In this article you will learn about cloves: a spice that can soothe toothaches with its strong antibacterial and anesthetic power!
We will also discuss health properties, contraindications of use, side effects and many other details.
CAUTION: Medical Disclaimer
Table of Contents
Herbal Name and Characteristics
- Name: Cloves,
- Pin Yin: Ding xiang,
- Latin: Syzygium aromaticum,
- Taste: Hot and bitter, slightly sweet (cinnamon-like),
- Color: black,
- Constitution: Warm (Yang),
- Builds: N/A.
About this Herb
Cloves are another favorite spice/herb. My grandmother used to give us clove oil to soothe our toothaches.
Its distinctive aroma gives food an amazing flavor and spicy taste. It can be very intense so it is not for everyone. It is also great for adding flavor when making your own liqueurs (such as wild cherry liqueur with cloves and cinnamon – an amazing tonic and alcoholic beverage at the same time).
But its properties don’t stop in cooking as it has a lot of health benefits because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Below you will find more details about this herb, its benefits, side effects and precautions you need to know before using it.
What are Cloves?
Used in both TCM and Ayurvedic medicine, cloves are the product of an evergreen tree that produces wonderful aromatic purple flowers. The herb is actually the buds of these flowers.
They are used in both cooking and for treating several medical conditions due to its active ingredients.
It contains the following active ingredients:
- Eugenol (approx 85% content in clove oil),
Benefits and properties of Cloves
Summarizing the many benefits of Cloves:
- It can help relieve upper respiratory problems and infections (such as sore throat) by stimulating the esophagus to produce more phlegm. It can also stop severe coughing and help you breathe better as it acts as an antihistamine.
- It has analgesic properties and can be used to relieve toothaches and headaches. Both the oil and the entire clove can be applied directly to the problematic area. Its ingredients are absorbed through the inside of the mouth.
- The same properties of the oil can be applied topically and relieve pain from rheumatism or arthritis by reducing inflammation.
- It can help with digestive problems such as digestion, gas, bloating or upset stomach by relaxing the digestive tract and also killing parasites and bacteria due to its anti-bacterial properties.
- When used in a concoction, it can kill several bacteria such as streptococcus, staphylococcus, diphtheria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, proteus bacillus vulgaris, escherichia coli, shigella dysenteriae, typhoid bacillus and other.
- It can potentially enhance sexual health and libido as it can increase testosterone levels in men by 26% in low doses. Higher doses appear to be counter-productive.
When and how to take it
Clove oil or tincture: This is a versatile and concentrated form that you can use topically or even add in beverages or foods. A couple of drops are enough to get the result you are looking for.
Be careful, as the oil can be very potent.
Note: Clove tinctures are a good alternative but they are not used as frequently as the oil form.
Entire dried clove: The dried clove can be crushed or used as is for cooking. You can also chew it or make a tincture with it.
Tea: This is also a great way to get its benefits as you can boil a couple of cloves or add it to your tea. Let it sit over time and then drink it as usual.
The best times to take it would be:
- When you cook and wish to add taste and aroma,
- To help you when you are sick or congested.
Safety and side effects
When used as a spice in small amounts, cloves are safe. However, when used in larger amounts (especially in oil form), it can have several adverse effects such as poisoning and even death.
Reported side effects of usage in high doses include:
- Topical irritation,
- Liver damage,
- Fluid imbalances,
- Digestive problems.
You should not use Cloves if you:
- Have bleeding disorders as the eugenol in its can slow blood clotting.
- Are scheduled for an operation, organ transplant or you just underwent one. Eugenol may interfere with the medication and sedation used during surgery, rejection of the organ, interfere with healing and/or cause internal bleeding.
- Are a patient who suffers from
- Have allergies to this specific herb or any of its ingredients.
The best thing you can do before taking any herb supplement is to test it. If you want to be safe while using herbs I strongly urge you to read my other article on how to test an herb for allergies and intolerances.
Contraindications or interactions with other medication/substances:
Avoid using this herb/spice if you have any medical condition or take any kind of medication without consulting with your doctor first.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
While cloves are considered rather safe when used in small amounts as a spice, there are not enough studies performed to determine the full safety of this product, therefore pregnant women or breastfeeding women should avoid using this product in larger doses.
Cloves are only intended for use on an as-needed-basis. You should not use it in high doses and for extended periods of time as it is unsafe and can cause adverse effects.
Take a small break if you tend to use it daily, even in small amounts, in order to protect the body from accumulation of other toxins unrelated to the herb itself.
Over the past 20 years I have experimented with literally hundreds of herbs, supplements (and other natural products) and was finally able to discover the right doses for amazing results.
If you wish to learn more about the dosages that I use with my clients for different purposes (better health, hormonal balance, stress management, testosterone boost and more) or how I combine this herb/supp with others, leave a comment below or reach out to me for a consultation through the “Hire me” link.
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Cloves are a very powerful spice that can add flavor to your food or be used a local anesthetic or antibacterial agent. It is so powerful that has been used to soothe toothaches for centuries. Use it wisely and you’ll be able to experience its potent taste and its effects!
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by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200
- Domaracký M, et al Effects of selected plant essential oils on the growth and development of mouse preimplantation embryos in vivo . Physiol Res. (2007).
- Mishra RK, Singh SK Safety assessment of Syzygium aromaticum flower bud (clove) extract with respect to testicular function in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. (2008).
- Tajuddin, et al Aphrodisiac activity of 50% ethanolic extracts of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg) and Syzygium aromaticum (L) Merr. & Perry. (clove) in male mice: a comparative study .BMC Complement Altern Med. (2003).
- Effect of 50% ethanolic extract of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) on sexual behaviour of normal male rats, retrieved electronically February 7th, 2015.