Clove: Overview, Benefits, Uses, Side Effects

By Rohini Mankar | 14th Feb 2023

Clove: Overview, Benefits, Uses, Side Effects

Introduction

Clove is a dried flower bud that grows on an evergreen tree native to  Indonesia. Its scientific name is Syzygium aromaticum. Clove is an essential condiment used in Indian cuisine. The flower bud is used as a ground powder or in its natural form. Clove is a spice used in various dishes like curries, tea, dessert, cookies and cakes. It has been a vital ingredient in the traditional medicine system. It is not only used as a kitchen spice but also in mouthwash and herbal oils. In this article, I will tell you about Clove – the flower bud spice. 

What is Clove called in other languages?

  • Laung, Lavang, Laumg in Hindi
  • Lavanga in Sanskrit
  • Luvang in Marathi 
  • Lavang in Gujarati 
  • Lavanga in Bengali
  • Laung in Punjabi 
  • Labanga in Oriya 
  • Laung, Loung in Urdu 
  • Grampu, Karayampu, Karampu in Malayalam
  • Lavanga, Krambu; Daevakusuma in Kannada 
  • Lavangalu, Lavangamu in Telugu
  • Kirambu, Grambu in Tamil. 

Clove nutritional value

Clove contains the following nutrients:

NutrientValue per 100 g
Carbohydrate61.21 g
Protein5.98 g
Fat20.07 g
Energy323 kcal
Fibre34.2 g
Calcium646 mg
Iron8.68 mg
Potassium1102 mg
Phosphorus105 mg
Magnesium264 mg
Sodium243 mg
Copper0.347 mg
Zinc1.09 mg
Selenium5.9 mcg
Manganese30.033 mg
Vitamin C80.8 mg
Riboflavin0.267 mg
Thiamine0.115 mg
Vitamin A530 IU
Vitamin E8.52 mg
Vitamin K141.8 mcg

Strengths of cloves

1. Germicidal effect: 

It has been proved that clove oil has a germicidal effect on various strains and categories of microbes. It showed effectiveness against Staphylococcus species. A 0.05% solution of eugenol can destroy bacillus tuberculosis. 

Essential oil component eugenol, when dispersed in a concentrated sugar solution, demonstrated an antimicrobial effect against various bacteria. For example-  Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Clostridium perfringens, E.coli and Candida albicans.

2. Anti-inflammatory and wound healing

Eugenol, the primary component of clove oil, is as effective as diclofenac gel. It is instrumental in healing wounds and reducing inflammation by 20-30%.

According to a study, wounds in rats treated with clove essential oil were found to heal faster. 

The presence of flavonoids in clove oil gives it anti-inflammatory qualities. Pure clove oil is utilised in aromatherapy to treat arthritis and rheumatism.

3. Antioxidant activity

Clove oil has shown that flavonoids and phenolic compounds can destroy free radicals. The acute administration of an ethanolic extract of clove has been shown to improve the processes of learning and memory recall in mice, which supports the antioxidative effect of the eugenol component.

4. Anti-diabetic activity

Clove extracts have been associated with the control of blood sugar levels. In one study, clove extracts effectively regulated blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes. Compounds like nigericin (NGC) found in clove extracts can reduce insulin resistance in diabetic mice. 

5. Hepatoprotective activity

The ethanol extract of clove has been significantly beneficial for liver cells. It has demonstrated hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol-induced liver injury in female rats. The compound in the clove extract acts on free radicals that cause damage to the liver cells. 

6. Anticancer

Clove oil components, like eugenol, α-humulene, and β-caryophyllene, have exhibited antitumor activity. According to some studies, clove oil extracts have been beneficial in reducing the harmful effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and weight loss.

7. Analgesic

Clove Essential Oil(CEO) aids in treating headaches, joint pain, toothaches, and oral hygiene issues. CEO has been used since ancient times as it is safe to use, a medically effective and cheap remedy to get rid of pain. 

8. Oral Health-

According to various research, Aromatic Syzygium Clove oil (Laung) helps treat toothaches, cavities, and pyorrhea. Clove oil aids in the decrease of plaque deposition on oral hard tissues. The antibacterial activity of clove oil implies that it could be used as a supplement to periodontal therapy. Clove consumption reduces the growth of Candida albicans in the gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth cavity.

How to use clove

Clove is an all-around spice. It has numerous medicinal and therapeutic use. However, you can use it in your daily routine in various ways.

  • Add to spice your food: Cloves have a beautiful aroma and a strong taste that make our dishes very flavourful. You can add it to your curry or pulao rice, or biryani. Or crush it and add it to your dessert. 
  • With hot beverages: You can add powdered clove to your tea. 
  • Use as an insect repellent: You can add a few drops of clove oil into the water and spray in the house. It can keep mosquitos and bugs away.
  • To treat a toothache: Warm clove water can be used as a mouthwash to treat uncomfortable toothaches. Warm clove water can be used as a mouthwash to treat any bothersome toothaches.

Clove tea recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Ground cloves- 1 tsp
  • Water- 1 cup

Directions:

  1. Grind up one tablespoon of whole cloves.
  2. Pour one cup of water into the pan.
  3. Then add the cloves and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Let it simmer for about 3–4 minutes.
  5. Let it cool, then strain it and serve it hot.

Side effects of clove 

1. Increased risk of bleeding:

According to research, Clove is one herbal substance that may potentially raise bleeding risk or amplify the effects of warfarin medication.

Eugenol present in the clove increases the risk of bleeding. Thus clove exhibits an anti-platelet effect. 

2. May cause hypoglycemia:

A Study suggests that clove has shown a hypoglycemic effect in type 2 diabetes patients i.e. it aids lower blood sugar.

However, if a person is already on diabetes medication, it may cause an extreme lowering of blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is advised that if you are on diabetes medications, please consult your doctor before adding cloves to your daily routine.

3. Can Cause Allergic reactions:

Eugenol is an aromatic liquid present in cloves used in numerous pharmaceutical products. However, eugenol can cause allergies when this compound reacts directly with proteins resulting in contact dermatitis. 

4. Can Be Toxic

In one of the incidences, the toxicity of clove oil is documented. A 2-year-old boy ingested 5 and 10ml clove oil as a result of which the boy slipped into a coma for a few hours. 

However, there is a scope for research on the toxicity of clove oil. Clove oil can potentially cause coma, fits, inhalation pneumonitis, respiratory problems, renal failure, hypoglycaemia, and lactic acidosis.

Precautions

  • Consume clove in limited amounts. Though clove has medicinal properties, excess of anything can cause severe aftereffects.
  • Clove oil or cream should be kept out of the reach of children as it may cause fits or liver failure, or kidney failure. 
  • Do not smoke clove cigarettes in excess. It may result in breathing problems

Conclusion

Clove is a flower bud used in our day-to-day dishes because of its pleasant aroma and flavour. It is a versatile spice that is not only used in the kitchen but is also used for therapeutic purposes. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antispasmodic, antimutagenic, and antihypertensive properties. That makes it an all-rounder spice. Clove is the best for good oral hygiene. However, always consult your doctor before using it. 

Truemeds is an online pharmacy that provides generic as well as brand-name medicines. If you upload your medicine prescription on our app or website, you can avail of a free consultation session with our expert doctor. You can save on every purchase (up to 72%) of medicines, and it is free delivered to your doorstep across India. 

Disclaimer– This content, including advice and medications, provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information.

Reference

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