Cloves are used as medicine throughout history. They’ve even been found in Egyptian tombs dating back thousands of years ago. But did you know that cloves also make great natural deodorants?
There are many reasons why you should consider using clove oil as a natural deodorant. It works well against bad smells, it doesn’t cause any skin irritation, and it has anti-bacterial properties.
In this article, we’ll go over the amazing health benefits of cloves and why you should incorporate them into your daily routine.
Health Benefits of Cloves
Cloves provide the following health benefits.
1. Relieve Toothache
Clove oil has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for toothaches and sore gums. Toothache remedies based on cloves date back thousands of years. A recipe for a clove-based salve appears in the writings of Hippocrates.
In the sixteenth century, German physician Paracelsus wrote about the medicinal uses of clove oil. He noted that it could relieve ear infections, muscle aches, and even headaches.
In the early twentieth century, Dr. H. L. Burt suggested that clove oil might help treat burns. He reported that he had successfully treated several cases of severe skin injuries with clove oil.
The FDA approved clove oil for external use as a topical anesthetic for minor surgery in the 1950s.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology compared the effectiveness of clove oil versus lidocaine cream in relieving pain following injection of local anesthesia into the tongue. Researchers found that both treatments were effective in reducing pain and discomfort. However, clove oil offered a faster onset of action and greater overall relief.
Researchers have also studied the use of clove oil in combination with other herbs to improve their efficacy. For example, a mixture of clove oil and eucalyptus oil proved more effective than either herb alone in alleviating symptoms associated with cold sores.
Another study showed that a blend of clove oil and peppermint oil was more effective than either ingredient alone in relieving toothache.
2. Help With Diabetes
Cloves are known for their medicinal properties, including being used to treat digestive disorders and toothaches. In addition to having antibacterial properties, cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, making them useful for preventing inflammation and heart disease. Cloves are also thought to lower cholesterol and prevent cancer.
3. Help Treating Acne
Tea tree oil (an essential oil used in aromatherapy), often touted as the best natural remedy for acne, actually contains eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, and lavender. Clove oil, however, is another plant that has been shown to help clear up skin problems.
In fact, according to a 2017 in vivo study, ethanolic clave extract containing eugenol suppressed activity of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes and reduced a related inflammatory response in a mouse model of acne.
Clove oil is also one of the most common ingredients in anti-aging products because it helps stimulate collagen production.
4. Food Poisoning Prevention
Cloves are often used as a spice in baked goods because of their distinctive flavor. However, they are also used as a natural food preservative due to their ability to inhibit bacterial growth. One study showed that clove oil had stronger antibacterial properties than potassium sorbate, a commonly used preservative.
A 2016 study looked into the effectiveness of clove oil’s potential use as a natural preservative. Researchers tested the effects of clove oil on six different strains of Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium responsible for listeriosis, and found that clove oil inhibited the growth of all six strains.
In addition to inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, clove oil also helps preserve food by imparting flavors. A 2008 study found that clove oil could help prevent the formation of off-flavors caused by oxidation reactions.
5. Enhance Sexual Health
Clove oil has long been used to treat everything from toothaches to rheumatoid arthritis. But it turns out that one of the most common uses of the spice — improving sexual health — isn’t just anecdotal. In fact, animal studies show that eugenol, a compound found in clove oil, could actually help men suffering from ED.
In a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers looked at how well eugenol works compared to sildenafil citrate, better known as Viagra, in treating male rats with diabetes. They found that eugenol increased nitric oxide production, improved blood flow, and ultimately helped protect against erectile dysfunction.
The findings are promising but still preliminary. And while we don’t know whether humans experience similar effects, we do know that people use clove oil to enhance sex lives.
6. Protection Against Cancer
Cloves contain eugenol, which has been shown to kill cancer cells. Research into the potential benefits of cloves against cancer began about 20 years ago. Cloves were investigated for use against lung cancer, head and neck cancers, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, melanoma, and leukemia.
The most recent research focused on the ability of cloves to prevent cancer cell growth and kill cancer cells. A study conducted by researchers from the University of California Davis tested the effects of eugenol on human breast cancer cells. Eugenol inhibited cancer cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in MCF7 human breast cancer cells. This same study looked at the effect of eugenol on mouse mammary tumor cells and found eugenol had similar anti-proliferative activity.
Other studies have found cloves inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in colon cancer and leukemia cells.
7. Reduce Inflammation
Cloves are one of the most popular culinary spices used around the world. They are often added to baked goods and desserts, such as cakes and cookies. But did you know that cloves may actually have health benefits? In fact, there are many studies showing that cloves have anti-inflammatory properties.
A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry found that cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds may reduce inflammation in our bodies.
