Last updated on October 9th, 2023
Cloves, or Syzygium aromaticum, are flower buds with distinct aromas. This comes from evergreen trees. These dried flower buds originated from China and travelled to Europe and Asia in the middle ages. Clove benefits are well-known in the spice and medicine world. It has significant health benefits, including liver health and normalising sugar levels in the body. It is used in hot beverages, baked food items, and chief spices to maximise the taste of many cuisines. Who doesn’t like Clove Masala Tea in winter?
What are Cloves?
Cloves are dried flower buds from clove trees. Clove is a major spice that is used in many cooking methods around the globe. In India, it is one of the home remedies that can cure multiple health conditions. They are strong aromatic spices used in food to give it a distinct taste. These dark brown buds give spiciness to many dishes like curries, cookies, bread, etc. It can be used as clove powder or as a whole bud as well. It is similar to other spices or herbs like cinnamon and nutmeg. You can understand ‘laung ke fayde‘ in various ‘Dadi ke nuskhe’. It is hot, so it is used in winter to cure colds and throat soreness.
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Nutritional Value of Clove
Cloves are full of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are a good source of nutrients and add a lot of flavour to any dish.
As per FoodData Central, USDA, This table represents several nutrients and their amounts present in 2.1 grams of ground clove:
|Nutritional Value of Clove
|Nutrients (in 2 grams of Cloves)
|Less than 1 grams
|55% of the Daily Value (DV)
|2% of the DV
Clove is high in manganese, an essential mineral for brain and bone health.
Apart from these nutrients, it is also a rich source of potassium, vitamin K, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, and eugenol. It is low in calories but has a fair amount of a few minerals.
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Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Clove
Cloves are low-calorie, low-carb foods with a low glycemic index. Cloves have a GI of 30. Cloves are good for blood sugar as their GI & GL are both low. Its Glycemic Load is 1.2/250, which is very low.
Health Benefits of Clove
Cloves have proven medicinal benefits along with an abundance of a few essential nutrients. They are a good source of pigment beta carotene, which is also responsible for its brown colour. Beta carotenes have antioxidant and provitamin properties. It converts into Vitamin A, a necessary nutrient for the eyes and overall well-being.
There are many health benefits of clove:
1. Antioxidant Properties
In a study quoted by NIH, it was found that cloves are a powerful antioxidant that aids in the treatment of various chronic health conditions. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress, inhibiting chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Clove is rich in eugenol, a natural antioxidant that fights 5 times more against free radicals than any other antioxidant. It stops cell damage, thus preventing the development of multiple diseases.
Including cloves in your diet with other antioxidant-rich foods can improve your health.
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The anti-inflammatory properties of cloves result from two essential and powerful phytonutrients, eugenol and isoeugenol. These phytonutrients reduce inflammation in the body and prevent the development of some conditions like arthritis or chronic conditions.
3. Anti-cancer Properties
Cloves have anti-cancer properties because of eugenol. In a research article published in the Journal of Hindawi, eugenol oil has shown various anti-cancer properties. Some test-tube observations explain that eugenol has the capability of killing cancer cells, and it can also hinder tumour growth, majorly in cervical and oesophagus cancer. For these tests, cloves were used in concentrated amounts.
There is a need for thorough and further research about cloves to explain their anti-cancer properties. Eugenol is toxic in excess amounts that can impact health, especially liver health, significantly.
Cloves are also known for their anti-diabetic property. It is considered to control your blood sugar levels because of the presence of nigericin compounds. It helps in reducing insulin resistance and can promote moderate sugar levels.
Insulin is the hormone that manages blood sugar levels in the body by carrying it from the blood to the cells. Cloves help to improve the functions of insulin-producing cells and manage their levels. Some studies show its impact on test tubes and animal research. A study published by NIH shows the anti-diabetic effect of clove on rabbits, although more studies are needed.
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5. Anti-microbial Properties
Cloves have antimicrobial agents that reduce the development of bacteria-like microorganisms. It can act against bacteria and fungi like E. Coli., vaginal candidiasis, and staph aureus. Clove extracts and clove oil help in fighting against food poisoning and stomach infections.
This spice is popular for strengthening oral health. It fights against resting mouth bacteria and improves oral hygiene by reducing bad breath and gum infections. It is used in mouthwash and toothpaste to reduce oral bacteria and plaque on teeth
6. Suitable for the Liver
According to some studies, cloves help to improve liver health. The compound eugenol has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote liver health. It reduces the risk of liver cirrhosis and fatty liver condition. It helps to strengthen liver health by decreasing oxidative stress. Some studies show that clove can help decrease the levels of glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) responsible for liver diseases.
Although cloves can be identified as a good source for liver health, there is still a need for more human studies.
On the other hand, excess consumption of cloves can damage the liver because of eugenol toxicity.
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7. Helps Reduce Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are the result of stress, infections, or genetics. These ulcers are caused by the depletion of the mucus layer in the stomach. This mucus layer helps to safeguard stomach walls from digestive acids. If these walls get thin, it results in stomach ulcers. Cloves have some compounds that help in thickening these walls.
According to WebMD, clove helps reduce the risks of developing new ulcers and also treats existing ulcers. Clove oil can help increase stomach mucus and decrease the probability of gastric ulcers.
