Clove is an aromatic spice that is the flower bud of Clove tree which are native to Indonesia. The clove flower buds have a pale yellowish tinge and the clove buds are ready to harvest when it turns pinkish to bright red. The cloves are harvested along with stalks, dried in sun or under mechanical/electronic drier.
The major essential oil in clove is ‘Eugenol’ (72-90%) which is the compound responsible for the clove’s aroma. Clove is vastly used across many culinary delicacies of Asian, Middle Eastern and African cuisines as a flavoring agent. Clove is often combined with other spices like turmeric, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, garlic and used in various recipes to use as a marinade for vegetables and meat, or included among spices in pickling, curry powders, masala powders, soups etc.
Along with adding aroma and taste to the food, including cloves in food also has health benefits and medicinal properties. Bioactive compounds like flavonoids, methylene chloride, and aromatic compounds like ethanol, benzene, eugenol and thymol are found in cloves. Let us look into various health benefits of clove extracts. Listed below are the 6 benefits of clove, which is also called the super spice for healing.
1. Aids Digestion:
Roasted Clove when powdered and had with honey, clove is known to reduce flatulence, gastritis, and nausea. Cloves stimulate digestive enzymes and aid in digestion. It is also believed to ease peristalsis, which is the movement of food in the digestive tract.
2. Antibacterial And Cancer Prevention:
Clove extract has proven antibacterial properties on fighting cholera. Clove also acts as an organic way of preventing cancers, through its anti-carcinogenic property, specifically capable of fighting lung cancer at early stages.
3. Affects Diabetes And Osteoporosis Positively:
Clove extract acts similar to insulin in controlling blood sugar for severely affected patients of diabetes whose insulin production is inadequate. Benzene compounds in clove preserve bone density and increase the tensile strength of bone to avoid osteoporosis.
4. Boosts Immunity:
Clove is believed to increase white blood cell count and thus helps in improving immunity. Ayurveda quotes clove as an agent to develop immunity.
5. Acts as Anti-Inflammatory Compound:
Clove is known to reduce inflammation by stemming the activity of pain receptors. This is extensively used in dental ailments and the extract is used with zinc oxide to form temporary cavity filling.
6. Treating Oral Ailments:
Clove bud extract significantly reduces bacteria and the likely pathogens that cause various oral diseases and dental ailments. Clove is widely used to prevent bad breath (halitosis), fight tooth decay and sensitivity problems. The clove oil also prevents gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Individuals with sensitivity and toothache find can find immediate solace in a piece of clove near the ailing tooth. Since medieval ages, clove is being used to clean teeth. Now many of the modern toothpaste companies have come up with various combinations of toothpaste that contain clove.