What are Cloves?
Native to Asian countries like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and even areas of East Africa, clove- is a dried flower buds from the clove tree. They are a popular spice that people use in soups, stews, meats, sauces, and rice dishes.
Clove is a spice that offers many health benefits. These benefits include aiding in digestion, boosting the immune system, and controlling diabetes. Cloves also contain anti-mutagenic and anti-microbial properties which may even help fight oral diseases and headaches.
People have used cloves in cooking and traditional medicine for many years, but it is only recently that scientists have begun studying their potential health benefits.
Read on to learn more about potential health benefits, uses, and risks of cloves.
Can Help Boost Gastrointestinal Health
Cloves are known to have been used in several traditional medicinal cultures as a way to help with stomach issues, cloves have been used to boost digestion and control gastrointestinal irritation. Furthermore, ingestion of fried cloves may even stop vomiting, owing to their anesthetic properties. It can also be an effective agent against ulcers and can be used as a purgative agent.
Cloves are touted by many for their antibacterial properties against several human pathogens. The extracts of cloves were thought to be potent enough to kill those pathogens.
Potentially Helps in Liver Protection
Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which may prove to be ideal for protecting the vital organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver. Metabolism, in the long run, increases free radical production and lipid profile, while decreasing the antioxidants in the liver. In such cases, clove extracts may prove to be a helpful component in counteracting these effects with its hepatoprotective properties.
Might Assist in Diabetes Management
Extracts from cloves imitate insulin in certain ways and might help in controlling blood sugar levels. One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that cloves may have a beneficial effect on diabetes as part of a plant-based diet.
Can Work As An Immunity Booster
The dried flower bud of clove contains compounds that can help in improving the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count, thereby, improving delayed-type hypersensitivity.
The spice possesses anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties.
Also read about: – Health benefits of Guava fruit
Might Help Restore Oral Health
Cloves can be taken for a reduction in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Clove bud extracts have the potential to significantly control the growth of oral pathogens, which are responsible for various oral diseases. They can also be used for toothaches due to their pain-killing properties.
Might Cure Headaches
Where to Buy Cloves?
You can buy good quality whole cloves online or at your local supermarket. They are best stored in tiny spice glasses or steel containers in a cool, dry place where they can be kept for months. Fresh cloves are potent in flavor, so make sure you use it sparingly.
Side Effects of Cloves
The components present in cloves can prove harmful if used in excess or undiluted. Here are some of the derivatives of cloves that should be used responsibly.
- Clove Essential Oil: Clove essential oil must not be used directly. Instead, dilute it either in olive oil or in distilled water. Clove extract oil is generally considered to be safe, but a study revealed that they possess cytotoxic properties.
- Clove Cigarettes: In Indonesia, cloves are consumed on a large scale in the form of cigarettes, popularly known as kreteks. These clove cigarettes have emerged as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, but research shows that clove cigarettes are worse health-wise than conventional cigarettes. In the case of clove cigarettes, the amount of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar entering into the lungs was higher than that from normal tobacco cigarettes.
Interesting fact about Cloves – Tanzania, Zanzibar and Madagascar are the main exporters of cloves.