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8. Natural Painkiller and Anti-Cough Properties
As a traditional medicine, clove treats cough, sore throat, and toothache. It is a common home remedy used with hot beverages for treating cough. Clove oil is also an effective painkiller that has been used to treat toothache for centuries.
9. Good for Bone Health
A large population is at risk of low bone density, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Cloves are rich in manganese, which is important for bone health. Also, as per the findings of NIH, eugenol in clove helps increase bone density and strength. These benefits of clove eventually prevent conditions like osteoporosis, fractures, and breaks because of low bone mass. Although these studies are limited to animals, there is much room for human research and clove’s impact on human bone health. However, a small amount of clove powder fulfils almost 30% of the daily required manganese in the body.
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10. Clove Benefits for Men
Cloves are very beneficial for men and impact men’s reproductive health. It is very useful in increasing men’s health in multiple ways, they are:
It increases testosterone levels, improves sex life, increases sperm count, removes infertility, increases libido, reduces the condition of early ejaculation, and strengthens reproductive organs.
Apart from these, using clove essential oil in bathing can also reduce the craving for smoking, thus keeping you free from smoking addiction.
11. Apart from these benefits, Cloves also have other benefits like
Treating cold, flu, cough, and chest congestion. Any hot beverage mixed with clove and cinnamon can help lower the symptoms of these conditions.
It is also good for the skin. Cloves can detoxify skin and reduce acne, blemishes, and dark circles. It is used in many herbal face packs for better results and glowing skin.
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Way to Consume Clove
This is an omnipresent spice or herb that can be used year-long in food, medicines, and cosmetics. These dried flowers not only have a distinct aroma but flavour as well. You can consume it in many ways, including as a whole bud, with beverages, and in many dishes.
You can use it in multiple ways:
Clove tea is the easiest recipe to enjoy the benefits of cloves. To make clove tea:
- Use a tablespoon of grounded clove
- Boil it for some minutes
- Strain it and drink it as an effective clove tea.
Clove water is also a great way of consuming this magical spice.
- Put 3-5 clove buds in a glass of water and leave them overnight.
- Drink it in the morning to see amazing results.
Apart from clove tea and clove water, you can also mix this dried flower in many dishes for flavor and taste:
- Use in curries and chutneys
- Add in pickles
- Masala Milk Tea with Clove
- Add in Baking, Cookies, and Bread
- Used to season meat
- It can also be used as a natural preservative
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Side-Effects of Clove
Cloves have many health benefits but can also affect health negatively and cause a few side effects. These strong spices can lower blood sugar and can cause hypoglycemia, where a person can feel dizziness and nausea. As per WebMD, clove’s compound, eugenol, can also react with some blood-thinning medicines and increase the chances of side effects. However, small amounts of clove can have more positive results than negatives, but always pay attention while consuming it in excess. Eugenol in excess amounts can be toxic and can cause dizziness.
According to the traditional medicine system, cloves are a hot spice that can cause nosebleeds, mouth ulcers, stomach burning or irritation, and throat rashes if consumed in excess.
Also, some people are allergic to cloves, so they should avoid them.
Can Diabetics Eat Cloves?
Many studies suggest that cloves are good for diabetes. It helps in controlling blood sugar levels and increases insulin production. This super spice helps cells secrete insulin, responsible for moderate blood sugar levels in the body.
Clove’s GI and GL are low. It’s also low on carbs and calories, which is a good factor in making it a diabetic-friendly spice. Clove oil helps maintain PP sugar levels and GRM.
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Clove is a small-sized spice but has numerous health benefits. This spice provides many nutrients that help control sugar, reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, improve bone, liver, and gastric health, reduce pain, reduce heart disease and cancer risks, and is also good for oral health.
It is one of the major herbs used in every Indian household to treat conditions like cold, cough, bad breath, congestion, fever, and pain. It is a traditional medicine that also helps to improve skin health.
This is used in many oral hygiene products like mouthwash and toothpaste to remove problems of bad breath, plaque, toothache, gum infection, and tooth decay.
It also acts as a painkiller.
So adding this amazing spice to your daily diet can provide many health benefits.
Consuming it in a limited quantity is advised, as excess clove can be toxic and cause some side effects.
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FAQ’s(Frequently Asked Questions)
Some studies show that clove is good for blood sugar. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce insulin resistance and encourage insulin production in the blood. It controls spiking blood sugar levels and mitigates the negative impacts of diabetes-associated complexities.
Taking cloves in limited quantities when needed is not bad for health. Some conditions where you can eat cloves every day are Cough, cold, flu, infection, sinus, asthma, congestion, etc. Cloves also help with toothache, so you can take them daily until the pain is relieved. Lukewarm clove water also helps treat shivering hands and feet, so sip it before sleeping.
Small quantities are not bad for health, but excess consumption of cloves can cause eugenol toxicity. It can be harmful to the liver and can cause liver damage in children. Also, in traditional medicines, cloves are considered a hot spice, so their excessive use can cause nosebleeds, burning stomach, mouth ulcers, and throat rashes.
Clove is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and healthy compounds with many health benefits. Drinking clove water every morning can help boost your immunity. It mitigates the effects of flu, viral and bacterial infections, and the common cold. Its manganese content also helps in improving your bone health.
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