Now that it’s Christmastime, the assortment of different spices making it into your diet is on the rise.
Holiday spices like, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and more are now frequent players in your diet.
Especially true if you’re eating gingersnap cookies, drinking eggnog and more.
But one of the most powerful holiday-themed spices is clove.
Believe it or not, cloves are absolutely filled with compounds that are scientifically shown to improve health.
If you happen to indulge in clove-rich foods this month, then you’re going to be doing yourself, your taste buds, and possibly even your health some big favors.
3 Health Benefits Of Cloves
Chances are you don’t know what cloves are.
They are actually the bud of a flower from a tree found in Indonesia.
They’re rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
1- Could help you fight cancer:
Cloves are rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to help fight cancer and many other diseases.
Antioxidants help protect cells by reducing oxidative stress, which has been shown to contribute to the development of chronic diseases like cancer and more.
Cloves happen to be rich in an antioxidant called eugenol.
Test-tube studies have observed eugenol stopped oxidative damage caused by free radicals five times more effective than vitamin E, another potent antioxidant. Cloves are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin C.
Vitamin C has been observed to neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress in your body.
Including cloves in your diet along with other antioxidant-rich foods can help improve your health.
2 – Could kill dangerous bacteria in your body:
With strong antibacterial properties, cloves can help to keep you from getting sick or coming down with an infection.
In one study, clove essential oil was shown to be effective at killing off three common types of bacteria, including an incredibly dangerous form of E. coli, which has been shown to produce cramps, diarrhea, fatigue and even death.
Cloves have been used for centuries to promote gum health for centuries, and now we know why.
Studies have shown compounds contained in cloves can stop the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease
Then there was the study where 40 people use an herbal mouthwash consisting of tea tree oil, cloves, and basil. Within 3 weeks of using the mouthwash, all subjects demonstrated positive improvements in gum health and plaque and bacteria were on the decline.
3 – Supports liver function:
“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
Another animal study showed that the eugenol found in cloves helped reverse signs of liver cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.
Unfortunately, research on the liver-protecting effects of cloves and eugenol in humans is limited.
However, one small study found that taking eugenol supplements for one week decreased levels of GST, an enzyme involved in detoxification that’s often a marker of liver disease.
Cloves are also high in antioxidants, which may help prevent liver disease due to their ability to help decrease oxidative stress.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that eugenol is toxic in high amounts. One case study in a 2-year-old boy showed that 5 to 10 ml of clove oil caused serious liver damage.