Cloves are a culinary spice with a long history of use. In this article, we discuss the health benefits of cloves, including the benefits of cloves as a medicinal herb, among other cloves benefits, as well as potential side effects of cloves.
What are Cloves?
Many people are familiar with cloves as a culinary spice, but not as many people are aware of the impressive health benefits and medicinal uses of cloves. Cloves are actually flower buds of the clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum), an evergreen tree native to the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. The compounds found in cloves have many health benefits, including supporting liver health, fighting infections, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and protecting bone health, among others.
What Are Cloves Used for?
Cloves health benefits are numerous, and cloves have a number of great uses. Most commonly cloves are used as a culinary spice, however there are many medicinal uses for cloves as well. People use the oils of clove herb, dried flower buds, leaves, and stems of the clove tree to make medicine. Cloves are commonly applied directly to the gums for toothache, pain control during dental work, and other dental-related issues. They are also commonly used in the treatment of parasitic worm infections, and are one of the primary ingredients in our Parasite Detox formula.
What are the Health Benefits of Cloves?
Cloves have been used both in cooking and as medicine for thousands of years. It is no surprise that they offer many great health benefits. Some of the top whole cloves benefits and benefits of clove extracts include:
1. Cloves are Used for Pain Relief
One clove benefit that is among the most common uses and benefits of clove is pain relief. One of the active ingredients in cloves is eugenol, a natural pain reliever that's also used in some over the counter pain rubs. Rubbing a tiny amount of clove oil on your gums may temporarily ease toothache pain until you can get to a dentist. However, too much undiluted clove oil may actually hurt your gums, so discuss this approach with your dentist before trying it at home. Cloves may also help relieve the pain associated with headaches and arthritic inflammation.
2. Cloves are Used to Cleanse Parasites
Parasites are a common health issue that many people suffer from, and most that have parasites are unaware that they are infected. In fact, parasites are so abundant that some studies estimate approximately 3.5 billion people have at least one kind of parasite. That’s nearly half the world population! Yet, due to their microscopic size, their elusive nature, and the fact that they are a rather unpleasing and taboo subject, most people are completely unaware of just how prevalent parasites are, and just how common it is to have a parasitic infection.
Many herbs have been used traditionally to treat parasitic infections. Among the most powerful traditional herbal remedies for parasites is cloves. Cloves are used for parasite because some of the active compounds in clove buds are powerfully anthelmintic (anti-parasitic), and cloves have a long history of use as a vermifuge, or worm-killing herb. Basically, cloves kill parasites. Cloves usage for parasites and gut health have extensive research and are safe for long term use unlike other parasite cleansing herbs.
A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host. In humans, parasites that live inside us use up our vitamins, proteins and other nutrients, depriving us of optimal nutrition. Not only do they steal nutrients from our body, they also eliminate waste inside us, releasing their toxic bacteria and viruses. Parasites are most commonly found in the colon, however, any part of the body is vulnerable to infestation: the lungs, liver, brain, blood, muscles, joints, skin, etc.
As complex as the subject of parasites is, getting rid of a parasitic infection is actually pretty simple. To do so most effectively, you must cut out junk food, processed foods, and foods with added sugar, focus on eating a nutrient-dense whole foods diet, and supplement with anti-parasitic herbs. The three most notorious and effective parasite-killing herbs are Green Black Walnut Hull, Wormwood, and Fresh Cloves. These three herbs are considered the most potent parasite killing herbs by most functional medicine practitioners. These herbs have strong anthelmintic properties, meaning they are wonderful at expelling parasitic worms from the body. Together, these three herbs make up what is traditionally known as “wormwood complex,” and are the ingredients that make up our Zuma Nutrition Parasite Detox Formula.
Our formula is a high-grade concentration of these herbs extracted in 85% organic alcohol making for a very therapeutic and effective formula. The combination of these three herbs helps support the body's effective detoxification of both the egg and the adult stages of 100 different internal parasites, including amoebas, giardia, many worms, and liver flukes.
To get rid of parasites, one can undergo a parasite cleanse by diligently consuming this formula, following the recommended dosage of ½ a dropper full each night. The cleanse is also greatly supported by drinking a lot of purified water, and consuming anti-parasitic foods such as pumpkin seeds, papaya, raw garlic, chilies, raw honey, bitter greens, probiotics, and others.
