"Cloves contain compounds that can provide health benefits. There have been many studies that reveal the efficacy of this Indonesian spice.”
Cloves, which have the Latin name Syzygium aromaticum, are authentic plants from Indonesia. These spices are often used to add a spicy taste to food and drinks.
Not just a taste enhancer, this plant has been used as a traditional medicine since ancient times. According to a journal published by the National Library of Medicine, animal studies have found that cloves contain compounds that have health properties.
Benefits of Cloves for Body Health
Cloves consist of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Launching from Healthline, the effects of these compounds are able to provide the following properties:
1. Fight free radicals
Eugenol is an antioxidant contained in cloves. These compounds work against oxidative stress that contributes to the development of chronic disease. The study, published in the National Library of Medicine, revealed that eugenol was more effective at stopping oxidative stress than vitamin E.
2. Prevent cancer
A test-tube study found that eugenol stopped tumor growth and increased cancer cell death. Another test-tube study observed similar results.
However, this test tube study used highly concentrated clove extract. It should be understood that high doses of eugenol can produce toxins that risk damaging the liver. More research is needed to confirm these benefits.
3. Kill bacteria
Studies show that cloves can improve oral health thanks to their anti-microbial properties. These benefits can be maximized when combined with adequate dental care.
4. Maintain heart health
The study of the benefits of eugenol for rats with fatty liver resulted in a positive effect. Fatty liver occurs when the liver stores a lot of fat. Eugenol has been shown to improve liver function, reduce inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.
Other animal studies have shown this compound to reduce the symptoms of liver cirrhosis. Unfortunately, research on the effects of eugenol on human liver health is still limited.
5. Regulate blood sugar
The nigericin substance in cloves is able to optimize sugar absorption, increase insulin secretion, and improve the function of cells that produce insulin. When combined with a balanced diet, these spices are able to control blood sugar levels well.
6. Overcoming stomach ulcers
Research has found that clove extract helps treat ulcers and exhibits similar effects to ulcer medications. However, further studies are needed to see the effect in humans.
Things to Pay Attention to Before Consuming Cloves
Although there have been many studies that reveal the efficacy of cloves, there are several things you need to pay attention to before consuming them:
- Drug interactions. Eugenol may interact with medications, such as Warfarin (a blood thinning medication). Avoid consuming clove products if the dictionary is using the drug. However, this spice is relatively safe to be consumed as a spice in small amounts.
- Hypoglycemia. If consumed in excess, cloves can cause hypoglycemia, which is an extreme drop in blood sugar levels.
- Essential oil toxicity. Clove essential oil contains a much higher dose of eugenol than whole or ground cloves. Consuming pure clove oil can be toxic and cause symptoms ranging from dizziness to coma.
- Healthline. Accessed 2022. 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves.
- National Library of Medicine. Accessed 2022. Clove Extract Inhibits Tumor Growth and Promotes Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis.
- National Library of Medicine. Accessed 2022. Assessment of antioxidant activity of eugenol in vitro and in vivo.
- National Library of Medicine. Accessed 2022. Eugenol-rich Fraction of Syzygium aromaticum (Clove) Reverses Biochemical and Histopathological Changes in Liver Cirrhosis and Inhibits Hepatic Cell Proliferation.
- WebMD. Accessed 2022. Health Benefits of Cloves.