The Benefits Of Cloves.. From Fighting Cancer And Diabetes To Strengthening The Immune System
The Benefits Of Cloves.. From Fighting Cancer And Diabetes To Strengthening The Immune System
The benefits of cloves are many and varied, medical, cosmetic, and nutritional. Thanks to the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains, it fights many serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes, strengthens the immune system, and is recommended for pain relief.
The benefits of cloves have been known for thousands of years, cloves are one of the oldest and most popular spices in the world.
In its native country, Indonesia, its name is length, and in Arabic it has several names, which are cloves, a clove ram, or a clove nail, and the latter is the literal translation of the French name, which is Clou de girofle. In Latin, it is called Eugenia Caryophyllata.
What is clove?
Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree, which is native to Indonesia. It is an evergreen tree from the myrtle family. Cloves are a strong aromatic spice. It is a popular spice known all over the world. Due to the many and varied benefits of cloves, its uses are also diverse.
The fragrant clove tree was first known in the Maluku Islands in Indonesia and is still a staple product in Indonesia. Today, Indonesia in clove production is followed by Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and other hot tropical regions.
Indonesians are the main consumers of cloves, as they consume about 50% of the world’s production, and they use it not only for cooking and drinking but also for smoking.
The history of the discovery of the benefits of cloves
Ancient China knew about the various benefits of cloves. As early as 200 BC, envoys from the Indonesian island of Java brought cloves to the court of the Chinese Han Dynasty.
As this aromatic spice was used not only in cooking, perfumes, and medicine but it was also used as a mouthwash. Anyone who met the emperor had to chew a clove to ensure his breath was fresh.
Arab traders brought cloves to Europe in the fourth century BC, during the time of the Romans. At that time, the cost of cloves was very high, and its use in cooking was considered a luxury.
Clove cultivation was almost entirely confined to Indonesia. And with the spread of cloves around the world, it became the focus of trade wars between European empires, which were trying to control the market for this popular herb, so that the Dutch Empire, and in the early 17th century, burned every clove tree that did not grow in the Spice Islands under Dutch control. So she burned it in all the islands except Amboina and Ternate, in order to scarce the presence of cloves and thus guarantee her monopoly on this great ingredient and the high price of it.
However, in the latter half of the 18th century, France smuggled cloves from the East Indies to the islands of the Indian Ocean and the New World, breaking the Dutch monopoly.
In the early 21st century, Indonesia was the largest producer of cloves in the world, followed by Madagascar, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka.
The clove tree grows best in very humid environments, with an average temperature of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21.11 to 29.44 degrees Celsius), which makes tropical environments well-suited for this plant.
The clove tree is an evergreen tree, 8 to 12 meters (25 to 40 feet) tall. Trees are usually propagated from seeds sown in shaded areas.
The clove tree begins to bear fruit in the 5th year of its planting. Its fruits are colored and turn brown or black after being picked. The tree may annually produce up to 34 kg (75 lb) of clove buds. The buds are picked by hand in late summer and again in winter and then dried in the sun. A clove bud is about 13 to 19 mm (0.5 to 0.75 in) long.
The buds contain 14 to 20% of the essential oil. The main component of clove buds is eugenol essential oil, which is extracted by distillation to produce clove oil, which also gives it its pungent flavor.
The benefits of cloves
The benefits of cloves have been used in all-natural medical practices, such as Ayurvedic medicine and ancient Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, thanks to their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
The benefits of cloves are also known to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Plus, cloves also contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and fiber.
Ancient medicine knew and used the benefits of cloves, but modern medical scientists have only recently begun to study its health benefits. So what is it?
What are the health benefits of cloves?
Cloves have a variety of health benefits, including:
1- Oral health and toothache:
Clove has anesthetic properties thanks to the eugenol it contains. It is ideal for treating toothache and is considered a local anesthetic. It is enough to put one crushed clove, or its equivalent in clove powder, on the affected tooth to relieve pain until you reach the dentist.
Researchers have studied clove oil as a natural way to maintain oral health for its effects on plaque, gingivitis, and bacteria in the mouth.
Researchers compared the effectiveness of an herbal mouthwash containing clove, basil, and tea tree oil to a commercially available essential oil mouthwash.
Both rinses were effective against plaque and gingivitis, which indicates that they may help reduce mouth inflammation and bacteria.
But they found that a clove-containing mouthwash reduced harmful bacteria more than a commercial mouthwash.
A study by scientists from Capital Medical University in Beijing, the University of Pittsburgh, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Minnesota found that clove extract helps limit cancer growth and kills cancer cells in all their forms, specifically breast, ovarian, and lung cancer, and other cancers in their early stages, thanks to a substance The eugenol it contains has anti-cancer properties.
In one laboratory study, scientists found that clove extract was able to slow the growth of multiple types of human cancer cells. Clove extract also killed many colon cancer cells.
The same study also looked at the effect of clove extract on tumor growth in mice. The growth of tumors was significantly lower in mice treated with clove extract, compared to those in the control group.
