Miraculous Health Benefits of Clove and its Uses
Cloves have been used for centuries as a food preservative as well as many medicinal purposes. It has been one of the most valuable spices for centuries. The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of cloves are higher than most vegetables, fruits and spices. The incredible health benefits of cloves make it a must-have for all of us. Read on to know more about the health benefits of clove!
Cloves are flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum that belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It is an evergreen tree, native to Indonesia that grows from eight to twelve meters in height. The buds are harvested and dried to form the cloves we use; brown, hard, and nail-like in shape.
Cloves are known as ‘Laung’ in Hindi, ‘Lavangam’ in Telugu, ‘Kirambu’ in Tamil, ‘Grambu’ in Malayalam, ‘Lavangapattai’ in Kannada, ‘Labango’ in Bengali, ‘Laving’ in Gujarati and ‘Lavang’ in Marathi & Punjabi. Cloves are commonly used as a spice in Indian, African, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is also used as a food preservative and as medicinal plants due to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
Did You Know?
– The name “clove” originates from the Latin word “clavus” which means “nail”
– You can use cloves as an effective “remedy” against ants
– Clove tree can live up to 400 years
– Cloves were one of the most expensive spices during the Middle Ages in Europe
Cloves are packed with antioxidants and are a good source of minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamins. They might be tiny but these qualities make them giants in terms of nutrition and natural health. Minerals present in cloves include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. It also contains vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Health Benefits of Clove
Clove is a common ingredient in perfume production and flavouring of food. Clove oil has both antiseptic and anaesthetic properties; for example, it has been used in treating toothache for centuries. There are numerous therapeutic uses for the spice. It adds a sweet and earthy flavour to stews, meats and desserts. Apart from its culinary uses, we can also use cloves as a treatment for numerous health conditions.
Let’s have a look at some of the health benefits of clove.
Mutagen chemicals are responsible for causing changes (mutations) in the DNA. Cloves contain biochemical compounds such as phenylpropanoids that have anti-mutagenic properties. Studies have shown that administering these compounds to mutagen-treated cells may help reduce the mutagenic effects to a significant rate. Thus, cloves can help prevent cancer, which is nothing but DNA mutations which occurs due to aging, environmental toxins, hormones and other factors.
Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which help in fighting off oxidative damage and free radicals, consequently strengthening the immune system. Cloves also contain high amounts of eugenol, kaempferol and rhamnetin that help in fighting off infections.
Fights Inflammation & Infections
Cloves contain high amounts of eugenol which help in reducing inflammation. It also contains kaempferol and rhamnetin that confers similar health benefits. As an expectorant, cloves thin and loosen mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up the mucus. Cloves reduce coughing fits by soothing the throat.
Maintains Bone Health
The hydro-alcoholic extracts of cloves contain compounds like eugenol and its derivatives, such as isoflavones, flavones and flavonoids. Studies have shown that these extracts help in the formation of bone cartilage, bone collagen as well as bone mineralization.
Improves oral health
Cloves can help prevent gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Clove bud extracts prevent the growth of oral pathogens, responsible for various oral diseases. Additionally, you can also use cloves for treating toothaches as they have pain-killing properties.
Cloves promote the production of gastric acids and saliva that help in better digestion of food. It also reduces diarrhoea, indigestion and bloating. Furthermore, studies have shown that clove extract and clove oil can protect against stomach ulcers by increasing the production of gastric mucus.
How to use cloves?
You can easily incorporate ground cloves into many dishes to add a distinctive flavour to it. You can add it to curries, chutneys and even desserts.
Some other ways of using cloves are:
- You can prepare clove tea by simmering whole cloves in boiling water for 5–10 minutes.
- Mix cloves with clove oil to prevent nausea.
- To prevent morning sickness, drink a mixture of cloves, turmeric, sugar and water.
So, do you think cloves are good? I bet you do! In fact, they are great, isn’t it? Let us know how you like to use cloves in the comment box below!
Disclaimer: Excessive use of cloves may damage kidneys and intestines. People who suffer from bleeding disorders should not consume excess cloves. Allergic reactions can also occur in some people.
100g of Cloves provides 274 Calories, Carbs – 2.7g (Dietary Fibre – 34g, Sugar – 2.4g), Protein – 6g, Fat – 13g (saturated fat – 4g), Sodium – 277mg
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 3%, Vitamin C – 0%, Iron – 66%, Calcium – 63% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).