Cleansing with this formula a couple times each year, eating a balanced whole foods diet, and following proper eating protocols that support digestion, while also doing your best to avoid some of the major sources of parasitic infection is the best way to maintain a healthy body free of harmful parasites.
If you are suffering from bloating, indigestion, or any general gut ailments, consider doing a parasite cleanse as detailed in our blog "How to do a Parasite Cleanse Safely and Effectively". Also read our blog "How to Mitigate Parasite Die Off Effects" to make sure you do not experience detox effects from these powerful herbs.
3. Cloves are Used to Kill Candida
Clove oil contains potent antifungal properties. Research shows that the volatile vapor of cloves works against dermatophytic fungi including Candida albicans, Epidermophyton floccosum. Microsporum audouinii, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Trichophyton rubrum were investigated. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, “both clove essential oil and its volatile vapor strongly inhibit spore germination and mycelial growth of the dermatophytic fungi tested. The volatile vapor of clove essential oil showed fungistatic (prevents fungi growth) activity whereas direct application of clove essential oil showed fungicidal (kills fungi) activity.” Because of their potent antifungal properties, we included cloves as one of the primary ingredients in our Candida Cleanse tonic.
4. Cloves May Improve Immune System Health
The immune system is your body’s natural defense system. It protects your body from infections and constantly works to keep you healthy. However, the immune system can’t just function on its own—it needs the support of nutrients from food and herbs in order to function.
Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which aid the immune system in fighting off oxidative damage and free radicals. Eugenol also has the ability to help ease infections and fight disease-causing bacteria in the body.
Cloves also have both vitamins C and K. Vitamin C may help strengthen your immune system and vitamin K is an important nutrient for blood clotting. Manganese is also found in cloves, and is an essential mineral for supporting cognitive function and strong bones. Cloves also contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin E. All of these nutrients and active compounds play a beneficial role in improving immunity naturally.
5. Cloves are Used as an Anti-Bacterial
Cloves have been shown to have antimicrobial properties, helping stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria. Several studies have shown the effectiveness of clove against various types of bacteria. The antibacterial properties could also help promote oral health.
6. Cloves May Improve Liver Health
Research suggests that the compounds in cloves may also promote liver health, especially eugenol. In an animal study, rats with fatty liver disease were fed mixtures containing either clove oil or eugenol. Both mixtures decreased oxidative stress, reduced inflammation and improved liver function. In a separate animal study, eugenol helped reverse signs of liver scarring.
7. Cloves May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems.
Cloves may be able to help those suffering from type 2 diabetes by helping to regulate blood sugar levels. In one study, clove extract significantly suppressed an increase in blood glucose level in type 2 diabetic mice.
Both an animal study and test-tube study observed the effects that clove extract had on diabetic mice and on isolated human muscle cells. In both studies, clove extract was found to enhance the absorption of sugar from the blood into cells, as well as increase the secretion of insulin and enhance the function of insulin-producing cells.
8. Cloves May Reduce Ulcers
Research on cloves shows that they may be helpful in protecting your stomach from ulcers. Peptic ulcers are painful sores that form in the lining of the stomach. They are usually caused by the bacteria H. pylori.
Studies show that cloves can lower your risk of developing ulcers and help existing ulcers heal by improving the thickness of the mucus that lines the stomach. For example, one animal study found that clove essential oil increased the production of gastric mucus, preventing erosion of the stomach lining from digestive acids.
9. Cloves are High in Antioxidants
Cloves are very high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural compounds that reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress is considered a major contributor 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 is a great way to reduce oxidative stress and protect yourself from the damaging effect of free radicals.
10. Cloves May Protect Bone Health
Studies suggest that cloves may also be helpful in preserving bone density and the mineral content of bone, as well as increasing the tensile strength of bones in cases of osteoporosis. One animal study found that clove extract improved several markers of osteoporosis and increased bone density and strength. Cloves are also rich in manganese, a mineral that’s involved in the formation of bone and incredibly important to bone health.
11. Cloves May Boost Gastrointestinal Health
It is clear that cloves have powerful properties that can kill many harmful organisms like parasites, Candida and pathogenic bacteria. But cloves may also help the digestive system in other ways. According to the book ‘Herbs that Heal: Natural Remedies for Good Health’, cloves have been used to boost digestion and control gastrointestinal irritation. Furthermore, ingestion of fried cloves may even stop vomiting, owing to their anesthetic properties. It can also be an effective agent against ulcers and can be used as a purgative agent.
