The cloves is a native Indonesian spice, comes from dried flower buds of the clove tree. People have used cloves so much in cooking, in soups, stews, sauces, to make jams and rice. Medicinal properties have also been attributed to it for centuries, but only recently have scientists begun to study its possible health benefits. Its name comes from the Latin word clavus, which means nail, due to the shape of a dry nail that resembles that of a fingernail. It is used as a spice for the preparation of dishes all over the world. Its aromatic flavor adds a spicy touch to both sweet and savory dishes. In addition to cloves, active ingredients are extracted for the preparation of medicines.
Health benefits of cloves
Cloves have a wide variety of potential health benefits, including:
The effect of clove oil is being studied to maintain oral health, especially its effect on plaque, gingivitis and bacteria in the mouth. Recent tests have shown that clove mouthwashes were effective against plaque and gingivitis. Which shows that they can help lower oral inflammation and bacteria.
Scientists found through mouse studies that clove extract and nigericin, a component of cloves, reduce insulin resistance in the muscle cells of mice.
Mice with diabetes given nigericin had not only better tolerance to insulin but also to glucose.
As well as many other herbs and spices, cloves are high in antioxidants. These are chemicals that help reduce cell damage that could lead to cancer. According to Today’s Dietitian, “Just ½ teaspoon of ground cloves is said to contain more antioxidants than ½ cup of blueberries.
There are also studies on the positive effect of cloves on obesity. In tests with mice, the researchers found that clove extract reduced the incidence of obesity, resulting from a high-fat diet.
Risks, side effects, and considerations
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, clove oil has dangerous side effects. It can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation or allergic reactions. It is flammable, therefore, ingestion can be fatal.
A case has been reported of a 15-month-old boy who consumed 10 ml of clove oil and experienced liver failure. Cloves can cause bleeding or increase the body’s response to warfarin.
It is important to consult a doctor before starting to consume herbal products, due to the side effects they can cause.