In another study in humans, scientists investigated the effect of different preparations of clove extract on breast cancer cells. They found that the effect of clove essential oil and ethanol extract from cloves was toxic to breast cancer cells.
Warning: It should be noted that if eugenol is taken in large quantities, it may cause poisoning. Therefore, you should always consult a doctor before consuming cloves and their oil and taking it as a therapeutic substance at home.
3- Improves liver function:
The liver is responsible for removing toxins from the body and digesting the medications we take. In a study conducted by the Department of Nutrition Sciences in Cairo, it showed that eugenol, which is present in clove oil, improves liver function.
4- Prevents blood clots:
Cloves contain vitamin K, which is necessary to regulate blood clotting. It is beneficial for people who are prone to bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency. However, caution should be exercised and a doctor should be consulted, as it may interfere with treatment with chemotherapy drugs that are prescribed to regulate blood clotting.
5- Regulating blood sugar:
Cloves are recommended for people who suffer from irregular blood sugar, such as diabetes, because it plays the role of insulin itself in the body, as it helps regulate blood sugar.
In a study conducted in 2006, during which a number of diabetic patients ate a specific amount of cloves daily for 30 days. Researchers have found that eating a small amount of cloves reduces the risk factors for diabetes.
In another study of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Karachi in Pakistan, it was found that cloves not only regulated blood sugar, but also improved the functioning of insulin-producing cells in the body.
In another study conducted on mice, the study found that clove extract reduced insulin resistance in mouse muscle cells.
Diabetic mice that consumed cloves had less insulin resistance and improved glucose tolerance, insulin secretion, and beta cell function.
6- Strengthens the immune system:
Cloves are considered one of the best natural remedies to boost the immune system. Thanks to the vitamin C it contains, it is able to increase the number of white blood cells in the body, thus fighting diseases.
7- Treats digestive problems:
A study conducted by the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Lagos Medical College concluded that clove extract treats digestive disorders, as it promotes the secretion of enzymes necessary for digestion. It also helps in treating stomach ulcers and has the same effectiveness as a number of chemical drugs.
One of the benefits of cloves for the digestive system is that it expels gas and treats nausea. It is also rich in fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation. The best way to deal with these annoyances is to take a few crushed or sautéed cloves and mix them with honey.
Also, read Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.. Causes and Treatment
8- Rich in antioxidants:
Cloves are the main and most effective food source of polyphenols. Polyphenols are chemicals obtained by eating vegetables, and they provide very important benefits to the body, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, improving the function and flexibility of arteries, and thus contributing to longevity.
Studies say that talking about the importance of antioxidants for the body begins and does not end. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body that cause chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. It also causes skin and skin aging. However, antioxidants neutralize free radicals and their ability to destroy the body.
9- Removing pain and inflammation in the body:
The same study, conducted by the Department of Nutritional Sciences in Cairo, proved that eugenol provides cloves with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Cloves can be used as a headache medicine.
There are two ways to use it: either take it as is or use it topically. If you prefer to take it, you should put a little clove powder and rock salt in a glass of milk and drink it to treat a headache.
For topical use, a few granules of cloves should be soaked in coconut oil, then massage the sore spot in the body to relieve the pain.
10- Good for bones and joints:
Thanks to the flavonoids, magnesium, and eugenol that cloves contain, it is good for bones and joints. These substances increase bone density and secure healthy minerals for the body. Magnesium is excellent for brain health.
A study conducted by the University of Buenos Aires tested the effect of cloves against some dangerous bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. It turns out that clove oil is very effective in eliminating these bacteria. There is even a recipe for an herbal mouthwash made with tea tree oil, cloves, and basil. According to the Department of Periodontology at KLE University in Belgium, this rinse improves gum health and eliminates bacteria in the mouth and dental tartar (plaque) after only 21 days of using it.
12- Fight obesity:
In a study conducted by scientists on mice, to see the ability of cloves to fight obesity, researchers found that clove extract reduces the incidence of obesity resulting from a high-fat diet.
The mice that received the clove extract had less weight, less belly fat, and less liver fat than those in the control group.
Benefits of clove oil
The uses of clove oil are varied and numerous, perhaps the most prominent of which is that it is a local anesthetic for toothache. Eugenol is used in many industries. In the manufacture of perfumes, mouthwashes, and germicides and in the formulation of industrial vanillin (the flavoring substance in vanilla), it is also used as a sweetener or thickener.
The benefits of clove oil are not different from the benefits of cloves, they are the same. But the precautions that must be followed when using cloves multiply when using or eating clove oil.
Eugenol in clove essential oil has the potential to cause skin irritation, so hands should be washed thoroughly after handling it.
Therefore, it is not permissible to use clove oil directly on the skin, before diluting it with one of the carrier oils, such as coconut oil, almond oil, argan oil, and others.
Clove essential oil is an ideal local anesthetic and antiseptic, fighting viruses and fungi. This essential oil has long been considered an anti-inflammatory and has a beneficial effect on general mood.
Eugenol, the active substance in clove oil, gives it spasmolytic properties and promotes muscle relaxation. In some delivery rooms, clove oil is used to enhance the birthing process.