12. Cloves May Benefit Oral Health
Cloves have long been used to benefit oral health and can be taken for a reduction in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Clove bud extracts have the potential to significantly control the growth of oral pathogens, which are responsible for various oral diseases. They can also be used for toothaches due to their pain-killing properties.
13. Cloves Are Used as An Aphrodisiac
Cloves may also be used as an aphrodisiac. Since ancient times, Unani medicine has said that spices such as clove and nutmeg possess aphrodisiac properties. Experiments on clove and nutmeg extracts were tested against standard drugs administered for that reason, and both clove and nutmeg showed positive results.
14. Cloves May Be Used as Prevention Against Food Poisoning
Research suggests that clove oil, and specifically the constituent eugenol, shows advantages over potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and other chemical food preservatives in terms of antimicrobial activity, safety, and aroma, making it worthy of consideration as a substitute food preservative.
Clove oil has been found to have an antibacterial effect on common food source bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella, E.coli, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus. In lab tests published in 2009, scientists found that clove bud oil (as well as essential oils of cinnamon and allspice) also helped suppress the growth of listeria, another common bacterium known to cause food-borne illness, indicating clove oil may be helpful in protecting against food poisoning.
What are the Active Compounds in Cloves?
The medicinal properties of plants are most commonly attributed to their bioactive compounds. Cloves contains a wide range of powerful plant compounds that are shown to be responsible for its numerous health benefits. The primary active compounds in cloves include: Eugenol (up to 90%), acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin; nigericin, crategolic acid; tannins, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate, the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin; triterpenoids like oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol; and several sesquiterpenes.
Are Cloves Safe?
Cloves have a very long history of use, both as a culinary spice and as a medicinal herb. They are a very safe and effective herb for most people, however, there are a few contraindications to consider.
Some people may be allergic to cloves. If you find you have an allergic reaction after consuming cloves, stop using them. Common signs of allergic reaction include: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Clove oil is considered to be unsafe to ingest for children. Clove spice, however, is considered to be safe to ingest during pregnancy or while breastfeeding in amounts commonly found in food. That being said, there is not enough reliable information to know if clove is safe to use in larger medicinal amounts when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol that seems to slow blood clotting. There is a concern that taking clove oil might cause bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. It is also not recommended to consume clove essential oil. Clove essential oil contains a much higher dose of eugenol than whole or ground cloves do. Consuming pure clove oil can be toxic and can lead to symptoms such as dizziness or even coma.
Eugenol can also possibly interact with certain medications, such as blood-thinning medications. If you are taking any of these, avoid consuming clove oil or clove tea. It is still considered safe to consume smaller amounts of cloves as a spice.
Clove contains chemicals that might affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar closely if you have diabetes and take clove.
There is also a concern that cloves might interfere with blood sugar control or cause bleeding during or after surgery. Stop using clove at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
When using any herb medicinally, it is always recommended to consult a health-care professional if possible.
Clove Side Effects
While cloves offer a range of potential health benefits, it's essential to be aware of possible side effects of cloves. Consuming cloves, whether in the form of whole cloves, clove powder, clove capsules, clove tinctures, clove water or clove tea, can lead to certain adverse reactions for some individuals. Common cloves side effects might include gastrointestinal discomfort such as upset stomach, nausea, or heartburn, especially when taken in excessive amounts.
Additionally, cloves contain compounds that could potentially interact with certain medications or impact blood clotting, making them less suitable for individuals with bleeding disorders or those on blood-thinning medications. While moderate consumption of clove-based beverages is generally considered safe for many people, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating them into your routine, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications that might be affected by clove consumption. This cautious approach helps ensure you can enjoy the potential benefits of cloves while minimizing any potential cloves side effects.
Whether you are using cloves as a savory spice to season your food, or as a supplement for its medicinal properties, cloves have much to offer your body. From essential vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties, cloves are truly full of good things that come in small packages.
If you would like to experience these amazing health benefits, consider adding our parasite detox formula into your routine. This formula uses a proprietary extraction process to make each drop hyper concentrated enhancing the beneficial effects of cloves.