Cloves are aromatic flower buds that grow on a tree and are native to Indonesia. They are mostly used as a spice for culinary purposes due to their rich and unique aroma and taste. However, cloves are more than just a simple spice. They contain numerous essential nutrients as well as essential oils that have the ability to improve our overall health.
Cloves have powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, healing, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties which is why they’re the perfect cough, toothache and bronchitis remedy. Furthermore, they can be used to lose weight, treat digestive problems and inflammation and boost the metabolism as well. Cloves contain eugenol which is the compound that gives them their aroma and most of their medicinal powers.
Eugenol provides cloves with anesthetic and antiseptic properties, but studies have shown that it also has an anti-cancer effect. Besides eugenol, the buds contain manganese, selenium, magnesium, potassium and iron, as well as vitamins A, C and K, and antioxidants such as beta-carotene. Clove essential oil is one of the best natural remedies against nail mycosis and weak nails, as well as against skin problems such as blackheads.
The extract of the oil dissolved in water or alcohol can be used as a flavoring for meals, while mixed with water it becomes a powerful natural mouthwash. Clove extract can be used to soothe insect bites and irritation, as well as other smaller or bigger health problems. Here are the 10 main health benefits of cloves:
- Analgesic and antiseptic agent
Cloves can soothe toothache as well as gum and throat inflammation, and is a great remedy against burns, wounds and infections as well.
- Detoxifies the body
Cloves can improve your circulation and clean your body of toxins, effectively preventing numerous ailments and reinforcing the immune system.
- A natural expectorant
Cloves are a powerful expectorant that can loosen the mucus in the throat and help you breathe easier. It is one of the best natural cough remedies.
- Boost your metabolism
Cloves can boost your metabolism and increase the production of saliva in your mouth, which is important for your digestion as well.
- Great against digestive problems
Cloves can improve digestion due to their ability to increase the secretion of digestive enzymes.
- Relieve cramps and muscle spasms
Cloves can be used to relieve muscle cramps and spasms.
- A natural mouthwash
Cloves can destroy the bacteria in your oral cavity and eliminate problems such as bad breath. They can also prevent cavities in your teeth.
- Beneficial for the thyroid
Cloves are great for thyroid problems and can prevent hypo and hyperthyroidism as well.
- Regulate your cholesterol levels
Cloves can be used to control the cholesterol levels and prevent numerous cardiovascular problems.
- A powerful anti-inflammatory agent
Due to the presence of eugenol, cloves are a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can fight arthritis and similar inflammatory conditions.
In order to take full advantage of the benefits of cloves, they should be consumed in the form of tea. The preparation of the tea is simple – just add a tablespoon of the buds in a liter of water, then boil the mixture for about 10 minutes. Leave the tea to cool down for a bit afterwards, then strain it and enjoy. For best results, experts recommend drinking up to 3 cups a day.
In order to prepare clove oil, you should mix 30 gr. of cloves with 200 ml. of olive or sunflower oil. This mixture is beneficial for your nails and can relieve nail infections and treat problems such as brittle nails.
Just soak your nails in the mixture for about an hour or apply a bit of it on them directly.
To treat genital infections, you should mix some clove oil with a cup of water and rinse the area twice a day. As we mentioned before, mixing the oil with some alcohol (such as rum) can be used to soothe insect bites and stings. To prepare the tincture, mix some clove oil with a liter of alcohol and leave it for 2 months, then strain the liquid when it’s brown.
WARNING: cloves can have negative effects in pregnant or lactating women. Children under 6 and people suffering from gastrointestinal problems and neurological disorders are also advised to avoid consuming cloves.