27 July 2022

10 Benefits of Cloves and How To Use Them Every Day

 10 Benefits of Cloves and How To Use Them Every Day

Cloves might not be a common ingredient in your recipes (yet!), but they're more than worthy of having a spot in your diet. The flower buds come from a type of tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia and have been used for centuries in many different types of cuisines—a popular example being the Indian curries. They're also a notable ingredient in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, thanks to their many pain-relieving abilities. And the benefits don’t end there. The antioxidant-rich spice really packs a punch in the nutrition department and supports the body in many different ways including keeping blood sugar levels balanced, helping with inflammation, and supporting digestive discomfort

10 Most Powerful Benefits of Cloves

1. Cloves can help regulate your hunger levels

Cloves are kind of magic because they can play a role in keeping your stomach from growling between meals. "For a spice, cloves have an impressive amount of fiber—a nutrient that can help regulate your hunger levels," says nutritionist Amy Gorin, RDN. "One teaspoon of cloves alone provides close to a gram of fiber."

2. Cloves can keep your blood sugar levels in check

Anyone who's watching their blood-sugar levels will be happy to know one great strategy for keeping things in order is to simply add cloves into their meals. "Cloves provide manganese, a mineral that can help regulate blood sugar levels," Gorin says. Pretty easy.

3. Cloves have antibacterial properties

Sure, chemical-free mouthwash (and fruit and green tea) is a great way to improve your oral hygiene—but it might work even better with the addition of cloves. "Clove oil has been investigated as an antibacterial agent, per preliminary research," Gorin says. "In one study, a mouth rinse containing clove, basil, and tea tree oil was found to help fight plaque and bacteria in the mouth." That's also why you'll find clove oil in plenty of popular toothpastes.

4. Cloves may alleviate tooth pain

One of the most notable potential pain-relieving benefits of cloves is their ability to help with toothaches due to the eugenol they contain, which acts as a natural antiseptic. In fact, one study found they work better at relieving pain, inflammation, wound healing, and infection than another common option.

5. Cloves may help with inflammation

Cloves are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Past studies have shown eating them on the daily could lead to major major benefits, and experts specifically recommend them for helping with arthritis. Using clove oil as a lotion or adding cloves into tea may also help combat the inflammation.

6. Cloves can help protect against aging

Cloves are also high in antioxidants, which Serena Poon, a celebrity chef, nutritionist, and reiki master, explains can help protect your body against the signs of aging. “The anti-inflammatory properties, epigenetic cues, and mitochondrial activity found in antioxidant-rich foods contribute to longevity and vitality,” she says. So, Poon adds, sprinkling cloves into smoothies, rice dishes, or desserts is an easy way to boost your antioxidant consumption.

7. Cloves can be used as a cough suppressant

If you feel a cough coming on, reach for some cloves. “In Ayurvedic medicine, cloves are also used to suppress a cough by relaxing the throat muscles,” Poon says. To do so, she recommends chewing on the cloves directly (but don’t swallow them). You can also brew them into a tea and serve with honey. Pro tip: Poon suggests adding manuka honey for added antibacterial and antiviral benefits.

8. Cloves can work as insect repellent

If you’re an insect magnet (as in, you’re prone to getting bug bites), you’ll definitely want to keep cloves handy because insects such as mosquitoes, ants, and wasps hate cloves. “Researchers have found that a compound in cloves [called] eugenol is an effective agent for killing insects and larvae,” Poon says. “A spray bottle of diluted clove oil might serve as an effective natural pest control for your home.”

9. Cloves may support skin health

Cloves as skincare? Yes, it’s true. According to Poon, topical applications of clove oil may support skin health too. “Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, clove oil is a promising solution for relieving inflammation in the skin,” she says. “Cloves also possess antibacterial properties, which can make it useful for treating acne caused by bacteria.” Just remember to test the oil on a small patch of skin first to ensure it doesn’t cause a reaction.

10. Cloves help heal digestive discomfort

Using cloves to ease digestive problems is a common practice in Ayurvedic medicine. “Cloves are said to relax the stomach lining and are used to relieve nausea, gas, and vomiting,” Poon says. To reap the benefits, Poon recommends brewing a tea with cloves and ginger. Then sip and enjoy.

 How To Use Them Every Day

1. Put cloves in your chai tea

One simple way to reap the benefits of cloves is to add them into your tea—chai in particular. Ayurvedic practitioners say cloves are especially great for the kapha dosha thanks to their "clearing and purifying nature."

2. Use cloves as a natural cleaner

Because of the antibacterial properties of cloves, they work great as a natural cleaner. Grab them in essential oil-form and add some drops into water along with your other good-smelling favorites to help disinfect the surfaces in your home.

3. Add cloves into your smoothies

One quick way to add flavor into your smoothie is with cloves. "I have a pumpkin smoothie I love that uses ground cloves and other warming spices, such as nutmeg," Gorin says.

4. Use cloves as an air freshener

If you're a fan of stovetop potpourri, cloves make the perfect addition with their heavy spicy scent. Combine a few cloves with a couple sticks of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla to fill your home with a comforting aroma.

5. Use cloves in your baked goods

Adding cloves into your baked goods instantly amps up the cozy vibes. "I find the warm spiciness of cloves very lovely," says Gorin. "I like to use it in my muffins."


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