Used throughout history and a significant herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine, clove is a common, but often overlooked, spice.
If you’re seeking a way to prevent cancer, solve periodontal issues or add more zest to your sex life, clove may be the answer. Used throughout history and a significant herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine, clove is a common, but often overlooked, spice.
With an exceptionally high oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and a multitude of crucial nutrients, clove is a major guardian of health. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber and vitamins C and K as well as calcium, magnesium and manganese, this distinct spice offers a potent defense against many of the ailments plaguing us today. Manganese is of particular interest, as it activates a variety of important enzymes within the body and plays a role in fat metabolism. Manganese also stabilizes the nervous system – thereby alleviating depression, irritability and anxiety.
Mitigating cancer, infections, asthma and more
Through numerous investigations, researchers have developed a high regard for the healing capacity of clove. Eugenol is the main bioactive element found in the spice. Clove is remarkably successful in treating:
Candida albicans and bacterial infections
Erratic blood sugar levels
Colds, influenza and sore throats
Head and lung congestion
Additionally, due to its high antioxidant rating, clove has substantial anti-cancer properties. In lab tests, isolated compounds of the spice were shown to suppress mutagenic cellular activity.
Clove also alleviates sexual dysfunction. Male albino rats were given an oral dose of clove extract once per day for seven days. At the end of testing, the researchers concluded:
“The results indicated that the 50% ethanolic extract of clove produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats, without any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. Thus, the resultant aphrodisiac effectivity of the extract lends support to the claims for its traditional usage in sexual disorders.”
The essential oil of clove is effective in repelling disease carrying chiggers as well. A simple in vitro test demonstrated that a 5 percent concentration of clove oil gave full protection against the insects. The researchers believe clove oil “may be safer and more economical to prevent chigger attacks than commercially available synthetic chemicals, such as DEET that may have harmful side effects.”
Likewise, a study at Mahidol University in Thailand discovered clove oil imparts a high level of protection against mosquitoes. When the undiluted oil was applied on the volunteer’s forearm, it provided 100 percent repellency for 2-4 hours.
How to use
For a sore throat or to promote oral health, dilute five drops of clove essential oil in 1/2 cup water and use as a gargle. Alternatively, a drop or two of the oil brushed in the mouth will reduce bacterial and fungal load, alleviate tooth pain and help curb gingivitis.
Topically, powdered cloves heal acne due to the antiseptic action of eugenol. Combine 1 tablespoon each of ground cloves and raw honey. Mix in a squeeze of lemon and apply the paste to the entire face. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
Clove can be consumed as a tea, tincture or dried powder. For ultimate potency, purchase fresh, organic cloves and grind as needed. To make clove tea, process 1 tablespoon whole cloves in a coffee mill until chopped into small pieces. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the spice and steep (covered) for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste with organic stevia or raw honey.