Used often in Ayurvedic medicine, cloves are anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic. They’re packed with antioxidants and are good sources of minerals (especially manganese), omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamins
Here are six great uses for cloves, culled from an Ayurvedic tradition:
1. Temporarily treat a toothache.
You can temporarily alleviate the pain by dabbing a little clove oil on a cotton ball and placing it on the sore tooth or on your gums. An added benefit is that it will also pull out any infection.
2. Relieve upper respiratory infections.
Ayurveda suggests making a tea to lessen, or prevent, colds and flu. It is also used as an expectorant, making it easier to cough up phlegm. Cloves are a natural painkiller and also attack germs, so they’ll help you get rid of that sore throat.
3. Reduce inflammation.
Use clove oil to massage sore muscles; some also use it for arthritis and rheumatism.
4. Treat scrapes and bruises.
Cloves are pretty strong and can sting, so the best bet is to probably make a poultice with a little olive oil.
5. Improve digestion
Cloves help relax the smooth lining of the GI tract, so they help alleviate vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal gas and stomachaches. Just be careful; since they’re strong, they can also irritate the stomach.
6. Enhance sexual health
Sometimes used as an aphrodisiac, cloves can also help men from reaching orgasm too early.
7. Chemo-preventive Properties
Cloves are of interest to the medical community due to their chemo-preventive or anti-carcinogenic properties. Tests have shown that they are helpful in controlling lung cancer at its early stages.
8. Liver Protection
Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are ideal for protecting the organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver. Metabolism, in the long run, increases free radical production and lipid profile, while decreasing the antioxidants in the liver. Clove extracts are helpful in counteracting these effects with its hepatoprotective properties.
9. Diabetes Control
Cloves have been used in many traditional remedies for a number of diseases. One such disease is diabetes. In patients suffering from diabetes, the amount of insulin produced by the body is either insufficient, or it is not produced at all. Studies have revealed that extracts from cloves imitate insulin in certain ways and help in controlling blood sugar levels.
10. Bone Preservation
The hydro-alcoholic extracts of cloves include phenolic compounds such as eugenol and its derivatives, such as flavones, isoflavones, and flavonoids. These extracts have been particularly helpful in preserving bone density and the mineral content of bone, as well as increasing tensile strength of bones in case of osteoporosis.
11.Boosts the Immune System
Ayurveda describes certain plants to be effective in developing and protecting the immune system. One such plant is clove. The dried flower bud of clove contains compounds that help in improving the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count, thereby, improving delayed-type hypersensitivity.