Aside from their culinary uses, cloves have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to treat various ailments.
Researchers believe that cloves contain medicinal properties that make them effective against various infections, inflammation, and potentially even cancer.
This article will look closely at some health benefits cloves may offer the human body.
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Health Benefits of Cloves
Here are the top 10 surprising health benefits of cloves, according to studies and scientific research:
- Packed with Antioxidants
- Antibacterial Properties
- Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
- Promote Healthy Bones
- Help with Digestion
- Prevent Stomach Ulcers
- Reduce Inflammation
- Boost the Immune System
- Treat a Toothache
- Improve Liver Health
1. Packed with Antioxidants
One study compared the antioxidant capacity of 26 different spices and found that cloves were the most potent.
Cloves contain a compound known as eugenol, which researchers believe to be responsible for most of the impressive health benefits. The antioxidant potential of eugenol was shown to be five times stronger than vitamin E.
Therefore, consuming only two cloves in the morning is an easy and effective way to boost your antioxidants and combat free radical damage throughout the day.
2. Antibacterial Properties
This is also partly due to the compound eugenol; however, cloves contain lipids and oleic acid, which have been shown to play an antibacterial role.
Clove essential oil is often used as a mouthwash to treat oral infections. It can also be used topically due to its ability to kill both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
Cloves also contain a property known as allicin, which is also found in garlic. Therefore, you can consider consuming cloves and garlic for maximum antibacterial protection.
3. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Studies found that their properties can help increase the uptake of glucose from the blood to your cells. Ultimately, this helps increase the production of insulin.
This explains why researchers believe that cloves effectively manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
4. Promote Healthy Bones
Cloves are packed with calcium, phosphorus, boron, magnesium, and manganese, essential minerals that play a significant role in healthy bone development.
Studies found that the consumption of cloves was linked to increased bone density, bone mineral content, and overall bone strength.
In other words, cloves appear to be highly effective in preventing bone loss and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
5. Help with Digestion
The properties of cloves can increase the amount of gastric mucus produced, which creates a barrier between the digestive lining and harmful fluids such as stomach acid and bile.
This ensures that the digestive lining isn’t exposed directly to acidic or alkaline corrosion. Again, eugenol is the property of cloves that is believed to be responsible for this benefit.
Cloves can also help digestion by killing off pathogens and certain fungi that try to disrupt the healthy intestinal flora in your gut.
6. Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Researchers believe that eugenol helps increase gastric mucus, which protects the entire digestive system and helps prevent stomach ulcers from developing.
One study was performed to test the effectiveness of cloves compared to pharmaceutical drugs in preventing and treating stomach ulcers.
The results found that cloves exhibited effects similar to the anti-ulcer drugs that were administered. However, more research is needed in this area, but preliminary findings seem promising.
7. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural part of the body’s immune response and is essential in healing injuries and fighting off foreign invaders such as chemicals and microorganisms.
However, if it persists for some time, it becomes chronic inflammation which has been linked to some of the world’s most deadly diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Researchers found that cloves contain compounds that can reduce inflammation in the body, a claim that multiple studies have supported.
8. Boost the Immune System
This is an indirect benefit of cloves due to their ability to reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation contributes to some of the world’s most deadly diseases.
Therefore, by reducing inflammation in the body, you can indirectly boost your immune system. Adding cloves to your diet can strengthen your immune response and decrease the likelihood of getting sick.
9. Treat a Toothache
The compound eugenol found in cloves can serve as a natural anesthetic, reducing the pain that stems from a sore tooth.
One study was performed to test the effectiveness of cloves compared to benzocaine, a topical anesthetic used in the dental setting. The results showed that both cloves and benzocaine offered similar pain relief.
Clove-based mouthwash contains anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis properties, which can inhibit pathogens’ growth and boost your dental health.
10. Improve Liver Health
Researchers believe that the properties of cloves can play a role in reversing cirrhosis and reducing the risk of developing liver cancer.
Studies found them to be effective in decreasing the amount of a specific enzyme that is involved in the development of liver disease. Cloves are packed with antioxidants that help the liver by preventing or eliminating oxidative stress.
This goes a long way in preventing fatty liver disease, a growing concern that is expected to affect up to 33% of adults by 2030. Therefore, using a natural substance like cloves is an easy and effective way to take care of your liver for years to come.
Eating cloves is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being. From reducing inflammation to boosting the immune system, there are many benefits that you can experience by adding cloves to your diet.
Even though the benefits mentioned in this article are backed by science, more research is needed in some areas to confirm said claims.
Therefore, please speak with your doctor before adding any new substances to your diet, especially if you have a medical condition. Thanks for reading!
John Landry, BS, RRT
John Landry, a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, has a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. He’s passionate about using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.