Cloves

Medicinal properties and health benefits of cloves

 

The active principles in the clove are known to have antioxidant, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol. It is a phenyl-propanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to the clove-bud. Eugenol has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; useful in dental care essentials as well as in treatment procedures.
The other important constituents in this spice include:
essential oils:    acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid;
tannins:   gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller);
the flavonoids:  eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin;
triterpenoids:  such as oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol
and several sesquiterpenes.
The active principles in the clove may increase gut motility as well as improve the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. Thus, helps relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
The spice also contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium. Potassium is an important electrolyte of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,superoxide dismutase.
Further, the spice buds contain very good amounts of vitamin A and Beta-carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required by the body for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin in addition to essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Additionally, this spice is a good source of vitamin-K, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1),vitamin-C and riboflavin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

 

Medicinal uses

 

The essential oil, eugenol in this spice has been in therapeutic use in dentistry as a local-anesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gum.
Eugenol also has been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, but further detailed studies required to establish its benefits.
The decoction is sometimes used in treating flatulence and indigestion in traditional medicine preparations.
It is also thought to have natural anti-parasite (kills intestinal worms) function.
The essential volatile oils functions as a rubefacient, meaning that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer, making it a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.
Clove oil is also used in aromatherapy.

Safety profile

 

Consumption of dishes prepared with large quantity of clove can cause gastrointestinal irritation, central nervous system disorders. Recipes prepared with this spice should be avoided in individuals with stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis conditions. Eating cloves is also avoided during pregnancy.

 

Disclaimer

 

The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.