Cloves: A Spice with Remarkable Health Benefits

In the realm of health foods, the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value is a key indicator of antioxidant capacity. Clove buds are exceptional in this regard, with an ORAC value of 290,283 per 100g, significantly surpassing blackberries at 5,905. This highlights their remarkable ability to neutralize harmful free radicals that are responsible for inflammation in the body.

This small yet potent spice has been revered in traditional medicine for centuries and continues to amaze us with its health-promoting properties.

Rooted in ancient cultures, cloves have been a symbol of health and healing. They played a pivotal role in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and were highly sought after in the global spice trade, prized for both their flavor and medicinal properties.

What Are Cloves?

Dried and fresh clove buds

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree, a member of the Myrtaceae family. Originating from the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, they have become a widely used spice globally. These small, nail-shaped buds are known for their distinctively warm, sweet, and slightly bitter flavor, which has made them a staple in both culinary and medicinal applications.

Physically, cloves are characterized by their hard, woody texture and tapered stem, ending in a bulbous formation where the petals and sepals would have once enclosed the flower bud. They are usually harvested when they are around 1.5 to 2 centimeters long and, at this stage, are pink. After being harvested, the buds are dried until they turn a deep brown color, which is when they are most commonly used, either whole or ground, in various dishes.

In the culinary world, cloves are cherished for their intense aroma and flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes. They are a key ingredient in spice blends such as garam masala in India, Chinese five spice, chai tea, and pumpkin spice in Western cuisines. In addition to their culinary uses, cloves have a long history in traditional medicine, where they have been used for their antiseptic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Their rich essential oil content, particularly eugenol, has been the focus of numerous studies, leading to a better understanding of their health benefits. This makes cloves a fascinating ingredient that bridges the worlds of flavor, tradition, and health.

The Nutritional Profile of Cloves

Cloves, often perceived merely as a fragrant spice, are, in fact, a treasure trove of nutrition. They boast a rich profile of essential vitamins and minerals alongside a host of phytonutrients that contribute to their health benefits. To start with, cloves are an excellent source of manganese, a mineral crucial for bone health and metabolic functions. They also provide fiber, which is vital for digestive health.

In terms of vitamins, cloves contain a notable amount of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone formation. They also have smaller quantities of vitamin C, known for its antioxidant properties and immune-boosting effects. Furthermore, cloves offer a range of other minerals such as magnesium, which is important for muscle function, and calcium, essential for bones and teeth.

The true standout feature of cloves, however, lies in their abundance of bioactive compounds. One such compound is eugenol, which has been studied for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Cloves are also rich in flavonoids and tannins, both known for their antioxidant capabilities. These antioxidants play a crucial role in combating oxidative stress in the body, which is linked to chronic diseases.

Moreover, the essential oils in cloves, which include eugenol, beta-caryophyllene, and other significant compounds, contribute to their antimicrobial and antifungal properties. This makes cloves not just a nutritional powerhouse but also a natural remedy for various health concerns.

As we can see, the nutritional value of cloves extends far beyond their culinary use. Their rich mineral content, along with a variety of phytonutrients, makes them a valuable addition to a health-conscious diet, offering benefits that support overall wellness and disease prevention.

The Many Health Benefits

1. Digestive Health: Cloves are a traditional remedy for various digestive ailments. Eugenol, the active component in cloves, helps stimulate digestive enzyme secretion, enhancing digestion and alleviating issues such as indigestion, bloating, and gas. Their flatulence-relieving properties make them beneficial in reducing gastrointestinal discomfort.

2. Oral Health: Beyond their culinary uses, cloves are effective in maintaining oral health. Their antiseptic and analgesic properties provide relief from toothaches, while their antibacterial qualities help fight gum diseases and maintain oral hygiene.

3. Immune Boosting: Cloves contain compounds that support the immune system. Their vitamin C and other phytonutrients can help enhance the body's resistance against various infections.

4. Liver Protection: The antioxidants in cloves, particularly eugenol, play a role in supporting liver health. They help mitigate inflammation and protect the liver from environmental toxins.

5. Anticancer Potential: Emerging research suggests that cloves might have properties that can help prevent and combat certain types of cancer, as evident from preclinical investigations.

6. Blood Sugar Regulation: Cloves have been found to help in managing blood sugar levels, making them a potential ally for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

7. Bone Health: Their manganese content, along with other minerals, aids in maintaining healthy bones and preventing bone-related diseases.

