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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Health Food >>  Clove Health Benefits

Clove Health Benefits

Cloves are a spice and are native to the Spice Islands. During the 16th and 17th centuries when the spice trade started, the importance of cloves was so high that they were literally worth more than their weight in gold. In fact, Magellan’s trip around the world, which cost 4 ships and the lives of 232 men, was still considered a financial success because the only ship to make it back brought in 50 tons of cloves and nutmeg.

The importance of clove may have diminished since that time, but it is still quite expensive, and there are a number of countries whose main export is cloves and clove products such as clove oil, clove powder, clove tea, etc.

Clove Products

Cloves are used for a wide variety of purposes; not only are they used in very small quantities for cooking but they are also used on an industrial scale in the manufacture of various goods.

 Listed below are some of the products made using clove in their manufacturing.

  • Toothpaste
  • Cigarettes – Kreteks
  • Flavoring agent in food and beverages
  • Soaps
  • Cosmetics
  • Perfumes

Kreteks are a kind of cigarettes that are very popular in Indonesia. They contain 70% to 80% tobacco and 20% to 30% clove powder. In fact, they are so popular that Indonesia is an importer of clove although they are one of the largest producers of cloves in the world.

Clove oil is also very aromatic, which is why they are used in products such as soaps, perfumes etc.

Health benefits and medicinal uses of cloves

Cloves have been used for its health benefits for centuries.

Some of the most common health benefits and medicinal uses of cloves are given below.

  • As an analgesic for tooth pain
  • As an expectorant
  • To soothe sore throats
  • To cure bad breath
  • To prevent nausea
  • To prevent acne outbreaks
  • To relieve stomach gas or flatulence
  • To cure diarrhea

Clove oil has eugenol, which is a very good analgesic and has been used to relieve tooth ache since time immemorial. In fact, applying a little clove oil on the gums will relive the worst tooth aches. It is also known that a drop of clove oil in the tooth cavity almost instantly relieves pain.

Clove oil is a very good antibacterial and antiviral agent as well. It can be ingested or applied topically to prevent the growth of microbes. This is the reason why it is able to relieve gas in the stomach and soothe a sore throat, while at the same time being effective at reducing acne when applied on the skin.

Side effects of cloves

Clove oil is very concentrated, and although it can be used in its concentrated form, it is better to dilute it before use. For example, although clove oil is a very good analgesic and relives tooth ache almost instantly, repeated use of clove oil on the gums is known to cause damage. Repeated use of clove oil on the skin to prevent acne is similarly known to damage the skin, sometimes permanently.

Inhaling clove smoke such as in cigarettes is very pleasant; however, there are not any scientific studies to show that they counteract the effects of the tobacco. In fact, repeatedly smoking Kreteks is known to cause breathing problems and lung infections, which have been directly linked to the clove powder in it.

Even dried cloves if ingested in large quantities are known to cause health problems. It is better to restrict ourselves to quantities of clove that have been found to be safe. Children especially should never be given clove oil as the chances of health hazards are very high.

Clove oil is also known to thin the blood and therefore, should not be taken along with blood thinning medication. While food amounts of clove have been found to be safe, concentrated clove oil should never be taken by pregnant women.

Cloves benefits are many. Whether used as they are, in powdered form, as oil, or as clove tea, they work very well. Yes, they do have side effects, but they are mostly safe when used in food quantities, which is all that is needed.


Submitted on January 16, 2014