Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves against Infection


The clove tree, Syzygium aromaticum, is indigenous to Indonesia. In addition to

being used as a popular spice, its dried flower buds are also employed in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Medicine is made with dried flower buds, leaves, stems, and clove oils.

# It has been demonstrated that cloves contain antibacterial qualities, which means they can inhibit the development of microbes like bacteria.

 The organ used as spice is the flower bud which consists of the perianth (calyx with the four sepals united into a tube below and the unopened petals which form a small dome at the centre as shown in the picture).  The clove tree can grow as high as 12 metres tall with flowers grouped in terminal clusters.

Cloves strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and aid digestion. It is an immunity booster, it boosts testosterone levels. It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and aphrodisiac. It also has anti-viral, anti-microbial and antibacterial properties. It prevents hair loss and thickens hair.  It is good for the treatment of acne. Clove oil is extensively used in aromatherapy to treat headaches. The oil obtained from clove is a good source of a compound called eugenol. The strong germicidal properties of clove help combat toothache, sore gums and ulcers.

The flavour in the flower buds comes from the compound eugenol. The nutrients found in cloves include carbohydrates, protein and dietary fibre. Minerals in cloves include potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium. The vitamins found in them include vitamin E, folate and niacin. They also contain phosphorus, iron, zinc, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins A and K.

Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves

1. Contain important nutrients

Cloves contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so using whole or ground cloves to add flavor to your food can provide some important nutrients.

One teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves contains (4Trusted Source):

Calories: 6

Carbs: 1 gram

Fiber: 1 gram

Manganese: 55% of the Daily Value (DV)

Vitamin K: 2% of the DV

Manganese is an essential mineral for maintaining brain function and building strong bones (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Apart from being a rich source of manganese, cloves are only used in small amounts and do not provide significant amounts of nutrients.

2. High in antioxidants

In addition to containing several important vitamins and minerals, cloves are rich in antioxidants (7Trusted Source).

Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of chronic disease (8Trusted Source).

Cloves also contain a compound called eugenol, which has been shown to act as a natural antioxidant.

In fact, a test-tube study found that eugenol stopped oxidative damage caused by free radicals five times more effectively than vitamin E, another potent antioxidant (9Trusted Source).

Including cloves in your diet along with other antioxidant-rich foods can help improve your overall health.

3. Can kill bacteria

Cloves have been shown to have antimicrobial properties, meaning they can help stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria (14Trusted Source).

One test-tube study showed that clove essential oil killed three common types of bacteria, including E. coli, which is a strain of bacteria that can cause food poisoning (15Trusted Source).

What’s more, the antibacterial properties of cloves could even help promote oral health.

In one test-tube study, the compounds extracted from cloves were found to stop the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease (16Trusted Source).

Another study in 40 people tested the effects of an herbal mouthwash consisting of tea tree oil, cloves, and basil.

After using the herbal mouthwash for 21 days, they showed improvements in gum health, as well as the amount of plaque and bacteria in the mouth (17Trusted Source).

In combination with regular brushing and proper oral hygiene, the antibacterial effects of cloves may benefit your oral health.

What is clove good for?

Clove is a small-sized spice but has numerous health benefits. This spice provides many nutrients that help in controlling sugar, reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, improve bone, liver, and gastric health, reduce pain, reduce risks of heart disease and cancer, and is also good for oral health.

What is cloves called in Nigeria?


Clove is a spice plant native to Indonesia. It belongs in the family Myrtaceae. It is known as kanafuru in Yoruba; most people call it Zobo pepper.

Some of the benefits

Lowers blood sugar: A study on mice found that clove extract and nigericin, a component of clove extract, reduced insulin resistance in mouse muscle cells. Mice with diabetes that consumed nigericin also had less insulin resistance and improvements in glucose tolerance, insulin secretion, and beta cell function. Another animal study looked at the effect of clove bud powder on laboratory markers in a rat model of diabetes. They found that blood sugar level was lower in rats that received the clove powder compared to those in the control group that did not receive the clove powder.

According to a 2019 pilot study, significant reductions were found in the glucose levels of healthy human volunteers who ingested a polyphenolic clove extract, building on promising results in preclinical studies regarding the effect of clove in helping to regulate blood sugar.

Oral health: Researchers are studying clove oil as a natural method for maintaining oral health due to its effect on plaque, gingivitis and bacteria in the mouth. Researchers compared the effectiveness of an herbal mouth rinse containing clove, basil and tea tree oil with a commercially-available essential oil mouth rinse.  Both mouth rinses were effective against plaque and gingivitis, showing that they may help decrease oral inflammation and bacteria. The researchers also found that the mouth rinse that contained clove decreased the number of harmful bacteria more than the commercial mouth rinse. Clove oil is perhaps best known as a remedy for toothache and dental pain. In a 2006 study of 73 adults, for instance, researchers found that clove-based gel was comparable to benzocaine (a local anaesthetic) in its ability to ease pain resulting from injections in the mouth.

Anti-cancer benefits: 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 increased cell death in colon cancer cells. The same study also looked at the effect of clove extract on tumor growth in mice. Tumors grew significantly less in the mice treated with clove extract compared to those in the control group.

In another study, scientists looked at the effect of different preparations of clove extract on human breast cancer cells. They found that clove essential oil and ethanol extract of clove were both toxic to breast cancer cells. The authors reported that cloves might have a beneficial role in the future of cancer treatment since they can cause cell death and slow cell multiplication. A study published in the Carcinogenesis Journal has shown that they may help control lung cancer in its early stages. Research suggests that oleanolic acid present in cloves provides anti-tumor activity, while another study showed that eugenol found in cloves has anticancer potential against cervical cancer.

Good for weight loss: Scientists have also studied cloves regarding their potential effect on obesity. In a study of mice, researchers found that clove extract reduced the incidence of obesity resulting from a high-fat diet. Mice who received the clove extract had lower body weights, less abdominal fat and less liver fat than those in the control group.

Protects against food poisoning: According to a 2018 review, clove oil and specifically the constituent eugenol show advantages over potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and other chemical food preservatives in terms of antimicrobial activity, safety and aroma making it worthy of consideration as a substitute food preservative. Clove oil has been found to have an antibacterial effect on common food source Gram-negative bacteria such as pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella, E. coli, as well as Gram-positive bacteria such as streptococcus and staphylococcus due to inhibition of bacterial adhesion, migration, biofilm formation and expression of virulence factors. In laboratory tests published in 2009, scientists found that clove bud oil (as well as essential oils of cinnamon and allspice) also helped suppress the growth of listeria, another common bacteria known to cause food-borne illness, indicating that clove oil may be helpful in protecting against food poisoning.


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