Cloves – Health Benefits And Side Effects
Cloves make an indispensable part of Indian kitchens. They may be small in size but are known to offer a bevy of benefits. Here is a list of health benefits and side effects of cloves.
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Clove is a spice used commonly in Asia, for its flavor, aroma and medicinal properties. Cloves are may be small in size, but they are true powerhouse performers. They are loaded with some amazing nutritional value and benefits. In this article, we will tell you how to eat cloves in a way that you may like, the health benefits of cloves and side effects of cloves, if any.
Cloves or Laung (लौंग) are commonly found in all Indian kitchens and its most commonly known health benefit is its ability to provide relief to toothache. But apart from this, there are several other equally potent health benefits of cloves that make it a popular spice when it comes to countering every day minor issues. Clove, that you usually use only as a flavoring agent, comes with a bevy of health benefits that you never knew existed. Here’s our list of top cloves health benefits and side effects.
Did you know that the Romans used cloves as a fragrance and spice over 2000 years ago?
Table of Contents
Quick Precap – Benefits Of Cloves
Benefits of Cloves – Top 7 Cloves Health Benefits For Everyday Use
1. Cloves Help Improve Your Digestive Health
Are cloves good for your stomach? Yes, one of the most important health benefits of clove is that it improves your digestive health. When you experience stomach disorders, bloating, indigestion issues or accumulation of gas in the digestive tract, you can trust cloves to get you out of the issue.
All you need to do is to mix a few drops of honey and add some clove powder to it. Drink this mixture regularly to get rid of all your abdomen disorders.
2. Cloves Are Loaded With Nutrients
It may surprise you to know that a small clove is loaded with many nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. Eating cloves can give you 30% of your daily recommended level (RDA) of manganese and close to 7% of your daily required levels of vitamins C and K. The fiber content in cloves helps to keep problems like constipation at bay, while the vitamins help in developing your immunity and blood clotting.
Manganese is an important nutrient that should be included as part of your daily diet because it helps in improving the overall functioning of your brain and bones. You can get these nutrients when you consume around 2 grams of ground cloves as part of your daily diet.
3. Cloves Contain A Lot Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants prevent cell damage in your body and make you less prone to chronic diseases. Cloves contain a natural antioxidant known as eugenol, which helps you in neutralizing the effect of free radicals in your body and safeguard you from oxidative stress. According to reports, this natural antioxidant is at least five times more effective than Vitamin E in preventing cell damage related issues.
This will ensure that your liver functions very well, as it doesn’t have to face any undue stress in breaking down the complex food substances. You can stay safe from liver inflammation and metabolism related issues when you regularly include cloves in your diet.
4. Cloves Contain Antibacterial Properties
Many studies have proved the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of cloves. This commonly available kitchen ingredient has the potential to control the growth of bacteria in your body. It is very effective in controlling the bacteria E. Coli, the main culprit that results in issues such as cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, dehydration and sometimes severe cases of gastroenteritis in people.
Thanks to their antibacterial properties, cloves are very effective in treating the bacterial growth in your mouth and keep gum diseases and bad breath at bay. When you use clove-based mouthwashes or toothpaste regularly, you will notice a visible improvement in problems related to tooth decay, gum decay, and bad breath. In short, cloves play a vital role in improving your overall dental health.
5. Cloves Help To Regulate Blood Sugar Levels Along With A Balanced Diet
Cloves are a rich source of nigericin, a compound that helps in increasing your body’s capacity to secrete insulin and keep blood sugar levels under control. Though only test tube and animal studies have been conducted to prove this point, this is a point that is worth considering as it is backed by science.
The only point that you need to remember is that cloves cannot work alone to bring about this change. You have to make other lifestyle changes such as physical exercise, mental conditioning and follow a strict, balanced diet if you want to see visible results with the help of this home remedy.
6. Cloves Can Provide Relief To Stomach Ulcers
Sometimes, you may experience severe stomach pain due to peptic ulcers. This is a condition where the protective lining of your stomach is damaged due to various factors. Cloves, clove extracts and clove oil contain essential compounds that can provide you immense relief against these ulcers.
Cloves help your stomach to secrete gastric mucus, which in turn, works as a protection for your stomach. This gastric mucus stops acids from tearing off the stomach lining, and you will find a visible reduction in your pain and ulcers when you regularly include cloves in your diet. However, do so in consultation with your health care practitioner only.
