In the wonderful world of natural remedies, cloves are one of those hidden gems. Spice lovers have cherished cloves for centuries for their remarkable spice flavor and the several health benefits they offer. Aromatic and full of flavor, clove tea contains incredible health properties, from boosting your immune system to easing digestive issues and providing the body with overall well-being. This article looks closer at the many health benefits of a cup of delicious clove-infused tea.
What Is Clove Tea?
Clove tea is a warm, soothing, and aromatic hot beverage created from the dried flower buds of the clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum). These tiny, reddish-brown buds are a renowned staple spice known worldwide for their intense spiciness that can elevate the flavor of a pumpkin pie, roast ham, or mulled wine. You can find whole or ground cloves in almost every grocery store and spice rack across the globe. Whole cloves are also crushed and added to hot water or infused with tea leaves to make a warm and inviting clove tea beverage.
This fragrant tea boasts a distinctive combination of sweetness and warmth, making it a perfect choice for anyone seeking a soothing yet invigorating herbal drink. Beyond being an enticing and tasty addition to tea, cloves are also harvested to make clove essential and clove oil. Here are a few important details about clove oil.
The Differences Between Clove Oil, Clove Essential Oil, and Clove Bud Oil?
Cloves may be more well-known as an aromatic spice to add flavor to dishes, desserts, and beverages, but clove oil, clove essential oil, and clove bud oil are also sought-after products. Even though many people use these terms interchangeably today and most fall under the umbrella of "clove oil," there are, by definition, three primary and distinct products:
Clove leaf oil - An oil extracted from clove leaves.
Clove bud oil - An oil extracted from flower buds.
Clove stem oil - An oil extracted from twigs of the clove tree.
While these oils share many similarities, the key distinction lies in the aromatic profile. Clove bud oil has a more potent floral scent, and the intensity of this oil means it's ideal for dilution in a carrier oil when used topically. If you want to freshen up the air, clove bud oil is the go-to choice for creating a delightful natural clove oil air freshener.
The Historical Roots Of Clove Tea
Before we pour ourselves a healthy cup of clove tea, let's go back a few thousand years to the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. At this time, people started eating cloves as a flavor in food but also consumed clove water or clove tea for their unique medicinal properties.
In ancient China and India, cloves have a rich history as a traditional healing remedy and an essential spice to elevate cooking and preserve food. The art and practice of infusing cloves into hot water to make a delectable brew has since been passed down from generation to generation. Drinking clove water or consuming clove tea has a long-standing tradition as a natural remedy in both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.
Today, clove tea, clove tea blends, and even your very own unique clove tea recipe offer the same impressive health benefits. And the best part is that you can enjoy clove tea every day, incorporating it into your daily routine.
11 Surprising Health Benefits of Clove Tea
From boosting the immune system to combating cancer to reducing inflammation, cloves and tea containing the power of cloves provide the body with many healthy benefits. Let's take a closer look at how this fragrant and potent spice can help heal body systems and even help prevent illness and disease.
#1. Abundant in Antioxidants
Cloves contain an impressive array of antioxidants that boost immunity and provide all the benefits of essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are vital compounds that act like a natural oxidative medicine that can combat oxidative stress, a factor linked to chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia, multiple sclerosis, depression, and memory loss.
Furthermore, cloves also contain eugenol. This powerful compound is recognized mainly for its natural antioxidant properties. Studies show that the eugenol in cloves has an exceptional ability to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals, surpassing even the antioxidant powers of vitamin E. By drinking a cup of clove tea along with a diet filled with healthy foods, you'll be on the road to better health.
#2. Packed With Powerful Nutrients
Cloves are packed with healthy biological properties like essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating a few cloves into your culinary creations or adding whole cloves to a hot beverage can give you a valuable dose of these nutrients.
One teaspoon of ground cloves contains:
1 gram of carbohydrates
1 gram of fiber
2% of the DV of vitamin K
55% of the Daily Value (DV) of manganese
Manganese is an essential mineral for maintaining brain function and building strong bones. Although cloves are a rich source of manganese, they have an equally potent flavor and aroma, so you should use them in moderation. To maximize the nutrition cloves provide, drinking clove tea every day would be best.
#3. Combats Cancer Cells
When combating cancer, the antioxidants in cloves play a significant role. According to research, half a teaspoon of ground cloves may contain more antioxidants than half a cup of blueberries. Incorporating cloves into a daily diet filled with antioxidant-rich foods may help your body stop free radicals. In one study, clove extract helped inhibit tumor growth and began eliminating cancer cells.
Another study using concentrated clove oil caused cell death in 80% of esophageal cancer cells. Eugenol in cloves has also been linked to anticancer effects, where this potent compound prompted cell death in cervical cancer cells. However, it's important to note that these studies used highly concentrated forms of clove extract, clove oil, and eugenol in cloves to achieve the results.
#4. Supports Respiratory Health
You can breathe easier with the help of clove tea. The expectorant properties of cloves may help clear congestion and alleviate respiratory issues like coughs, colds, and asthma. The warm and aromatic steam from a cup of clove tea can provide soothing relief for your airways, making breathing a breeze.
