What are Cloves?
Cloves are the unopened pink flowers of the clove tree. The buds are picked by hand when they are pink and dried until they turn brown.
Due to their conical shape, they resemble small nails; hence, its name. Its name in English derives from clavus, a Latin word that means “nail.”
On the outside, its consistency is hard. However, its interior has an oily compound that is the basis of its nutritional properties and flavor.
Its use dates back to 216 BC, when the Chinese army used it to remedy halitosis.
Properties of Cloves
This herb is well known for its anesthetic, antispasmodic, stimulant, and antibacterial properties.
It contains many nutrients, among which the eugenol molecule stands out, which is known to prevent blood clotting and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
Also, cloves contain nutritional and essential elements for the body, such as Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, manganese, vitamin B, magnesium, flavonoids, omega-3, and fatty acids.
What are the Health Benefits of Cloves?
1. Protect against Cancer
- A study published in 2013 showed that clove extract stops tumor growth and promotes cancer cells’ death.
- On the other hand, a test tube investigation concluded that clove oil causes cell death in 80 percent of esophageal cancer-causing cells.
- Similarly, the cloves contain a chemical called eugenol, which has properties antioxidant and anticancer.
- This component has also shown benefits against cervical cancer.
- However, both lab tests perform with very concentrated amounts of this ingredient.
- Excessive consumption of cloves or their derivatives does not recommend, as they could cause liver damage.
2. Kill Bacteria
- The cloves also have antibacterial properties. A study available by the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology explains that clove essential oil prevents bacteria growth such as E. coli, a microorganism that causes food poisoning.
- Due to its effectiveness against bacteria, this ingredient uses in oral health treatments.
- Its components reduce the appearance of gum disease and a lower presence of bacterial plaque in the mouth.
3. Improve Liver Health
- The eugenol present in cloves improves liver functions and reduces inflammation of the liver, indicates a publication in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
- Additionally, the Journal of Cancer Prevention reports on the regenerative effects of cloves.
- The specialized media says that this spice reverses the signs of liver cirrhosis and helps heal this organ.
4. Regulates Sugar Levels
- In addition to a balanced diet, cloves may help control blood sugar levels.
- According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, cloves increase sugar absorption in the blood and improve insulin-producing cells’ function, thus promoting this hormone’s secretion.
5. Reduces Stomach Ulcers
- A peptic ulcer causes a lack of protective lining in the stomach. In turn, this cause by stress, infection, or genetics.
- A natural remedy for this condition is cloves. Research conducted in 2011 showed that this spice increases the production of the gastric mucosa.
- This substance is responsible for protecting the stomach and preventing the appearance of painful sores caused by digestive acids.
- Remember to implement this ingredient in your diet in a balanced way. Do not abuse its consumption. In case of doubts, consult a specialist.
How to Use Cloves?
- Make an infusion using boiling water and three cloves. We will let it rest for five minutes. It will help us against gases.
- The combination of honey and clove powder, advantageous to calm stomach aches and nausea.
- A drop of clove oil with half a teaspoon of olive oil to soothe the teeth’ discomfort.
- A mass composed of a little salt, water, and cloves that we will put on the forehead to relieve headaches.
- Massage the belly area with clove oil for labor preparation contractions.
- It is advisable to sauté cloves with a tablespoon of sesame oil for those with discomfort in the ears and put a few drops on the ear once it is warm.
- If you are looking to combat dizziness during your travels, it is best to take an infusion composed of a teaspoon of cloves and a liter of water.
- These are some of the properties and benefits that cloves give us.
Nutritional Value of Cloves
In every 100 grams of cloves, we can achieve the following nutritional values:
- 274 calories;
- 13 g of fat;
- 4 grams of saturated fatty acids;
- 7 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids;
- 4 gr of monounsaturated fatty acids;
- 3 grams of trans fatty acids;
- 0 mg of cholesterol;
- 277 mg of sodium;
- 1,020 mg of potassium;
- 66 grams of carbohydrates;
- 34 gr of fiber;
- 4 grams of sugar;
- 6 gr of protein;
- Vitamin A, C, D, B6, B14;
- 632 mg of calcium;
- 8 mg of iron;
- 259 mg of magnesium.
Myths and Truths of Cloves
For years it has been believed that cloves could be a remedy for various ailments helping, among other things, to:
- Prevent and treat bacterial, viral, and fungal infections;
- Reduce inflammation;
- Relieve toothache;
- Decrease muscle and headaches;
- Promote the expulsion of phlegm;
- Combat gas build-up;
- Eliminate bad breath (halitosis);
- Avoid abdominal swelling;
- Reduce menstrual cramps;
- Fight sleep problems;
- Relieve vaginal infections.
Contraindications of Cloves
- Clove remedies contraindicate for people suffering from gastric ulcers or gastritis problems.
- Similarly, it should avoid if you have an allergic reaction to the components of the nail.
- As stated in previous paragraphs, patients under treatment with blood thinners should consult their doctor before taking cloves in any of their forms.
- Its use does not recommend during pregnancy and lactation.
Home Remedies of Cloves
The most used home remedies for cloves are the following:
For nausea: Mix clove powder and honey, and ingest. It can also help with stomach pain.
To remove gases: Make an infusion with two or three cloves, let it sit for 10 minutes, and drink.
For the headache: Prepare a cream with crystallized salt, nails, and water, apply this on the forehead. You can do it in the form of compresses if you do not get a very consistent mixture.
To relieve tooth pain: Mix ¼ teaspoon of olive oil and a drop of clove oil, apply this to the tooth or tooth with the problem.
For gum pain: Dip a cotton ball in clove oil or clove powder and rub it over the entire painful area. Let it rest, and this will cause a sedative effect.
For earaches: Sauté a clove in sesame oil, let it warm and apply a drop inside the ear.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Consuming Cloves
- The benefits of consuming cloves are many. Mainly it is a spice that brings a rich flavor to our meals and desserts.
- On the other hand, it is a compound that can help us cure thousands of health problems, from dental problems to cardiovascular problems.
- On the other hand, the disadvantage of consuming cloves is that we expose to drinking this excessively, and in that case, we would suffer severe effects on our health.
- For this reason, it is vital to bear in mind that we should always eat this spice in moderation.
- Thus we will never suffer from any adverse effects or find any disadvantage.