13 Surprising Benefits of Cloves

Cloves offer many health benefits, some of which include aid in digestion, fighting against cancer, protecting the liver, boosting the immune system, controlling diabetes, preserving bone quality, and containing anti-mutagenic and anti-microbial properties, as well as fighting against oral diseases and headaches, while also displaying aphrodisiac properties.

What are Cloves?

Cloves are one of the spices indigenous to Asian countries like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and even areas of East Africa. It is native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. They are a popular flavoring agent used in a variety of ways across the world, particularly in Asia. Cloves form the culinary base in a number of different Asian cuisines.

Clove, just like many other spices originating in Asia, has a great history behind it. During the 13th and 14th centuries, cloves were transported all the way from Indonesia to China, India, Persia, Africa, and Europe. During this time, cloves had a very high price, thus wars for monopoly over clove production and distribution began. Many wars were waged in order to control the islands of Maluku during both the medieval and modern period. The Dutch emerged victorious and held the Maluku islands for a very long time. Today, clove is a very important commercial crop all around the world.

Scientific Facts About Clove

Clove is the dried bud of the flower from the tree Syzygium aromaticum. It belongs to the plant family named Myrtaceae. The plant is an evergreen plant growing in tropical and subtropical conditions. Clove is an herb and people use various parts of the plant, including the dried bud, stems, and leaves to make medicine. Clove oil is also famous for its medicinal properties.

Clove has been used for thousands of years in India and China not only as a spice and condiment but also as a medicine for many ailments. Ayurvedic medicining used cloves for tooth decay, halitosis, and bad breath. In Chinese medicine, clove was considered to possess aphrodisiac properties.

Cloves Nutrition Facts

According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, the nutrients found in 100 grams of cloves include 65 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of protein, 13 grams of total lipids, 2 grams of sugars, 274 kcal of energy and 33 grams of dietary fibers. Minerals in cloves include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The vitamins found in them include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K.

Bioactive Substances in Cloves

Certain bioactive compounds have been isolated from clove extracts. Some of them include flavonoids, hexane, methylene chloride, ethanol, thymol, eugenol, and benzene. These biochemicals have been reported to possess various properties, including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Health Benefits of Cloves

Health benefits of cloves include

Better Digestion

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, and taken with honey for relief in digestive disorders.

Antibacterial Properties

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.

Chemo-preventive Properties

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.

Liver Protection

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 those effects with its hepatoprotective properties.

Diabetes Control

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 not sufficient or insulin is not produced at all. Studies have revealed that extracts from cloves imitate insulin in certain ways and help in controlling blood sugar levels.

Bone Preservation

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.

Anti-mutagenic Properties

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 on 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.


Anti-inflammatory Properties

Cloves possess anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties. Studies on clove extracts being administered in lab rats, suggest that the presence of eugenol reduced the inflammation caused by edema. 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.

Aphrodisiac 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.

Side Effects of Using Clove

Clove Oil: Clove oils must not be used directly; instead they must be diluted either in olive oil or in distilled water. Clove extract oil is generally considered to be safe, but certain studies have revealed that they possess cytotoxic properties. There are two major components present in clove extract oil, eugenol, and B-caryophyllene. These compounds were particularly effective against fibroblasts and endothelial cells.

Clove Cigarettes: In Indonesia, cloves are consumed on a large scale in the form of cigarettes, popularly known as kreteks. These clove cigarettes have emerged as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, but research shows that clove cigarettes are actually worse than conventional cigarettes. In the case of clove cigarettes, the amount of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar entering into the lungs was higher than that from normal tobacco cigarettes.

What do you think? |
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Ok, just so I am understanding this correctly..... Clove oil contains eugenol, and B-caryophyllene and these have been shown to be "effective AGAINST fibroblasts and endothelial cells" . So does this mean clove oil would NOT be good for skin in terms of "anti-aging"?

Thank you for reading the article. Clove oil is used for anti-aging but in a DILUTED form. However, you need to check with your doctor before doing so to avoid reactions and allergies if your skin is sensitive.

Team Organic Facts

Ala'amoe Keolanui

Wondering if clove leaf can be dried and used for tea?

I use to for younger skin/stoping the aging process..and it works like magic..in my own concoction.

Pascalie Alexandre

what is your concoction?

I eat clove hard candy with natural clove oil. Is this a good source of clove? Or should I be ingesting it in another way/form?

