Cloves are dried flower buds from the clove tree that originates from Indonesia. These are a popular spice that can be use in stews, soups, sauces, meats, and rice dishes.
The name comes from the Latin word clavus, meaning nail because the shape of a dried clove resembles that of a nail.
Cloves have been used in traditional medicine and cooking for years, but, just recently researchers begun studying their potential health benefits.
Learn more about the potential health benefits of cloves.
Health Benefits of Cloves:
1. Bone Health
The phenolic compounds content including flavones, isoflavones, and flavonoids in clove extracts are very beneficial for healthy bones.
This is because these compounds help in retaining bones mass, and in preventing it from deteriorating. This proves that it is very effective in reducing the painful symptoms of rheumatic arthritis.
2. Cancer Prevention
Many spices and herbs are high in antioxidants, which are chemicals that help in reducing damage to cells that could lead to cancer.
As per Today’s Dietitian, “about 1/2 teaspoon of ground clove contains more antioxidants, compared to 1/2 cup of blueberries.”
In a laboratory study, researchers reported that clove extract was able to slow the growth of multiple types of human cancer cells. Also, clove extract help increased cell death in colon cancer cells.
This same study also studied the effects of clove extract on tumor growth in mice. Tumors grew significantly less in mice that were treated with clove extract, as compared to those in the control group.
While in another study, researchers looked at the effect of various preparations of clove extract on human breast cancer cells. They reported that clove ethanol extract and clove essential oil were both toxic to breast cancer cells.
The researchers reported that cloves might have a beneficial role in future cancer treatment since they can slow cell multiplication and cause cell death.
3. Diabetes Management
Cloves have been used in various traditional remedies for a number of diseases. One of that disease is diabetes.
In patients who are suffering from diabetes, the amount of insulin that were produced by the body is either not produced at all or insufficient.
Studies revealed that clove extracts imitate insulin in certain ways, and also help to control blood sugar levels.
4. Liver Health
Studies reported that the beneficial compounds present in cloves could help in promoting liver health. The compound eugenol, may be beneficial for the liver.
An animal study conducted on rats with fatty liver disease were given mixtures that contain either eugenol or clove oil. Both mixtures improved liver function, decreased oxidative stress and reduced inflammation .
Another animal study reported that the eugenol content in cloves helped in reversing signs of liver cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.
Also, a small study reported that taking eugenol supplements for 1 week decreased levels of GST, which is an enzyme involved in detoxification, that is often a marker of liver disease.
Cloves are rich in antioxidants that helps in preventing liver disease. This is because of its ability to help decrease oxidative stress.
Remember that eugenol is toxic in high amounts. A case study in a 2-year-old boy reported that 5-10 ml of clove oil caused serious liver damage.
5. Oral Health
Cloves can be taken for gum diseases including periodontitis and gingivitis.
Clove bud extracts help control the growth of oral pathogens, which are mainly responsible for many oral diseases. Also, cloves can be used for toothache due to its pain-killing properties.
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