The Sweet Secrets of the Astounding Benefits of Cloves

Warm, sweet, and aromatic in taste, the benefits of cloves range from a characteristic flavor to boosting your overall health.

Updated on Mar 28, 2024  |  06:29 PM IST |  1.1M
Amazing Health Benefits of Cloves to Know About
Amazing Health Benefits of Cloves to Know About

While you savor the dramatic aroma of cloves, adding this minute spice to your regular diet can give you a dash of much-needed vitality and wellness. Essentially a dried flower bud, clove spice originates from the tropical evergreens of Indonesia.  They’ve been used for centuries in various cuisines, like Indian, Thai, and Indonesian. As a part of ancient traditional medicine, the benefits of clove have cured and combated several debilitating diseases. Cloves are antagonistic to infections, antibacterial in nature, sterile, and ease painful inflammations. These incredible wellsprings of minerals (especially manganese), omega-3 unsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamins make clove health benefits multifaceted (1). In today's article, we will cover everything there is to know about the clove spice, from its health benefits to simple ways of using it.  

Health Benefits of Cloves

Clove is a strong yet flavorful spice that is used in cooking and to provide relief naturally in a variety of health concerns. Here are some of the health benefits of cloves that are worth mentioning:

1. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Eugenol is a potent anti-inflammatory substance found in clove spice. Clove eugenol is known to lower inflammatory-inducing markers in the blood—-the cytokines, which can help with inflammation, such as in arthritis (2). This is also true for clove extract essential oil, a common form of clove that can fight inflammation of the mouth and throat (3). 

2. May Help Relieve Pain

Benefits of Cloves

Clove's pain-relieving effect is due to its active compound, eugenol. It is a naturally occurring analgesic with anti-inflammatory and local anesthetic (numbing) properties. Hence, clove extract can temporarily paralyze localized nerve endings when applied topically. This pain-relieving effect helps to treat conditions like toothaches, muscle aches, and headaches. Its anti-inflammatory properties can prevent the production of inflammatory substances like prostaglandins and cytokines, which initiate pain in the body (4). 


3. May Help Boost Oral Health 

Cloves have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties that can help relieve toothaches, freshen breath, and promote oral health (5), (6). You can put a little clove extract oil on a cotton ball and place it on the sore area to relieve toothache and gum swelling. But if it doesn’t get any better, seek medical help. 

4. Anti-microbial Properties

The benefits of clove include its potential antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it an excellent remedy for many infections. Clove spice oil can be used to kill bacteria and fungi in the mouth, throat, ears, and skin (7). 

According to research, clove herb oil inhibited the growth of listeria, another common bacteria known to cause food-borne illness. This suggests that clove oil may be beneficial for preventing food poisoning (8).

5. Anti-parasitic Properties

Cloves possess potent anti-parasitic properties, aiding in the elimination of intestinal parasites like nematodes and promoting a healthy digestive system (9).


6. May Help Boost Digestion

Benefits of Cloves

Clove herb is very useful for digestion and upset stomachs, relieving indigestion and reducing bloating. Several compounds in clove oil help prevent stomach ulcers—it can thicken gastric mucus, protecting the stomach lining and preventing peptic ulcers (10). Clove also possesses antifungal and antibacterial qualities that help fight off any digestive infections, making it beneficial for those who suffer from digestive challenges regularly (7).

7. Antioxidant Properties 

Cloves outperform blueberries with more than 30 times the antioxidant concentration. Antioxidants are crucial for preventing damage from free radicals. Cells may become more vulnerable to chronic illnesses like neurological diseases, and other aging symptoms, with free radical injury Clove spice extract's antioxidant qualities have been demonstrated to inhibit tumor growth and encourage cell regeneration (1).

8. May Help Keep Liver Diseases at Bay 

Clove offers liver protection through its hepatoprotective properties. It helps shield the liver from damage caused by toxins like free radicals, through its antioxidant effects, promoting detoxification processes (11). 


9. Anti-aging Benefits

Clove contains powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and reduce the aging process. These antioxidants protect the skin from oxidative stress and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its revitalizing effects help to preserve a young appearance by reducing indications of aging (1), (12). 

10. May Help Strengthen Immunity 

One of the best benefits of cloves is that it helps boost immunity. Clove spice extracts are high in antioxidants, boost the immune system, guard against harmful microorganisms, and promote general wellness. Bicornin and biflorin are active chemicals in cloves that boost immune cell activity, enhancing the body's ability to fight infections and illnesses (13).

11. May Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Benefits of Cloves

Clove spice oil contains eugenol and acetyl eugenol, which have been found to modulate pathways involved in glucose metabolism (14). Another compound called nigericin is known to increase insulin secretion and thus aids in diabetes management (15). 

12. May Help Boost Respiratory Health 

The expectorant properties of clove help to thin and expel mucus from the respiratory tract. This makes clove useful for treating respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and allergies. The spice has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation in the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system (16). 

13. May Help Prevent Heart Diseases


Benefits of Cloves

Clove spice is high in minerals such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, and selenium. Among the others, potassium, an electrolyte in cells and body fluids, plays an important role in heart rate and blood pressure regulation. The clove herb extract is used as a tonic for the cardiovascular system and is said to improve blood flow to the brain and heart (13).