The antimicrobial properties in cloves make it a perfect addition to your air-freshening routine. When you add cloves to a spray bottle and spritz the air, you not only add a fragrant and aromatic scent to the air but also antimicrobial and antibacterial properties for better breathing.
#5. Contains Antibacterial Properties
Cloves contain antimicrobial properties that can effectively stop the growth of microorganisms in the body, such as bacteria. Studies show that clove essential oil effectively eradicates three common bacterial strains, including E. coli, which is notorious for causing food poisoning.
Furthermore, the antibacterial power of cloves is excellent for maintaining better oral health. The compounds extracted from whole cloves prevented the growth of two bacteria strains associated with gum disease. A 21-day study involving 40 participants who used an herbal mouthwash containing tea tree oil, cloves, and basil showed significant improvements in oral health and reductions in oral plaque and bacteria levels. With a strict daily regime of regular brushing and proper oral hygiene, the antibacterial attributes of cloves offer an added benefit to your oral health and well-being.
#6. Better Liver Health
Cloves may be a great way to support liver health and prevent fluid imbalances in the liver and even liver damage because of the beneficial role of eugenol. In animal studies, scientists gave rats with fatty liver disease a clove oil or eugenol solution. Both formulas enhanced liver function and reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.
A one-week study of eugenol supplementation showed decreased levels of glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs), a family of enzymes responsible for detoxification. Additionally, cloves' high antioxidant content may contribute to liver disease prevention by alleviating oxidative stress. Although more human studies are needed, the many benefits of cloves show promise for helping with liver health and preventing liver damage. What an excellent reason to drink clove tea everyday!
#7. Enhances Blood Circulation
Optimal blood circulation is a cornerstone of good health, and clove tea is a natural ally for better circulation. Whether you want to improve skin health or regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, ensuring the blood vessels are clean and free-flowing is crucial.
Within cloves lie compounds known to invigorate blood flow and bolster overall circulation. Savoring a cup of tea infused with cloves is a great way to improve the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to vital organs through the blood system, elevating their performance and contributing to overall well-being.
#8. Anti-Inflammatory Potential
Clove tea is a potent natural remedy renowned for its robust analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the most valuable choices for alleviating pain and discomfort. Whether you're grappling with a pounding headache, unbearable tooth pain, or nagging muscle soreness, the comforting warmth of an aromatic brew can offer instant soothing relief. The cloves in your tea blend also give you essential anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation.
#9. Potential To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Studies show that specific compounds in cloves may offer potential health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. In one animal study, scientists used clove extract to help stabilize blood sugar increases in diabetic mice. A combination of test-tube and animal research shows that cloves and nigericin helped uptake sugar from the bloodstream and deliver it into cells, increasing insulin secretion and enhancing insulin production.
#10. Supports Better Bone Health
Low bone mass is a problem affecting approximately 43 million older adults in the United States alone, potentially leading to the onset of osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. It is common to hear of an elderly neighbor who has fallen and fractured a hip or broken a bone.
Certain compounds found in whole cloves show promise in preserving bone mass in animal studies. For instance, one study showed that clove extract enriched with eugenol significantly enhanced several osteoporosis markers while bolstering bone density and strength.
Cloves are also a notable source of manganese. Manganese is one of the key minerals for bone formation and optimal bone health. A 12-week animal study using a manganese supplement showed increased bone mineral density and bone growth. Although the current body of research on cloves and bone health is mainly animal and test-tube studies, these studies point to the potential health benefits of cloves for human health.
#11. Helps Relieve Stomach Ulcers
Research suggests that the compounds present in cloves may be used to treat stomach ulcers, also known as peptic ulcers. These painful sores can develop in the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus, often due to reduced protective stomach lining, stress, or stomach infections. If not treated, ulcers can cause mild to severe digestive discomfort and, over time, affect overall digestive health.
In one animal study, the essential oil derived from cloves helped produce gastric mucus. This mucus acts as a protective barrier, shielding the stomach lining from the erosive effects of digestive acids. When that barrier is compromised, painful ulcers appear.
Additionally, another animal study showed that clove extract was equally effective in treating stomach ulcers as traditional medicine. While the potential anti-ulcer properties of cloves and their constituents show promise, it's important to note that more research is needed on human subjects.
Health Benefits of Cloves in A Delicious Brew
Ground cloves are more than just a secret ingredient for baking a delectable pumpkin pie or complimenting the rich flavors of Indian cuisine. Adding boiling water to a tea infused with cloves lets you enjoy a delicious, tasty beverage that boosts immunity while enhancing your well-being.
Whether you incorporate cloves as the star ingredient in your latest exotic culinary creation or the star of your clove-infused tea, you'll bask in the spicy warmth and reap the myriad health rewards of this small but mighty spice. For a delicious tea blend that incorporates the power of cloves, check these blends out! With these blends, you can drink clove tea every day!