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The Health Benefits of Cloves
The clove (Eugenia aromatica) is a pink flower bud of the clove tree that turns brown when dried.
Cloves have a warm, sweet, and aromatic flavor and an oily compound that is vital to their medicinal and nutritional properties.
Cloves are indigenous to the Moluccas volcanic islands of Indonesia previously known as the Spice Islands.
Today Zanzibar is the largest producer of clove and are also grown commercially in the West Indies, Brazil, Pemba, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and India.
Cloves (Eugenia aromatica) are an excellent source of manganese. They are a very good source of vitamin C, K, and dietary fiber. They are a good source of calcium and magnesium.
|Spices, cloves, ground||Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||323 kcal (1350 kJ)|
|* Carbohydrates||61.21 g|
|Dietary fiber||34.2 g|
|* Fat||20.07 g|
|* Protein||5.98 g|
|* Vitamin C||80.8 mg|
|Vitamin K||141.8 mcg|
|* Calcium||646 mg|
|* Magnesium||264 mg|
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.
Eugenol is a chemical compound extracted from the essential oil of cloves and other spices. Eugenol has been shown to be an effective natural anti fungal against the T. mentagrophytes and M. canis dermatophytes (tinia or ringworm), and although tea tree oil is a more effective anti fungal, a combination of tea tree oil and eugenol was found to be more effective. Tests have also demonstrated that essential oil of cloves to be effective against Candida albicans.
The fungicidal potency of clove oil compares very well with that of the commercial antifungal drug nystatin, while providing for a less toxic, safe, and inexpensive alternative to commercial drugs without the risk of ever-increasing resistance shown by the target pathogens, toxicity problems at the increasing required doses, and problematic side-effects.
Eugenol is the principal chemical component of clove oil and is used in dentistry due to its analgesic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects. It is used in the form of a paste or mixture as dental cement, filler, and restorative material.
Beta-caryophyllene, another component of clove oil, has also been shown to exhibit local anesthetic activity.
Cloves can be used in relieving a toothache by placing a single clove on the aching tooth. Clove oil can also be used by soaking in some cotton wool and then placing the cotton wool on the aching tooth.
USDA’s Richard Anderson reports that bayleaf, cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric all can treble insulin activity, hinting that as little as 500 mg might be enough to have some effect. A tea of 500 mg each of these spices, with coriander and cumin, should be enough to treble insulin activity, possibly helping in late-onset diabetes.
Allergic reactions to clove and eugenol have been reported.
Clove supplements should be avoided in children and pregnant or nursing women.
1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
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12. Tajuddin , Ahmad S, Latif A, Qasmi IA. Effect of 50% ethanolic extract of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) on sexual behaviour of normal male rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2004 Nov 5;4:17. PMID: 15530165.
13. Srivastava KC, Malhotra N. Acetyl eugenol, a component of oil of cloves (Syzygium aromaticum L.) inhibits aggregation and alters arachidonic acid metabolism in human blood platelets. Acetyl eugenol, a component of oil of cloves (Syzygium aromaticum L.) inhibits aggregation and alters arachidonic acid metabolism in human blood platelets. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1991 Jan;42(1):73-81. PMID: 2011614.
14. Jadhav BK, Khandelwal KR, Ketkar AR, Pisal SS. Formulation and evaluation of mucoadhesive tablets containing eugenol for the treatment of periodontal diseases. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2004 Feb;30(2):195-203. PMID: 15089054.
15. Image by rawallison.
16. Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants into Drugs