Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves
Published: 01:59 PM, 27 April 2018
Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree, an evergreen also known as Syzygium aromaticum. They are one of the spices indigenous to Asian countries like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and even areas of East Africa. They are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia.
This versatile spice can be used to season pot roasts, add flavour to hot beverages and bring spicy warmth to cookies and cakes. In addition to their sweet, aromatic flavour, cloves are known for their potent medicinal properties.
In fact, animal studies have found that the compounds in cloves may have several health benefits, including supporting liver health and helping stabilize blood sugar levels.
Here are some most impressive health benefits of eating cloves.
Cloves improve digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. Cloves are also good for reducing flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia, and nausea. They can be roasted, powdered or taken with honey for relief in digestive disorders.
Cloves have been tested for their antibacterial properties against a number of human pathogens. The extracts of cloves were potent enough to kill those pathogens. Clove extracts are also effective against the specific bacteria that spread cholera.
Cloves are of interest to the medical community due to their chemo-preventive or anti-carcinogenic properties. Tests have shown that they are helpful in controlling lung cancer at its early stages.
Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are ideal for protecting the organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver. Metabolism, in the long run, increases free radical production and lipid profile, while decreasing the antioxidants in the liver. Clove extracts are helpful in counteracting these effects with its hepatoprotective properties.
Cloves have been used in many traditional remedies for a number of diseases. One such disease is diabetes. In patients suffering from diabetes, the amount of insulin produced by the body is either insufficient, or it is not produced at all. Studies have revealed that extracts from cloves imitate insulin in certain ways and help in controlling blood sugar levels.
The hydro-alcoholic extracts of cloves include phenolic compounds such as eugenol and its derivatives, such as flavones, isoflavones, and flavonoids. These extracts have been particularly helpful in preserving bone density and the mineral content of bone, as well as increasing tensile strength of bones in case of osteoporosis.
Mutagens are those chemicals that change the genetic makeup of the DNA by causing mutations. Biochemical compounds found in cloves, like phenylpropanoids, possess anti-mutagenic properties. These were administered to cells treated with mutagens and they were able to control the mutagenic effects to a significant rate.
Boosts the Immune System
Ayurveda describes certain plants to be effective in developing and protecting the immune system. One such plant is clove. The dried flower bud of clove contains compounds that help in improving the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count, thereby, improving delayed-type hypersensitivity.
Cloves possess anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties. Studies on clove extracts administered to lab rats suggest that the presence of eugenol reduced the inflammation caused by oedema. It was also confirmed that eugenol has the ability to reduce pain by stimulating pain receptors.
Cure for Oral Diseases
Cloves can be taken for gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Clove bud extracts significantly control the growth of oral pathogens, which are responsible for various oral diseases. Cloves can also be used for toothaches due to their pain-killing properties.
Spices such as clove and nutmeg have been said to possess aphrodisiac properties, according to Unani medicine. Experiments on clove and nutmeg extracts were tested against standard drugs administered for that reason, and both clove and nutmeg showed positive results.
Cure for Headaches
Headaches can be reduced by using cloves. Make a paste of a few cloves and mix it with a dash of rock salt. Add this to a glass of milk. This mixture reduces headaches quickly and effectively.
Enhance sexual health
Sometimes used as an aphrodisiac, cloves can also help men from reaching orgasm too early.
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