Cloves are the flower buds of the clove or claver tree, an evergreen tree also known as Syzygium Aromaticum. This versatile spice can be used to season roasts, add flavor to hot drinks and provide a spicy touch to cookies and cakes. Cloves are one of the main ingredients in various products, for example gingerbread, or in Indian cuisine. In addition to its sweet and aromatic taste, cloves are known for their potent medicinal properties. In fact, animal studies have found that clove compounds can have several health benefits, promotes liver health and help stabilize blood sugar levels.
This article lists the 8 most impressive health benefits that clove can give you.
1. Contains Important Nutrients:
Cloves contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, so adding them to whole or ground foods can provide some important nutrients. One teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves contains:
- Carbohydrates:1 gram
- Fiber:1 gram
- Manganese:30% of the IDR
- Vitamin K:4% of the RDI
- Vitamin C:3% of the RDI.
The fiber can help to prevent constipation and promotes regularity of bowel movements, the vitamin C can help strengthen the immune system and Vitamin K is an important nutrient for blood clotting. Meanwhile, manganese is an essential mineral for maintaining brain function and building strong bones. In addition to the nutrients listed above, ground cloves contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin E .
Summary: Cloves are low in calories and provide some fiber, manganese, vitamin K and vitamin C.
2. High Antioxidant Content:
In addition to containing several important vitamins and minerals, cloves are rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress, said stress may contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
“Cloves also contain a compound called eugenol, which has been shown to act as a natural antioxidant”.
In fact, a test tube study found that eugenol stopped oxidative damage caused by free radicals five times more effectively than vitamin E, another potent antioxidant. In addition to eugenol, ground cloves contain vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body and helps neutralize free radicals, which are compounds that can accumulate and cause oxidative stress. Including cloves in the diet along with other antioxidant-rich foods can help you improve your overall health.
Summary: Cloves are rich in antioxidants, including eugenol and vitamin C, which can help reduce oxidative stress.
3. It can Protect You Against Cancer:
Some research shows that the compounds found in clove can help protect against cancer. A test tube study found that clove extract helped stop the growth of tumors and promoted cell death in cancer cells. Another test tube study obtained similar results, showing that concentrated amounts of clove oil caused cell death in 80% of the cancer cells in the esophagus. The eugenol found in cloves has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. A test tube study found that eugenol effectively promotes cell death in cervical cancer cells. However, it should be borne in mind that these test tube studies used very concentrated amounts of clove extract, clove oil and eugenol. More research is needed to determine how cloves can affect humans.
Summary: Test tube studies show that clove odor compounds can reduce the growth of cancer cells and promote the death of cancer cells. More research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.
4. Can Mitigate Non-Beneficial Bacteria:
Clove has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, which means they can help stop the growth of harmful microorganisms, such as non-beneficial bacteria. A test tube study showed that clove essential oil was effective in eliminating three common types of bacteria, including E. coli, a strain of bacteria that can cause cramping, diarrhea, fatigue and even death. What’s more, the antibacterial properties of cloves could even help promote oral health. A test tube study found that compounds extracted from clove slowed the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease. Another study in 40 people tested the effects of an herbal mouthwash consisting of tea tree oil, cloves and basil. After using the herbal mouthwash for 21 days, participants showed improvements in gum health, as well as a decrease in the amount of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. The combination of brushing teeth regularly and proper oral hygiene, the antibacterial effects of cloves can benefit oral health.
Summary: Studies show that cloves can promote oral health, thanks to their antimicrobial properties, which can help eliminate harmful bacteria.
5. Can Improve Liver Health:
Studies show that the beneficial compounds that clove contain could help promote liver health. Eugenol is a compound that can be especially beneficial for the liver. An animal study fed mice with fatty liver disease, with mixtures containing clove oil or eugenol. Both mixtures improved liver function, reduced inflammation and oxidative stress. Another study in animals showed that the eugenol found in cloves helped reverse signs of liver cirrhosis or liver scarring. Unfortunately, research in people about the protective effects of clove and eugenol in the human liver is limited. However, a small study found that taking eugenol supplements for a week lowered levels of glutathione-S-transferase (GST), an enzyme involved in detoxification, which is generally a marker of liver disease. Cloves are also high in antioxidants, which can help prevent liver disease, due to their ability to help reduce oxidative stress.
Summary: Some studies show that cloves and the compounds they contain can help reduce oxidative stress and protect the liver.
6. It can Help Regulate Blood Sugar:
Research shows that the compounds found in clove can help keep blood sugar levels under control. An animal study found that clove extract helped moderate blood sugar increases in diabetic mice. Another study in animals examined the effects of clove extract and nigericin, which is a compound found in clove, in human muscle cells and in diabetic mice. It was observed that cloves and nigericin increase blood sugar uptake in cells, which promotes insulin secretion and improves the function of cells that produce insulin. The insulin is the hormone responsible for transporting blood sugar into cells. The proper functioning of insulin is essential to keep blood sugar levels under control. In combination with a balanced diet, cloves could help you keep blood sugar levels at normal levels.
Summary: Studies in test tubes and in animals have shown that clove compounds can help promote insulin production and lower blood sugar.
7. Can Promote Bone Health:
Low bone mass is a condition that affects approximately 43 million older adults in the United States alone. It can lead to the development of osteoporosis, which deteriorates the bones, making them porous, increasing the risk of breakage and fractures. It has been shown in animal studies that some of the clove compounds help preserve bone mass. For example, an animal study found that eugenol improved several osteoporosis markers and also increased bone density and strength. Cloves are also rich in manganese, impressive providing 30% of the recommended daily amount in just 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves. Manganese is a mineral that is related to bone formation and is incredibly important for bone health. An animal study found that taking manganese supplements for 12 weeks increased bone mineral density and optimal bone growth. However, current research on the effects of cloves on bone mass is mainly limited to animals and test tube studies. More research is needed to determine how it can affect bone formation in humans.
Summary: Animal studies show that clove extract and manganese can help increase bone mineral density. More research is needed to confirm these effects.
8. Can Reduce Stomach Ulcers:
Some research indicates that the compounds found in clove could help treat stomach ulcers. Also known as peptic ulcers; stomach ulcers are painful and form in the lining of the stomach, duodenum or esophagus. They are most commonly caused by reductions in the protective lining of the stomach, due to several factors, such as stress, infection and genetics. An animal study showed that clove essential oil increased the production of gastric mucus. Gastric mucus works as a barrier and helps prevent erosion in the stomach lining by digestive acids. Another animal study found that clove extract helped treat stomach ulcers and had similar effects to several anti-ulcer medications. Although the anti-ulcer effects of clove and its compounds can be promising, more studies on their effects on humans are needed.
Summary: Some animal studies show that clove extract and oil can increase gastric mucus production and help protect against stomach ulcers. More research is needed in humans.
Clove has many potential health benefits, including blood sugar control; it also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Like other healthy foods, they are very effective when included as part of a healthy and balanced diet. It is worth trying to integrate them into some food rations. In addition, you can easily incorporate ground cloves into many dishes. Since they provide a warm and distinctive flavor in desserts, curries or chutneys. You can also simmer the clove in boiling water for 5-10 minutes to make a relaxing cup of clove tea. Clove is delicious and can provide many important health benefits.