benefits of cloves

7 Benefits of Cloves, Aromatic Spices Originated from Indonesia

Cloves are not only a great spice to add flavor and depth to your cooking. It also has various health benefits that you should know about.

Spices were considered some of the most valuable trade items in ancient and medieval times. As spices came to Europe in the 15th century, the demand for spices increased rapidly and led to exploration to search for spices. Among these spices, cloves were also sought after. The benefits of cloves, along with their unique taste and smell, make this spice popular and always in demand.

what is cloves

What Are Cloves?

Cloves spices are actually the dried flower buds of the clove tree. This spice can be used either in whole or ground forms. Moreover, the plant is native to North Moluccas, Indonesia. It also spreads throughout Europe and Asia and has been used for various cuisine.

Cloves have an intense, warm flavor and aroma. It has a little bit of sweetness, bitterness, and astringency. The intense and rich flavor makes this spice a great addition to hot beverages, pot roasts, and even cookies and cakes.

health benefits of cloves

7 Health Benefits of Cloves

Cloves are commonly used to add depth of flavor to a variety of cuisine. However, this spice has also been used in traditional medicine. Here are some impressive health benefits of cloves:

1. Reduce Inflammation

Cloves are rich in compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, one of which is eugenol. This compound is known to reduce the inflammatory response. Therefore, by managing its symptoms, adding dried cloves to your food will reduce the risk of diseases linked to inflammation, such as arthritis.

2. Rich in Antioxidant

Cloves are also rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals. When antioxidants remove the free radicals from the body, it will reduce the risk of developing dangerous diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and specific cancers.

3. Protect the Body Against Cancer

A study found that clove extract helped stop tumor growth and promote cancer cell death. Another test also found that concentrated clove oil promoted cell death in esophageal and cervical cancer cells.

Despite these benefits, you must remember that the test used very concentrated amounts of clove extract. Using too much clove oil can cause serious issues such as liver damage. Therefore, further research is necessary to determine the safe use of cloves.

4. Improve Liver Function

Cloves also contain compounds that help promote liver health, which is eugenol. Some researches show that eugenol in cloves of spices helps improve liver function, reduce inflammation, and decreases oxidative stress. It also helps reverse signs of cirrhosis in the liver. This is why cloves generally may improve liver function.

5. Kill Bacteria

Another benefit of cloves is stopping microorganisms’ growth, such as bacteria, due to their antimicrobial properties. One study shows that clove essential oil can kill some types of bacteria, including E. coli. Due to this benefit, cloves can help promote oral health by stopping the two types of bacteria that cause gum disease from growing.

6. Reduce Stomach Ulcers

A stomach ulcer is a condition when the layer of mucus protecting the stomach lining gets thinner. Painful sores usually appear in the lining around the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus.

Cloves help increase gastric mucus production, essential in protecting the stomach from erosion due to digestive acids. While the effects of reducing stomach ulcers may be promising, we still need further research to understand what is the adverse impact it may possess on the human body.

7. Regulate Blood Sugar

Last but not least health benefit of clove is keeping blood sugar levels stable enough. Nigicericin, a compound found in clove, helps increase the sugar uptake from the blood into cells. It also increases insulin secretion, improves cell secretion of sugar from the body, and improves cell function to help your body produce insulin.

Insulin is an essential hormone in the body that is used to transport sugar from the blood into cells. The blood sugar level will be maintained when the body can produce a healthy amount of insulin. With a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, cloves will help you keep your blood sugar healthy.

cloves uses and benefits

How to Use Cloves?

We have discussed several health benefits of cloves to a woman and a man alike. The next thing you need to understand is how to use cloves in a safe amount that can help provide the best health benefit of cloves.

Cloves can be easily found in grocery stores, spices supplier, or health food stores. You will be able to find them either in the form of flower buds or ground. However, the potency of this spice can quickly fade once ground. Therefore, buying the whole cloves and keeping them in an airtight container is recommended.

Keep them in the containers and only take a few to keep them fresh and the flavor strong. If you need the ground form, you can grind them with a pepper mill.

There are various ways how you can use cloves. If you want a more potent dose, you may want to make a clove tea. All you need to do is grind a tablespoon of whole cloves. Then steep the powder in boiling water for three to four minutes. Then strain the spice out, and your clove tea is ready to serve.

Aside from tea, you can also use this spice in various ways. For example, add the ground form into a pumpkin pie or chai latte. If you want the additional health benefits of cloves to your spicy pickles, just add a few sprinkles of whole cloves. It is also an essential curry spice, so don’t forget to add some next time you make a curry.

If you make roasted meats, you can also use cloves powder and rub them into the meat. This will add depth to your roasted meat and make it more flavorful. With these potential health benefits, it is understandable that cloves have been sought after since the middle ages. To make sure you get the health benefits of cloves, try to incorporate this spice into your cooking.

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