14. May Help Strengthen Bones

A hydroalcoholic extract of clove spice is rich in phenolic compounds—eugenol and eugenol derivatives (the parent compounds for flavones, isoflavones, and flavonoids), which have an inhibitory effect bone diseases like osteoporosis, thereby keeping bones healthy (17).

15. May Help Keep the Skin Healthy

Benefits of Cloves

Clove has several skin health advantages, including improved skin quality and appearance. Eugenol, a strong antioxidant in cloves, can protect skin from premature aging. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, which can aid in the treatment of acne and other skin disorders. Furthermore, eating cloves keeps your skin nourished and clear of infections or blemishes (1),(18).

16. May Help Prevent Various Types of Cancers 

Clove spice extract was found to be able to stop the growth of tumors and cause cell death in damaged cells (19). Additionally, as a good source of antioxidants, cloves prevent cancer and reduce inflammation (1). The health benefits of cloves have shown positive effects on breast cancer (20).


17. May Help Manage Weight

Benefits of Cloves

Cloves have natural fatty acid production inhibitors that can help you lose weight. Alcoholic extracts of clove (AEC) were observed to reduce lipid buildup in the liver, abdominal adipose tissue weight, and body weight in animal trials (21).

18. May Help Enhance Mood And Relieve Stress 

The hydro-alcoholic extract of clove taken orally possesses good anti-stress activity. Cloves have a calming effect on the mind and can help relieve stress and anxiety while also promoting a positive mood (22). 

Nutrition Value of Cloves

Clove herb is a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a beneficial addition to your diet. Whether used in whole or ground form, the benefits of clove can enhance the flavor of your food while also providing important nutrients. 

Just one teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves contains minimal calories at 6 units, with 1 gram of carbohydrates and an additional 1 gram of fiber. Moreover, ground cloves are notably high in manganese, providing 55% of this essential mineral's daily value (DV). They also contribute 2% of the DV for vitamin K. Including cloves in your meals can offer both taste and nutritional value (23).

How to Use Cloves to Reap the Maximum Benefits

Benefits of Cloves

The use of cloves in your regular diet can make it flavorful and healthy at the same time. Here are a few ways to incorporate clove spice into your daily routine:

1. Clove Water

You can put 4-5 whole cloves in a glass of warm water and soak them overnight. Drink the water after straining the cloves out the next morning. You can simply use clove water as a refreshing early morning beverage.

2. Clove Tea

To make clove tea, bring a cup of water to a boil. Add 2-3 whole cloves to the boiling water and steep it for 5-7 minutes. Strain the tea after removing it from the oven, and add honey or sugar to taste. Enjoy your warm and fragrant clove tea!

3. Spice Blends for Curries

Combine ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and a pinch of clove powder to produce a curry spice blend. Use equal parts of each spice or vary the proportions to your liking. Combine and keep in an airtight jar for future use in Asian curries. 

4. Pickling

To pickle with cloves, make a pickling solution with vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. To add flavor, add whole cloves to the mixture. Bring the solution to a boil, then pour it over the vegetables or fruits. Before eating the pickles, let them dry in the sun for a few days.


5. Baked Desserts

Use ground clove powder in recipes such as gingerbread cookies, spiced cakes, and fruit-based desserts. Add a pinch of ground cloves to the batter or dough to prevent overshadowing the other tastes. Adjust the amount to your personal preference.

Side Effects of Cloves to Know About 

Even though cloves are generally healthy to eat in moderation, consuming too much of them can have negative effects. 

Cloves contain eugenol, a chemical that can serve as a blood thinner with antiplatelet activity (important for clotting blood). Thus, people who take blood thinners should be cautious with the quantity of cloves in their diet (13).

Cloves in large quantities can cause digestive issues like indigestion, diarrhea, or stomach discomfort. According to a few studies, some people may experience an allergic reaction to clove as well (24). 


With most of us resorting to clove oil as a home remedy for an annoying toothache, this incredible spice from the lands of Indonesia has much to offer. The benefits of clove have a fairly wide range and positively affect the health of almost every nook and cranny of the body. From boosting vital organs like the heart and the liver to taking care of your beauty regimen, clove herb extracts are omnipresent. The spicy, aromatic fragrance of the clove makes it a personal favorite for many, allowing an easy inclusion in a regular diet. Be it a warm cup of tea with a baked condiment or meat curries in a lunch spread, cloves can be used in it all. However, like any other potent natural ingredient, overconsumption of cloves can cause serious side side-effects. Cloves, with their rich aroma and versatile flavor, are the perfect delight for your kitchen top. 


Is it safe to drink clove every day?
Drinking clove every day may not be recommended due to potential side effects. It may act as a potential stomach irritant or initiate allergic reactions. It's best to consult your dietician for personalized advice regarding your specific health concerns.

Are cloves good for hair growth?
While cloves are often touted for their potential benefits in promoting hair growth, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. Certain animal studies have shown the positive effects of clove extract oil on hair growth (25).

What happens when you drink clove water at night?
Clove water may have antioxidant effects, support relaxation, and aid digestion if consumed before bedtime. Individual experiences could differ, so exercising moderation is encouraged.

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About The Author

An M.Sc graduate in Biotechnology, and an avid foodie, Varsha decided to pursue her interests further with a



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