8. Antimicrobial Properties: Cloves exhibit strong antimicrobial properties, making them effective against a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This quality makes them a valuable natural remedy in fighting infections and promoting overall health.

9. Fighting Candida: Studies have shown that the compounds in cloves can be effective against Candida, a common yeast that can cause fungal infections. Clove oil, in particular, has been found to disrupt the cell membranes of Candida, reducing its proliferation.

10. Helping with Stomach Ulcers: Cloves may have a beneficial role in managing stomach ulcers by helping control Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium often associated with stomach ulcers.

11. Fighting parasites: The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of cloves, largely attributed to eugenol, make them particularly effective against a range of parasitic organisms in the digestive tract. They disrupt the life cycle and reproduction of these parasites, helping to cleanse the system and restore digestive health. This traditional use of cloves in parasitic infections is supported by both historical practices and emerging scientific studies, further underscoring their multifaceted medicinal value.

Cloves can be a versatile spice, beneficial in both cold and warm seasons. In winter, they add warmth to dishes, while in summer, their antimicrobial properties make them ideal for food preservation.

Recipe for Better Digestion: Herbal Digestive Bitters

Digestive bitters

Herbal digestive bitters have been a staple in traditional medicine for centuries, known for their ability to stimulate digestive processes. Incorporating cloves into these bitters not only adds a delightful warmth and aroma but also leverages their digestive and antimicrobial properties. Here’s a simple recipe to create your own herbal digestive bitters with cloves at home.


– 1/4 cup dried cloves

– 1/2 cup dried dandelion root

– 1/4 cup dried ginger root

– 3 cinnamon sticks

– 1 tablespoon dried orange peel

– 1 tablespoon dried licorice root (optional, for sweetness)

– 2 cups vodka or apple cider vinegar (for a non-alcoholic version)

– 1 quart-sized glass jar with a tight lid


1. Combine Herbs: In your quart-sized jar, combine the dried cloves, dandelion root, ginger root, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and licorice root, if using.

2. Add Liquid: Pour the vodka or apple cider vinegar over the herbs, ensuring they are completely submerged. If the herbs soak up the liquid and rise above it, add a bit more liquid to cover them.

3. Seal and Store: Tightly seal the jar with its lid. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for about 4 to 6 weeks. This duration allows the liquid to extract the beneficial properties from the herbs. Shake the jar gently every few days to mix the contents.

4. Strain: After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into another clean jar or bottle. Press or squeeze the herbs to extract as much liquid as possible.

5. Bottle: Transfer your homemade digestive bitters into a clean bottle with a dropper for easy use. Label the bottle with the date and contents.

6. Usage: To use, take them directly under the tongue before meals. The bitters are meant to stimulate digestion, so it’s best to use them about 15-30 minutes before eating.


– Adjust the proportion of herbs according to your preference.

– For a stronger flavor, allow the mixture to infuse for a longer period.

– Always use dried herbs, as fresh herbs can introduce moisture and spoil the bitters.

Creating your own herbal digestive bitters with cloves is a simple and satisfying process. Not only does it allow you to tailor the flavors to your liking, but it also provides a natural way to support your digestive health. Enjoy your homemade bitters as a daily wellness ritual!

Clove Buds: Antioxidant Champions in Our Anti-Parasite Formula

Understanding the digestive and medicinal benefits of cloves, we've incorporated them into our Anti-Parasite formula. Cloves not only excel in antioxidant properties but also offer effective, gentle support for digestive health. Their antimicrobial and antifungal qualities make them a strategic choice for addressing digestive issues linked to parasites.

By including clove buds in our formula, we ensure a dual-action approach: combating parasites while promoting overall digestive wellness through natural, potent ingredients. This reflects our dedication to creating health supplements that are both effective and rooted in nutritional science.

Cloves are a small but mighty spice with a range of health benefits, from digestive health to fighting infections and supporting liver health. Incorporate the power of cloves into your daily regimen by making clove tea, adding it as a spice to your cooking, or with our Ultimate Digestive Health product and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

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Ultimate digestive health
Daiva Rizvi

As a holistic nutritionist and certified classical homeopath, I believe that vibrant health is the foundation of great life, and food and our environment has everything to do with our health. We all eat, every day. Sadly, this vital, pleasurable and such primal activity has become so confusing, stressful, and complicated for majority of us, that it is starting to look a lot like rocket science. My mission is to help you navigate through the ever changing and puzzling landscape of nutrition by weeding out all the noise and focusing on what’s truly important. Make it simple and fun.