What are the health benefits of cloves?
Cloves may be only tiny little things, but boy, do they pack a powerful nutritional and medicinal punch. The spice, which is the flower buds of an evergreen tree that is native to Indonesia, contains 36 different ingredients that have health benefits, the most potent of which is an essential oil called eugenol. Cloves are also a good source sodium, potassium, iron and vitamins C and K. You will have no doubt come across cloves in cooking and baking recipes, but you may not have known just how good they are for you. Here are ten of the amazing health benefits of cloves.
1. Reduces the symptoms of stress
Eugenol, the essential oil that is contained in cloves, is well known for its muscle relaxing properties. Cloves, and clove oil, are very effective at calming you down, relaxing your muscles, and easing the symptoms of stress. You can gain the relaxing benefit of cloves by, either adding few drops of clove oil to your bathwater, or you can drink clove tea to reduce stress.
2. Relieves toothache
Clove oil won’t cure the underlying cause of a toothache, but it will certainly ease the pain and discomfort. Clove oil has powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that will quickly reduce swelling in the gums and soothe the pain of toothache. You just need to dab some clove oil onto the tooth and the surrounding gum area.
3. Reduces the pain of arthritis
Those analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cloves that we mentioned are also very effective at reducing joint pain. You can massage painful joints with a mixture of clove oil with any carrier oil and it will lessen the pain of cramped muscles and conditions like arthritis.
4. Cloves are high in antioxidants
Antioxidants are often thought of as being useful in protecting the skin against the signs of ageing but they are also an important way that you can help to protect yourself against cancer too. Clove essential oil has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all the essential oils and that will help fight the cell damage that can be caused by free radicals in the body.
5. Fights bad breath
If you chew on a few cloves, it will help combat bad breath. The action of chewing on the spice will help to remove food particles that may have become trapped between teeth and the aromatic scent of the cloves will freshen up the breath. Cloves also contain natural antiseptic ingredients that will kill the bacteria that cause bad breath.
6. Treats acne
When added to face packs, or mixed with carrier oils, clove oil makes a very effective treatment for acne. It fights the bacteria that cause acne, reduces inflammation and it will also help to reduce the appearance of any scars or blemishes. Remember, though, clove essential oil is far too strong to be used undiluted on the skin.
7. Eases vomiting and nausea
The soothing aroma and taste of cloves is also very effective for relieving nausea and vomiting and it can be useful for women suffering with morning sickness. The easiest way to get this benefit of cloves is to put a few drops of clove oil on a handkerchief and inhale the fumes. To settle an upset stomach and reduce vomiting, try mixing some clove powder with honey and swallowing it, as you would a spoonful of medicine. Of course, it’s best to consult with your healthcare specialist before trying any self treatments.
8. Relieves headaches
Whether it’s a migraine headache, or a tension headache, clove oil is very good at relieving headaches too. Simply put a few drops of clove oil onto a piece of cloth and hold the cloth up you your forehead. Alternatively, you could mix clove oil with carrier oil and massage it onto your forehead.
9. Improves that digestive system
Cloves help the digestive system to work more efficiently by promoting the production of the good enzymes in the digestive tract and fighting bad bacteria. All you need to do is to use more cloves in your cooking and it will improve your digestion and alleviate symptoms like gas, bloating and stomach aches.
10. Cloves a great treatment for the common cold
Cloves and clove oil are very good for alleviating the symptoms of a cold. As well as the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that will help to fight infection and ease swelling, cloves also act as an expectorant, so they will help to clear mucus from the nose and chest. To treat a cold, or other bronchial infections, just add a few drops of clove oil to steaming water and inhale the vapours.
Stay happy and healthy!