Written by Lou-Ann Jordan

Yello Herb & Spice Rack: Cloves

Close up of cloves in spoon on white old wooden table. This file is cleaned and retouched.

It’s a small bud but it packs a powerful punch. Bite into one and you’ll see.

Cloves like many of the other spices we’ve discussed in this series are very popular in the Caribbean.  We season hams or dare we say dress hams with cloves.  But, while we may be aware of its benefits in spicing up our dishes, what of its other attributes?

In this issue, we’ll take a look at some of the ways clove aids in health and wellness.

But first, did you know that clove is a dried flower bud from the clove tree.  It is said to have originated in Asia and is indigenous to countries like India, Indonesia, and Pakistan.  It is popular in East African nations.  And well, certainly, the Caribbean and South America have always had easy access to the powerful spice.

Besides being used for cooking, or in perfumes, cloves have also found its way into traditional medicines.  Here are some reasons for this spice’s popularity.

Improves oral health

To eradicate plaque, gingivitis and bacteria clove is a natural alternative.  According to Medical News Today, researchers found that a mouthwash made of clove, basil and tea tree oil resulted in a greater reduction of oral inflammation and bacteria than that of a commercial mouth rinse.  Overall, the antimicrobial properties found in cloves can kill bacteria.  Cloves can also be used for toothaches because it has painkilling properties.

Regulates blood sugar

Diabetes is one of the many diseases for which clove are used to make traditional remedies.  Diabetes results from the body’s insufficient production or inefficient use of insulin.  And, this results in high blood sugar levels.   Extracts from clove react like insulin, controlling blood sugar levels, making it useful for those with diabetes.

Promotes bone health

The risk of bone fractures and breaks occur from developing osteoporosis.  Manganese is a mineral that aids in promoting bone health and can be found in cloves.  Therefore, clove is a good resource for preserving bone density and the mineral content of bone.

Improves immune system functions

Antioxidants found in cloves improve the immune system by fighting off imbalances between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defences. It also helps to fight bloating and gas.

With benefits like these, you don’t have to wait until Christmas to enjoy this spice.

To pick up a pack of grounded cloves or buds search Yello supermarket listing.

Sources: Organic Facts, Healthline, Medical New Today


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