Cloves are a key component in gingerbread baked items and a common spice in Indian food. Although cloves are the best-known spice, they have also been used in folk medicine.
Health Benefits of Cloves
Antioxidants are substances that lessen oxidative stress, which can help chronic disease development. Eugenol, a compound found in cloves, has been shown to have antioxidant properties. In fact, eugenol reduced oxidative damage brought on by free radicals five times more effective than vitamin E, another strong antioxidant, according to a recent study. Including cloves in your diet, along with other antioxidant-rich foods, can help you feel better overall.
Protect Against Cancer
According to a recent study, cloves’ chemical composition may help prevent cancer. Similar findings were found in another test-tube investigation, which showed that clove oil in concentrated form killed 80% of esophageal cancer cells. Clove eugenol has also been linked to anticancer activity. Eugenol accelerated cell death in cervical cancer cells, according to a test-tube study.
However, keep in mind that the clove extract, clove oil, and eugenol employed in these test-tube investigations were all quite concentrated. Because eugenol is poisonous in high doses, clove oil can harm the liver when consumed in excess, especially in young infants. Further investigation is required to establish how smaller doses may impact people.
Cloves have antimicrobial properties, which means they can inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria. A bacterial strain capable of causing food poisoning. Furthermore, cloves’ antibacterial properties may aid in the promotion of oral health. In one test-tube study, clove extract was found to inhibit the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease.
Another 40-person study looked at the effects of tea tree oil, clove, and basil herbal mouthwash. They saw improvements in gum health after using the herbal mouthwash for 21 days.
Enhance Liver Health
According to research, the beneficial compounds in cloves may help promote liver health. Eugenol, a compound, may be especially beneficial to the liver. Both combinations improved liver function by lowering inflammation and oxidative stress. Another animal study discovered that the eugenol in cloves helped reverse the symptoms of liver cirrhosis or liver scarring.
Unfortunately, there has been little research into the liver-protective effects of cloves and eugenol in humans.
Regulate Blood Sugar
According to research, the compounds found in cloves may help keep blood sugar under control. An animal study discovered that clove extract helped diabetic mice moderate blood sugar increases. Another study looked at how clove extract and nigericin, a compound found in cloves, affected human muscle cells and diabetic mice. cloves also offer anti-inflammatory, analgesic and digestive health benefits for diabetes
Cloves and nigericin were discovered to increase sugar uptake from the blood into cells, increase insulin secretion, and improve insulin-producing cell function.
Promote Bone Health
Low bone mass affects an estimated 43 million elderly people in the United States alone. It can cause osteoporosis, which increases the risk of breaks and fractures. Cloves contain compounds that have been shown to help preserve bone mass. Cloves are also high in manganese, providing 30% of the daily value in just 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves.
Manganese is a mineral that is essential for bone health and is involved in bone formation.
Reduce Stomach Ulcers
According to some studies, the compounds found in cloves may help treat stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers, also known as peptic ulcers, are painful sores that develop in the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus lining. They are most commonly caused by changes in the stomach’s protective lining, which can occur as a result of stress, infection, or genetics.
- Shan B, Cai YZ, Sun M, Corke H. Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents. J Agric Food Chem.
- Kamatou GP, Vermaak I, Viljoen AM. Eugenol–from the remote Maluku Islands to the international marketplace: a review of a remarkable and versatile molecule. 2012.
- Oliveira RA, Reis TV, Sacramento CK, Duarte LP, Oliveira FF. Volatile chemical constituents of rich spices in eugenol. Rev Bras Farmacognosia.