7. Cloves May Make You Less Prone To Cancers
Here is a disclaimer – we need more facts to prove this point. However, initial studies are quite promising. Test tube studies have proved that cloves played a good role in stopping the tumors from growing further. It also caused the death of cancer cells. At least 2 types of cancer cells, those related to ovarian cancer and esophageal cancer cells were tested for this purpose. Very concentrated clove oil killed close to 80% of the cancer cells, which was a great discovery indeed!
However, the only problem here is that it is not advisable to consume clove extracts or oil at such a high concentration rate. Further studies are being conducted to understand how cloves can be used to prevent cancers without causing any side effects.
8. Benefits Of Cloves For Weight Loss
How to use cloves for weight loss? Cloves contain eugenol which helps ease digestion which can result in weight loss. Drinking clove water every day on an empty stomach can help in your weight loss journey. To make clove water, add a tablespoon of clove powder to a litre of water and boil it down till it reduces to half. Add a teaspoon of honey to your cup if you want to add a sweetener.
How Cloves Can Keep A Check On Oral Health?
There have been researches in which researchers’ study if clove oil can be used as a natural method for maintaining oral health as clove has an effect on gingivitis, plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
In this study, herbal mouth rinse containing clove, tea tree oil and basil was compared with the mouth rinse which is commercially available. Both mouth rinses were equally effective against plaque and gingivitis but the mouth rinse with clove decreases the harmful bacteria in the mouth quickly and more effectively than the commercial one.
Some desi nuskas in India also recommend keeping cloves in your mouth for toothache.
Side Effects Of Cloves – Are There Any Side Effects Of Cloves?
After reading all these benefits of cloves, you might be tempted to include them in your daily diet. Nevertheless, there might be a thought running in the corner of your mind concerning the side effects that cloves could carry.
Keep reading to know more about the side-effects of cloves
7 Side Effects Of Cloves You Should Know
- When consumed by mouth, clove is considered to be quite safe. However, you should stick to the recommended quantities only.
- Clove oil can be applied on your skin, without any worries as there are no side effects. If you already have a skin allergy, you may have to consult your dermatologist, though, before doing this. Don’t apply clove oil directly on your gums or tooth without the dentist’s advice, as the compounds of the oil can cause your mouth to burn.
- Never try to inhale clove through cigarettes or try to inject clove oil through your veins as it can lead to severe lung diseases.
- When you are using dried clove, be very careful about the usage, as it can cause severe irritation or damage to dental tissues.
- Children should never consume clove by mouth, as it can lead to ailments such as seizures.
- Clove, in any form, doesn’t pose any serious threat to pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, it is highly recommended that you consume cloves after getting a go-ahead from your doctor, to safeguard yourself.
- Eugenol, present in clove, can reduce blood clotting in your body. If you have a surgery scheduled, it is highly recommended that you stop using cloves at least 2 weeks before the surgery date to avoid bleeding during or after the surgery.
Uses Of Cloves
- Cloves are widely used in Ayurveda, which a traditional medicine of India. They can also be used to get a numbing sensation.
- Cloves have a rich aroma and they are used in some perfumes for the same.
- The oil of cloves can also be used as essential oil.
- Cloves are a widely used ingredient in many cuisines. It is also a common ingredient in many condiments such as sauces and ketchups.
- Cloves have a strong taste as well. For the purpose of cooking, they can be used in ground form or whole form.
How To Eat Cloves?
You can eat cloves either in their whole form or powdered form. Whole cloves may be too strong for you if you eat them directly. A good tip would be to soak them in hot water for about 10 to 20 minutes before eating them.
You can grind these soft cloves and make them a part of any dish you make for the extra dash of flavor and aroma that attracts your sensory organs. Powdered clove can be used in any vegetable curry that you make. This way, you can include cloves in many ways in your diet, without having actually to eat them raw. You can add cloves as an ingredient to your garam masala mix as well.
FAQs About Cloves
Are cloves bad for you?
Eugenol can be toxic when consumed in high amounts. High doses of eugenol can lead to liver damage.
Do cloves raise blood pressure?
No. On the contrary it helps to lower blood pressure. Cloves have a compound called acetyl eugenol that has impressive circulatory benefits and help in lowering the blood pressure.
Is Clove good for erectile dysfunction?
Research has show positive effects of nutmeg and clove on sexual behaviour. Both these spices are nervous stimulants and can help with erectile dysfunction.
Cloves are loaded with medicinal properties, and you wouldn’t want to miss out these benefits, would you? Include this tiny but terrific spice in your daily diet from today onwards, to improve your overall health. This post about cloves health benefits and side effects will help you add this spice in your pantry in adequate quantities.
Disclaimer – This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information before making any dietary changes.
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