Cloves (Kanafuru) are familiar spices in markets in Nigeria due to their widespread use however, few know about the Health Benefits And Side Effects Of Cloves. Cloves are flower buds of the clove tree, also called Syzygium aromaticum. The syzygium aromaticum is a medium-sized tree from the Mirtaceae family. It is native to the Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia, but different other countries in the world now grow cloves.
Cloves are known to be a sweet and aromatic spice, but they are also used in traditional medicines. Cloves are rich in phenolic compounds such as eugenol, eugenol acetate, and Gallic acid. Cloves have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that are higher than those in many fruits, vegetables, and spices. Other phenolic compounds present in cloves are flavonoids, hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxyphenyl propens, and hydroxycinnamic acids.
Health Benefits And Side Effects Of Cloves [Kanafuru Spice]
Cloves have been known for centuries. Now, science is backing up many advantages of clove. Here are some of the benefits of eating cloves either whole, ground, or as an oil extract.
1. Bone health
Cloves are densely packed with the mineral manganese which is good for bone health. Just one teaspoon of cloves contains over 50% of the daily recommended intake levels recommended by the FDA.
Manganese, with calcium, helps with bone formation and bone density. Only a small percentage of dietary manganese is absorbed. Manganese is also an activator of enzymes and helps support metabolism, wound healing, and neurotransmitter production.
2. Treat Toothache
Since the 13th century, clove has been used to treat toothaches because of its active compound Eugenol, which has pain-relieving properties. Clove has also been found to help manage gingivitis and plaque.
3. Important nutrients
Cloves have been found to contain vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Hence, adding cloves to your food boost the nutrient quality of the food.
One teaspoon, equivalent to 2 grams of ground cloves contains:
Carbs: 1 gram
Fiber: 1 gram
Manganese: 55% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin K: 2% of the daily value.
Cloves are rich in antioxidants which attack free radicals in the body. They reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
5. Protect against Cancer
Some research put forward that cloves contain compounds that can help protect the body against cancer. One test-tube study discovered that clove helped to stop the growth of tumors and killed cancer cells. Eugenol found in cloves has anti-cancer properties.
Through research, it was discovered that cloves showed bactericidal effects against food-borne microorganisms; Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Escherichia coli. This result was gotten from an aqueous extract of cloves at 3%.
People with staphylococcus aureus can add cloves to water and drink at least two times daily. You should note that this is a gradual process as natural remedies take time.
7. Stomach ulcers
Stomach ulcers are painful wounds that occur in the lining of the stomach. This occurs when the protective lining of the stomach is reduced. This reduction is often due to infection, stress, or genetics. Researchers discovered that the main antioxidant component of cloves, eugenol, possesses antiulcer properties.
This is gotten through the production of gastric mucus that protects the lining of the stomach. Gastric mucus protects the lining of the stomach from being eroded by digestive juices.
8. Liver health
Studies have shown that eugenol is especially good for liver health. An animal study with rats having fatty liver disease discovered that feeding them with either clove oil or eugenol reduced inflammation of the liver, increased liver function, and reduced oxidative stress.
Another animal study also showed that eugenol in cloves helps reduce signs of liver cirrhosis. However, research on the liver-protecting properties of cloves and eugenol in humans is limited.
9. Regulate blood sugar
Cloves possess compounds that help put blood sugar in check. An animal study reveals that cloves promote lower blood sugar levels for those who are diabetic. In a study on 36 people with type 2 diabetes, 1-3 grams of a clove a day for 30 days was enough to help them control risk factors including glucose and triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels. Cloves are good for diabetics in their meals and to prepare also as tea.
10. Improves the memory
One problem caused by oxidative stress is memory decline. Cloves have antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress, hence, it improves memory function.
Side effects of cloves
As seen from the research mentioned earlier, eugenol is quite abundant in cloves. It is also the compound that causes side effects when overused. According to research, an overdose of eugenol could cause liver injury. When taken in normal amounts, it does not cause any apparent injury to the liver.
Eugenol may also cause blood clotting issues, so those with bleeding disorders or those about to go for surgery should avoid using cloves.
To be more careful, always check with your physician before adding herbs and essential oils to your regimen.
When used for cooking purposes, clove is generally safe to consume. Use sparingly and do not apply too much to a dish because its potent aroma may overwhelm the dish. Also note that when cooking with whole cloves, they should be removed before serving.
There can be unfavorable effects of taking cloves in high doses in supplements. The World Health Organization cautions that the acceptable daily intake of clove oil is 2.5 mg/kg of body weight.
In Essential oils
When applying clove oil to the skin, be sure to mix with a carrier oil first. And when you have to ingest it, make sure it is done encased in a vegetable or gelatin capsule, and under your physician’s supervision. Ensure that children do not consume clove oil.
Cloves are savory spices that add a lot to foods and oils. Since you now know the Health Benefits And Side Effects Of Cloves you can start adding cloves to your dishes as provides a great addition with outstanding benefits.
Try adding cloves to a lot of different meals sparingly and attest to the results. You can also boil a few cloves in water and make a soothing clove tea. You can shop for cloves at the local markets or online.
Always remember that moderation is the key, and do not overdo adding cloves to your meal. The same goes for oil. Mix with a carrier oil before rubbing on your body as clove oil is very potent. Encase in a capsule before you ingest. Eat healthily and continue to stay safe.