Though generally considered to be a typical Indian spice, the Indonesian-originated clove is not only an enticingly aromatic addition to masala tea or biryani, but an often overlooked antioxidant-rich flower bud. Part of the Myrtaceae family, responsible for other medicinally enriched botanicals such as guava and eucalyptus, cloves have a history of beneficial uses that make them a delicious and healing addition to both your spice cupboard and your medicine cabinet. Read on to discover our Top 5 Health Benefits of Cloves!
1. Help improve oral and gum health
‘Eugenol’ is the name given to the extracted oil of cloves and has been used in dentistry for over 100 years for its anaesthetic and anti-bacterial properties. Studies have found that Eugenol is significantly more effective for the relief of toothache than conventional painkillers, while its antimicrobial properties help prevent any unpleasant illnesses such as gum disease from occurring. Clove oil has also been found to be notably more effective in the prevention of dental erosion than mainstream dental products, meaning fluoride infused toothpaste can begin its demotion to being a distant memory!
2. Cardiovascular health
High amounts of LDL cholesterol are known to be damaging to cardiovascular health, but can be prevented from worsening through an antioxidant rich diet. Cloves contain some of the highest amount of polyphenols (antioxidant compounds) of all foods. Polyphenols assist in fighting off free-radicals which are a normal but potentially harmful product of metabolism, helping the body to prevent the worsening of negative effects of LDL cholesterol.
3. Aids digestion
Used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and practice to amplify metabolic functions, the presence of clove oil during an abdominal massage is responsible for the increase of ‘digestive juices’ such as hydrochloric acid and bile, which help the body to digest food effectively.
4. Reduces stress
That feeling of calmness and comfort you get when sipping on a hot cup of masala chai isn’t just because it tastes delicious! A study from 2009 found that cloves improve symptoms of stress-triggered illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and immunosuppression, in addition to psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. Making time for a clove-infused tea (break) on a hard day is now justified, friends!
5. Contributes to healthy bones
Clove oil is particularly high in a mineral called ‘manganese’, which is deemed essential to the regulated growth of bone structure. Low levels of manganese can lead to bone malformation. It is also suggested that manganese may assist in reducing the pace of the destructive effects of osteoporosis.
While the benefits stated are certainly significant, the above list is only a small number of the positive attributes that cloves posses. Whether you’re experiencing stomach problems, have toothache, or are just seeking a warming addition to your curry – the inclusion of cloves in your household will undoubtedly be a decision that at some point or another, you’ll be grateful for making! Love clove and have a special use for it? Let us know below or @keepfitkingdom !