I think, therefore I am

i eat 50 gram clove i 24 hrs. i like its test . however the shopkeeper forbid me and advices me not to eat that much clove. but i have became habituate of it

over eating causes, sometimes, ulcer in mouth but after leaving it for few days mouth become normal again.

i have tried to leave eating for forever but i am unable to help my self in this regard.

i need your advice upon log term effect on my vital organs such as Liver, kidney, brain, heart.

you can damage your kidney and liver

I think, therefore I am

Thanks for reply. Could you please provide some scientific reason of happening so. Actually i want to quit eating clove but finding no reason of doing so. I think your explanation would convince me to stop eating clove.

One thing i have noticed, when i eat much my heartbeat goes higher and becomes irregular. additionally, when i don't eat i feel normal, cool and calm. But after some time i get a strog argue for clove.
Thanks again for your reply.

I hv immersed clove buds into apple juice for a week,thn dried and made powder.now eating 1/2 tsf twice a day to enhance libido and firmness of pen**.is it ok ? or am i consuming too much per day?
Thank you.

Great Info!!!

I was just wondering if I could grind them up and put in smoothies with some cinnamon and tumeric. Thanks

Only if you say.."mother may I"

No, you can't....I said so!

I was wondering the same. I'm just going to find the powdered kind & mix it in my daily SMOOTHIE.

We buy fresh cloves in 1-pound foil bags and grind them up a little at a time storing it all in the freezer or fridge. Add half a teaspoon to a large glass of green tea that is also steeped with Rosemary leaves and Peppermint leaves. After 10 minutes we add the clove powder, ginger powder, Ceylon cinnamon powder and stevia powder. What a healthful drink!!

What is all that for? Must be rather sick?

Everybody should use cloves!

Sadly many are so uninterest about their health or at least searching information about it that they don't read articles like this.
I have mentioned health benefits of cloves for some, but amazingly, they have got stuck wondering whether they like taste of it enough to use it or not. Same with cinnamon and many others.

Even if I would hate taste of cloves - I would use it. 😀
In capsules or oil at least. It's so good stuff! It doesn't matter whether I like it's taste or not if it's health benefits are in this class -besides I love it's taste! <3

I put clove and ceylon cinnamon powder in every cup of coffee and tea I drink.. and to many foods I eat.

I do the same! At this very moment I'm drinking in hot water Clove Powder, Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder,, Organic Turmeric Powder, Organic Tulsi Powder (Calming), 1TB Organic Lemon Juice(freshly squeezed) & 1 TB of Organic Raw Unrefined Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Ginger Powder, Little drops of *(Alcohol Free)* Now Foods Better Green Leaf Stevia Liquid (Glycerite/Glycerine). If you notice when you drink Cloves it is sort of numbing, so it is good for getting rid of pain in your body. Also I make mouth wash out of it along with Ceylon Cinnamon, Peppermint Oil, Oregano Oil, a Little Tea Tree Oil (& because of the Tea Tree oil only you can only gargle with it, so do not swallow it), If you like to swallow your mouth wash, then just leave out the Tea Tree Oil. Then after this I'm going to follow with 32 OZ of Wheatgrass with Lemon, Ginger, A little Apple Juice to sweeten it that I juiced my self in my Juicer from an Organic Apple. I try to use Fruit to Sweeten my tonics when ever possible instead of always using healthy sweetener's.

You are so right. I once ate cloves, turmeric, lemon juice etc for a long time but the overpowering taste is scarey and warrants a huge build up every time to consume it. I think about cloves every time as I have systemic sclerosis. I‘m doing well with my discipline diet. However, if you guys can stomach it then I must also. Tomorrow will start taking it before breakfast which consists is oats, blueberries always with another berry or red cherries, a little grass fed butter sometimes to boost energy, chia and flax seeds, walnuts, sometimes green banana, a small teaspoon of Spirulina, two spoons of yogurt, some other nuts and seed like sunflower and or guilty berries, paprika, cinnamon (will start using Ceylon rather than Cassia). Must also reinstate half of a whole pomegranate. 99% Of the time no farmer unless it‘s a vegetable like sweet potatoes or b/squash etc. Always thinking I can Still eat better. Any more tips most welcome.

I'm on it! Always searching for herbal alternatives for better health. Thanx!!!

Me too. I am doing green smoothies and trying to better my health. I will try clove and other spices that will help me feel well throughout the day.

How do you know it is going to work?

Very nice information for those who have desire to live better.

Yasmine Eftekhari

Many Health benefits in something so small!