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  • Health Benefits of Clove

    Health benefits of clove

    Cloves are a sweet, aromatic spice. It is the flower buds of the Clove tree, (Syzygium aromaticum). A native to Indonesia, it is mainly grown in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Madagascar. A Majority of cloves' health benefits come from Eugenol and Caryophyllene, two strong germicides which are also antioxidants, antimicrobials, and kill parasites and repel insects. Moreover, One teaspoon of ground clove contains 30% of the recommended dietary intake of Manganese, 4% of Vitamin K, 3% of Vitamin C and small amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin C.

    Cloves from Sri Lanka, identified with the geographical indication of Ceylon Cloves are available in pods, powder, and clove oil and offer distinctive health benefits, including;

    Benefits Digestive System Soothes Mental Tensions
    Regulates Blood Sugar Soothes Acne
    Improves Liver Health Improves Scalp Health
    Improves Oral Health Rejuvenates Skin
    Improves Respiratory Tract Health

    Benefits Digestive System

    Cloves have been widely used in Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal medicine to treat a multitude of digestive tract conditions and have been a potent home remedy against flatulence, hiccups, and motion sickness.

    The high presence of Eugenol helps to reduce the occurrence of food poisoning through Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Salmonella, E.coli. As well as fighting against food poisoning, Eugenol’s antimicrobial properties make cloves a spice that helps food preservation. (1)

    Clove has been found to increase the production of gastric mucus, protecting the internal lining of the stomach, duodenum, or oesophagus from peptic ulcers. (2) In addition, clove extracts have been found to exhibit effects similar to anti-ulcer medications (3) which also accounts for its positive effect on gut health. (4)

    Regulate Blood Sugar

    Diabetes weakens the pancreatic cells that create insulin, leaving the body without sufficient insulin for normal functioning. Clove oil helps to maintain these insulin levels as it regulates the postprandial insulin and glucose response mechanisms. (5)

    According to research, the polyphenol in clove extracts, especially in clove oil, works in three different ways to regulate the blood sugar level. (6)

    1. Helps mucus cells of the digestive tracts to absorb 63% more glucose, consequently reducing the glucose levels in blood circulation
    2. Restraining the glucose production in liver cells
    3. Restraining the activities of digestive enzymes that break down complex carbohydrates and sucrose into glucose.

    Therefore, clove extracts can effectively control the blood sugar levels after meals, reduce fasting glucose levels, while increasing glucose consumption.

    Improves Liver Health

    Repeated studies have found clove extracts to improve liver health, protecting the liver cells against inflammation and degeneration. (7)

    The compound Eugenol found in clove has been found to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in liver cells while reversing the signs of liver cirrhosis. Incidentally, research has also found to reduce the inflammation and oxidative stress in liver cells caused by binge drinking (8) while antioxidants in clove also reduced oxidative stress in liver stress.

    However, overconsumption of Eugenol can have negative effects on the liver and can cause permanent liver damage.

    Improves Oral Health

    Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum swelling caused by Gingivitis, a gum disease that is caused by bacteria build up around the gum line. Clove oil, which is rich with antiseptic and antibacterial quality can reduce the swelling and pain in the affected areas when applied and massaged gently. Chewing cloves also can relieve pain since it releases the clove extract within the mouth. (9) (10)

    Clove is a proven treatment for mouth ulcers and small lesions that occur under the tongue, inside lips or cheeks, or at the bottom part of the gums. Rinsing with clove oil mixed water or chewing cloves is a proven treatment for small oral lesions and ulcers.

    Clove oil and clove pods also relieve toothaches when placed directly in contact with the affected tooth or applied on the tooth using a cotton wool ball and regularly rinsing the mouth with warm water mixed with clove oil can help to improve oral health and remove bad breath.

    Improves Respiratory Tract Health

    Effectiveness of clove oil in reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections has been widely recorded in research. (11) , (12)

    Clove oil mixed vapour works as an expectorant, loosening mucus in the throat and oesophagus and allows the removal of mucus through the mouth. The same effect can be gained by drinking clove infused black tea.

    Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of Cloves soothe the respiratory tract. The oil prevents the bacteria from forming colonies in the lungs and is used for treating respiratory conditions such as Asthma.

    Soothes Mental Tension

    Application of clove oil helps to gain relief from headaches by improving circulation and acting as mild anaesthesia (13a) (13b) Since the flavonoids found in Clove oil have anti-inflammatory properties, Clove oil helps to reduce fatigue, mental exhaustion, anxiety or stress with the help of its stimulating properties. Black or Green Tea infused with whole cloves, cinnamon and mint leaves can also relieve stress and tension.

    Soothes Acne

    Large doses of Eugenol in Clove oil, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, helps to clear acne and prevent future breakouts, The oil also prevents associated infections reducing the appearance of acne marks and blemishes in the face. (14)

    Improves Scalp Health

    Messaging the scalp with clove oil helps to increase blood circulation, supports hair growth and the growth of a healthy, glossy, and thick hair. A mixture of clove oil and olive oil can be used as a conditioner and prevents the occurrence of dandruff and hair fall.

    Rejuvenates Skin

    Clove oil also functions as an exfoliator by removing dead skin cells and promoting blood circulation, reducing symptoms of early ageing and delivering a smooth, radiant-looking skin. Application of diluted clove oil on the skin reduces the sagginess and the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.

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