of whole cloves and grind it.
- Add a cup of water to a pan.
- Then add the cloves and bring it to a boil.
- Steep it for approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Let it cool, strain and serve warm.
- Helps in weight loss
- Boosts immunity
- Helps manage diabetes
Drink it early in the morning for maximum benefits.
Cloves: Precautions and Side Effects
There are certain situations when you should use cloves with utmost care. These are as follows:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding- Cloves are usually used to enhance the taste of certain food items. But there is a lack of evidence to state this use in larger quantities and its effect on pregnant ladies.
- Children: You should never consume clove oil orally. It might cause symptoms of seizures, liver damage, and fluid imbalances.
- Bleeding disorders: Eugenol slows down the process of blood clotting. People suffering from bleeding disorders should not use clove oil. It might lead to unwanted bleeding and can cause other such complications.
- Surgery: Chemicals found in cloves affect blood sugar levels. As mentioned above, they are also responsible for slowing blood clotting. They might disrupt the normal functioning of the body. Hence, don’t use them two weeks before and after your scheduled surgery.
- Do not consume cloves in excess amounts for medicinal purposes. They do not cause any severe symptoms when taken through food. But, the quantities should be limited.
- Clove oil or cream with extracts of clove flower is safe and effective for your skin. However, the frequent oral application should be restricted. It might damage your gums, tooth pulp, skin, and mucous membranes in ways you would least expect.
- You may suffer from breathing problems and lung infections if you inhale smoke from clove cigarettes. These might also happen if you inject clove oil into the veins. Hence, do not make such rash and irresponsible decisions.
- A dried clove has the possibility of causing mouth sensitivity and irritation.
We have looked at all the benefits of cloves and their effects in the long run. Apart from being a common spice to Asian delicacies, they have vast medicinal properties. Clove tends to keep your body hot and warm. Thus, it is preferable to have them during the winter season. Cloves derive their potency from Eugenol, an antioxidant. They have antibacterial properties too. They can replace synthetic food preservatives. So, avail their advantages to the fullest but use them moderately to avoid any health complications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the health benefits of cloves?
A. There are several health benefits of cloves. They aid in the digestion process, boost your immune system and even control your diabetes. They also fight oral diseases, treat headaches, and help lose weight.
Q. What are the side effects of cloves?
A. Applying clove oil frequently to your mouth may cause damage to your gums, tooth pulp, skin, and mucous membranes. Also, if you inhale smoke from clove cigarettes, you might suffer from breathing problems.
Q. Can we eat cloves daily?
A. No, you should eat cloves weekly to enjoy their potential health benefits. When consumed regularly, they may help you get relief from stomach ailments, toothache, and throat pain. It is very beneficial for health, as per Ayurveda.
Q. What is the use of cloves?
A. Cloves add flavour to foods and beverages. They can also serve as an air freshener and for treating toothaches. People usually mix ground cloves with spices, and whole cloves add depth and flavour to your food.
Q. What diseases can cloves cure?
A. Cloves can cure diabetes, oral diseases, digestive issues and headaches. They also treat erectile dysfunction and cancer. Along with these, they prevent respiratory ailments. These include bronchitis, colds, sinusitis, and asthma.
Q. How does clove cure infection?
A. Cloves have antimicrobial properties to stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria. The presence of eugenol decreases pain. It further cures other symptoms of infection.
Q. Is clove good for the lungs?
A. Yes, clove is extremely good for your lungs. They inhibit abnormal cell growth in the lung. Also. several studies prove that cloves can help prevent lung cancer. Furthermore, clove oil acts as an expectorant for treating respiratory disorders, including colds, bronchitis, cough, asthma, and upper-respiratory conditions.
Q. Can I drink clove water every day?
A. Yes, drinking clove water every day boosts your immune system and protects you against infections and cases of flu. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that promote your health.
Q. Can I drink clove tea every day?
A. Yes, clove tea has antiseptic, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, you can drink it every day to reap the benefits. However, do not have it more than once or twice a day as it may cause gastrointestinal distress.
Q. Can cloves reduce belly fat?
A. Cloves help stimulate your metabolism. Improved metabolism helps you lose weight. They also have anticholesteremic and anti-lipid properties. However, there is no direct correlation with belly fat in specific.
Q. Do cloves increase testosterone?
A. Yes, cloves increase testosterone by boosting testicular function and enhancing fertility. Increasing the blood flow and body temperature stimulates energy and nerve function. It also helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Q. Is clove good for erectile dysfunction?
A. Yes, clove is suitable for erectile dysfunction as it increases the erection time and improves sexual performance. In addition, it also acts as an aphrodisiac, necessary for men and women’s sex drive. The essential oil from clove helps fight against impotence.
Q. Can a man take clove water?
A. Yes, a man can take clove water due to its impressive health benefits. It increases male power, prevents premature ejaculation, and enhances sperm mobility. It also improves oral and liver health.