When most people think of cloves, visions of cloves apples, spiced cider, mincemeat pies or other traditional desserts might come to mind, as this is a spice which is extensively used in American cookery and for that matter, in cuisines all around the world.
This spice comes from the bud of the Myrtaceae tree, which is native to areas in Southeast Asia like India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, but grows in tropical areas all over the world. It has long been valued not only for the wonderful flavors it imparts to so many dishes, but for its medicinal value was well. Its use in folk medicine goes back thousands of years. The top health benefits of cloves are discussed in the sections below.
Rich in Antioxidants
When registered on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Scale, cloves have an ultra-high value of 290,000 which means that they are rich in bioavailable antioxidants which can help slow the aging process and reduce the chances of developing certain serious conditions like cancer.
High Nutritional Value
Apart from being rich in antioxidants, cloves also contain a wealth of nutrients. They are particularly rich in manganese, a mineral which helps with multiple functions in the body, including the metabolism of fats and the activation of many different enzymes.
Clove’s active compounds have been proven to have strong antimicrobial properties, which makes them a natural choice for treating infections caused by both viruses and bacteria and appear to be effective even against resistant bacterial strains.
Positive Effects on Blood Sugar
Cinnamon isn’t the only spice which is good for those who are struggling with diabetes! Studies have found that cloves can also be excellent for day-to-day diabetes management due to the regulating effects it appears to have on blood sugar levels.
The use of oil of cloves to relieve the pain of a toothache goes back centuries and is still in use today, since it provides an almost instantaneous, numbing relief from the pain and discomfort of aching teeth or gums.
How to Use Cloves for their Medicine Benefits
Another great thing about cloves is that they can be used in a number of ways to reap their medicinal benefits. Cloves can be used in tinctures, dried powders or teas, all of which have been proven effective for treatment. Keep in mind, though, that having the dried bud on hand and grinding it for use as needed will allow for the highest antioxidant and other healthful benefits, since it will be used when freshly ground. One tasty way to use cloves is to combine it with cinnamon and bay leaves to make a delicious and healthful tea.
In short, cloves have been valued for their medicinal powers for centuries and do bring a wealth of health benefits to the table. These benefits are mostly due to their strong antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and they have certainly earned their place in the natural pharmacopeia.
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