In addition, a small study conducted at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine showed that consuming cloves may lower certain blood markers associated with inflammation. Researchers studied the effects of consuming three different spices — clove, ginger, and rosemary — on blood levels of TNFa, interleukin-1alpha, and interleukin-6. All four spices lowered these inflammatory markers.
The authors concluded that cloves may be useful in the treatment of chronic diseases like arthritis.
8. Wonderful Cleaning Agent
Clove oil, eugenol, and caryophyllene are natural ingredients found in many household products. They work well together because each one targets different types of microorganisms. Clove oil kills gram-positive and negative bacteria, molds, and yeast while eugenol kills fungi and yeasts. Caryophyllene works best against viruses and some bacteria.
9. Protect Against Liver Disease
Cloves are known to improve circulation and lower blood pressure. They contain compounds called limonoids, which have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease. Clove oil has even been used to treat some types of cancer. In addition, one study showed that eugenol, a compound in cloves, helped reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in animals with fatty liver disease. However, it’s still unknown whether clove oil or eugenol could benefit people with chronic liver disease.
10. Natural Pesticide
Clove oil is also used as a natural pesticide, so eugenol could potentially work as well. But there are some downsides to clove oil. For one thing, it can cause skin irritation. Plus, it has been known to induce vomiting. It is safe to apply directly to food for pest control, but it does not kill insects like most pesticides do.
Eugenol is a fast-action contact insecticide that is highly effective against ants, cockroach, dust mites, flies, fleas, gnats, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, pill bugs, ticks, and wasp nests. It is gentle enough to apply to plants to kill aphids and mites. It is also used as a flavoring agent in foods, toothpastes, mouthwashes, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products.
11. Can Help in Bone Preservation
The hydro-alcoholic extract of cloves contains phenolic compounds, such that it may be beneficial in maintaining bone health. In particular, studies suggest that cloves may help preserve bone density and the mineral contents of bone, as well increase the tensile strength of bone in case of osteoprosis. However, there are no conclusive data supporting the use of cloves in preventing fractures. Hence, further research is required to determine whether the benefits of cloves outweigh the risks associated with its consumption.
12. Can Work As An Immunity Booster
Ayurvedic medicine calls clove a panacea because it treats many diseases. Clove oil is used to treat toothaches and sore throats. In fact, clove oil is one of the oldest known remedies for treating ailments like cold sores, coughs, fevers, and stomach problems. But does it really work as an immunity booster? Yes, it does.
Clove oil works as an anti-inflammatory agent, which helps in reducing swelling and pain. It also boosts the production of antibodies, thus helping in fighting off infections. It is also believed to improve memory and concentration.
According to Ayurveda, cloves are effective in building up the body’s defenses against pathogens, while boosting the overall health. This includes strengthening the immune system and preventing disease.
Possible Side Effects
Cloves are used for medicinal purposes throughout history. They contain a chemical called eugenol, which is responsible for the pungency of cloves. Eucalyptus contains another compound called menthol that produces similar effects. Both compounds are known to produce antimicrobial activity against certain strains of oral bacteria.
In addition to being antibacterial, cloves are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, and antiviral. In fact, cloves have been used historically to treat toothaches and sore throats.
The active ingredient in cloves, eugenol, is generally considered safe for topical application, although there are reports of allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. However, studies show that eugenol can alter the normal bacterial flora of the intestines. This effect is most pronounced in people with low levels of healthy bacteria already present in the gut.
Cloves are commonly added to foods and beverages because they impart a pleasant aroma. Clove oil is sometimes used as a flavoring agent in food products.
Because of the potentially harmful side effects associated with high doses of eugenol, it is best to avoid consuming too much clove oil. There are several commercial preparations available that claim to reduce the risk of adverse gastrointestinal effects.
One example is Clogard® Clove Mouthwash, which contains 0.5% w/v eugenol. Another example is Clove Oil Capsules, which contain 500 mg of eugenol per capsule.
A few brands of clove capsules do not include eugenol; however, the label must state “not intended for internal consumption.”
Eugenol, one of the most common ingredients found in clove oil products, can slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. This occurs because eugenol binds to vitamin K in the body, preventing it from converting into active forms. As a result, the blood becomes less able to form clots. People with bleeding disorders, those undergoing surgery, and those taking anticoagulants should avoid eugenol.
Cloves contain a chemical called safrole that can cause low blood sugar. This happens because safrole blocks insulin receptors in the liver. Insulin helps regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream. If you experience symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, confusion, seizures, coma, or death, stop consuming cloves immediately.
In conclusion, cloves have been used medicinally for thousands of years. They were once thought to cure everything from toothaches to colds to fevers. Today, they’re still widely used in many different forms, including teas, tinctures, oils, salves, and even pills. Cloves contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them useful for treating arthritis, rheumatism, gout, and other joint problems. And because they also contain antiseptic properties, they can be used topically to treat cuts, scrapes, burns, and insect bites.
Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.