Clove essential oil is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as for infants and young children under 12 years of age.
For internal use, it is possible to prepare an infusion of clove essential oil by diluting two drops in a tablespoon of honey in a large cup of hot water.
For external use, clove oil should be diluted with a carrier oil, up to a maximum of 20% essential oil, before massaging into the specific area.
Insect repellent and bad smell
Many insecticide manufacturers use clove essential oil as one of the active ingredients in their pesticide products.
It is possible to use some clove nails or clove oil to repel insects. It is also recommended to plant cloves around the garden and around the house to repel insects.
To avoid biting (biting) mosquitoes, it is enough to mix a few drops of clove oil with almond oil, and apply this mixture to the body.
To expel insects and unpleasant odors, cloves can be inserted into the outer peel of one of the citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, or grapefruits). Or in the pulp after cutting them, so that some pests, such as moths, flies, and even mosquitoes, are kept away from the house. This method is good for putting an end to the bad smell in the room or the house.
It is not recommended to vaporize clove oil except after consulting a doctor. Provided that clove oil is used diluted (maximum 5 to 10%) and mixed with other softer essential oils such as sweet orange oil, for a stimulating effect.
Benefits of cloves for pregnancy
Cloves are associated with childbirth. In the Indonesian Maluku Islands, where cloves originated, cloves are planted at every birth. To bring good luck to newborns, according to beliefs there. Cloves symbolize growth, so Maluku children wear a necklace made of cloves.
In Greek, the name for the carnation is Eugenia caryophyllus, from Eugenia meaning born. Therefore, it is the preferred plant for midwives.
Unlike clove oil, clove ram is generally not harmful to pregnancy, but always after consulting a doctor.
The benefits of cloves for pregnancy are evident in its sterilizing and antiseptic properties for the mouth and anesthetic for toothache. Especially if the pregnant woman uses a mouthwash infused with cloves. Oral health is very important for a pregnant woman.
Pregnant women can also eat products that contain cloves. Such as herbal teas (cohort), gingerbread, sauerkraut or soups, stews, and many more. This provides balance to her diet being an excellent antioxidant.
Risks and side effects of clove oil
According to the US National Center for Biotechnology Information. Indiscriminate and excessive intake of clove oil is associated with multiple risks. May cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation or an allergic reaction on the skin. It is also flammable and can be fatal if swallowed and enters the airway.
The center mentions in one of the reports that a 15-month-old child suffered from liver failure after consuming 10 ml of clove oil. In another incident, a two-year-old boy suffered multiple medical problems. Including coma, liver damage, and blood clotting problems, after drinking 5 to 10 ml of clove oil.
Clove oil may also increase the risk of bleeding, or increase the body’s response to warfarin, an anticoagulant medication.
Therefore, it is important and necessary to consult a medical professional before using any herbal products. To know the possible side effects and interactions.
People who are prone to high blood pressure and/or have liver problems should avoid using cloves in all forms completely. Before consulting a physician.
Clove oil is bad for the skin (it irritates and burns the skin). Do not use purely on the skin or mucous membranes. It should be diluted with a carrier oil, to a maximum of 20% for topical dermal use (except for highly topical dental use).
It is not recommended to vaporize clove oil.
It is forbidden to use clove oil for pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of 12 years.
How about whole or ground cloves?
Physiotherapists believe that although cloves have been used for hundreds of years. Especially in food, caution and precaution are useful when using them. Even clove tea, although its concentration is much lower than clove essential oil. Should not be used for a long time or on a regular basis, as overdose is toxic to the liver. Therefore, it is recommended to eat 2 or 3 cups per day for a maximum of a week. When you have a cold or flu, for example.
On the other hand, using cloves as a mouthwash. Even if used regularly, does not pose any risk or cause a problem. It is enough to put a few cloves in boiling water. Soak for 15-30 minutes, and after filtering, rinse the mouth.
Benefits of cloves for hair
Because cloves are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals (sodium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamins A and C, and carotenoids), it is good for hair. It is excellent for nourishing and strengthening hair and giving it radiance and luster. It also stimulates blood circulation and promotes hair growth.
How is clove used for hair?
The amount of a tablespoon of whole cloves soaked with a little olive oil for a week. After this period, the oil absorbs the benefits of cloves and is ready for use.
The oil should be massaged into the scalp, then combed through the hair. The oil can be left on the hair all night, or left for at least 30 minutes before showering.
For oily hair and dandruff, it is possible to use ground cloves soaked with lukewarm water. After filtering it well, to rinse the hair after showering. This recipe eliminates dandruff, balances scalp sebum, and makes hair strong, shiny, and soft.
Clove lotion for scalp and hair is an excellent remedy for soothing dermatitis, reducing dandruff and stimulating blood circulation. It stimulates hair growth, strengthens and gives it vitality.
Hair lotion can be made at home, by soaking about ten crushed cloves (equivalent to a teaspoon) in lukewarm water in a glass container, before massaging it on the scalp. Leave at least a quarter of an hour after massage and before rinsing or shampooing.