Lifestyle

5 surprising health benefits of Cloves

By

on

Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree, an evergreen also known as Syzygium aromaticum.


Found in both whole and ground forms, this versatile spice can be used to season pot roasts, add flavor to hot beverages, bring spicy warmth to cookies and cakes.

You may know cloves as one of the main ingredients in gingerbread baked goods or a staple spice in Indian cuisine. Cloves are best known as a sweet and aromatic spice, but they have also been used in traditional medicine.

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.

This article reviews 5 of the most impressive health benefits of eating cloves:

1. High in antioxidants

Cloves are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of chronic disease.

Cloves also contain a compound called eugenol, which has been shown to act as a natural antioxidant. Including cloves in your diet along with other antioxidant-rich foods can help improve your overall health.

2. May help protect against cancer

Some research suggests that the compounds found in cloves might help protect against cancer. One test-tube study found that clove extract helped stop the growth of tumors and promoted cell death in cancer cell.

Another test-tube study observed similar results, showing that concentrated amounts of clove oil caused cell death in 80% of esophageal cancer cells. The eugenol found in cloves has also been shown to have anticancer properties.

3. kills bacteria

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

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. The antibacterial properties of cloves could even help promote oral health.

4. May improve liver health

Studies show that the beneficial compounds in cloves could help promote liver health. The compound eugenol may be especially beneficial for the liver.

One animal study fed rats with fatty liver disease mixtures containing either clove oil or eugenol. Both mixtures improved liver function, reduced inflammation, and decreased oxidative stress. Cloves are also high in antioxidants, which may help prevent liver disease due to their ability to help decrease oxidative stress.

5. May help regulate blood sugar

Research shows that the compounds found in cloves may help keep blood sugar under control. An animal study found that clove extract helped moderate blood sugar increases in mice with diabetes.

Cloves and nigericin were found to increase the uptake of sugar from the blood into cells, increase the secretion of insulin, and improve the function of cells that produce insulin.

Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting sugar from your blood into your cells. The proper functioning of insulin is essential for maintaining steady blood sugar levels. In combination with a balanced diet, cloves could help keep your blood sugar levels in check.