Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Cloves are the dried, flower bud of the evergreen tree, Eugenia aromatica. While the tree is indigenous to the Maluka Islands of Indonesia, cloves also grow naturally in India, the West Indies, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Madagascar. For over 2,000 years, Indian and Chinese traditional medicine has made extensive use of cloves and clove oil. Arabic traders brought the buds to Europe in the 4th century. During the 7th and 8th centuries in Europe, cloves became popular as a food preservative. Today, cloves are in the spice rack of most homes and evidence supporting their use as a therapeutic remedy against harmful organisms continues to grow.
What Makes Cloves Effective?
Cloves are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, the component responsible for clove’s powerful effects and odor is a substance called eugenol. Eugenol is toxic against harmful organisms, including fungus, and has analgesic and anesthetic effects.  
Cloves and Harmful Organisms
Research has repeatedly shown that cloves and eugenol are effective at establishing an environment that is not friendly to harmful organisms. When Portuguese researchers evaluated eugenol against giardia, they observed it inhibited giardia growth and may offer potential as a natural therapy against giardiasis. 
Clove, wintergreen, cinnamon, and peppermint are just some of the many essential oils that have demonstrated action against bacteria, fungus, and yeast, including candida.  An interesting practical application for this has been evaluated in Japan where researchers believe that spices like clove may offer seafood a level of protection against certain harmful organisms. 
More than just an annoyance, insects like mosquitoes can be carriers of diseases. Many bug repellant sprays contain chemical toxins, such as DEET. According to Duke University School of Nursing, clove oil can be a natural insect repellant for persons who want to avoid conventional, toxic options.  Research conducted by Thailand’s Mahidol University also found clove oil to be extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes. 
Other Benefits of Cloves
Many diseases are caused by free radicals and oxidative damage. Antioxidants defend against oxidative damage and plants are often among the best sources of antioxidants. Along with sage and oregano, cloves contain highly beneficial, health-promoting antioxidants. 
Clove oil offers a powerful action against gas and bloating. It reduces gas pressure in the stomach, aiding in the proper elimination of food and toxins. It also relieves the discomfort of peptic ulcers and is effective against nausea, hiccups, motion sickness and vomiting.
Clove oil, which encourages healthy teeth and gums, is a traditional remedy for relieving toothache, sore gums and oral ulcers. 
In Asia, the incidence of some diseases is lower than in western nations. The culinary styles in Asia also use a heavy amount of spices such as turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and clove. Why does this matter? According to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, these spices, which are resistant to inflammation, may provide hope against brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s which are, at least partially, attributable to chronic inflammation. 
Supplementing With Cloves
Cloves have a strong flavor and tough texture that doesn’t really make them the best stand alone snack food, which can make it tough to consume cloves on a daily basis. There are a few ways around this though. Ground cloves, or oil, can be inserted into empty capsules and swallowed with ease. Some people also like to add clove (and cinnamon) to smoothies. Aside from the health benefits, this can add a real flavor punch.
When you’re looking to herbs, spices, and foods for health benefits (which should be always), it’s important to always choose organic whenever possible; because cloves are so appreciated, they are widely available in organic form.
How do you enjoy supplementing with cloves? What benefits have you noticed? Leave a comment and let us know!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
- He M, Du M, Fan M, Bian Z. In vitro activity of eugenol against Candida albicans biofilms. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17356790
- Pinto E, Vale-Silva L, Cavaleiro C, Salgueiro L. Antifungal activity of the clove essential oil from Syzygium aromaticum on Candida, Aspergillus and dermatophyte species. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19589904
- Machado M, Dinis AM, Salgueiro L, Custà³dio JB, Cavaleiro C, Sousa MC. Anti-Giardia activity of Syzygium aromaticum essential oil and eugenol: effects on growth, viability, adherence and ultrastructure. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21272580
- Chaudhari LK, Jawale BA, Sharma S, Sharma H, Kumar CD, Kulkarni PA. Antimicrobial activity of commercially available essential oils against Streptococcus mutans. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22430697
- Chami N, Bennis S, Chami F, Aboussekhra A, Remmal A. Study of anticandidal activity of carvacrol and eugenol in vitro and in vivo. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15720571
- Yano Y, Satomi M, Oikawa H. Antimicrobial effect of spices and herbs on Vibrio parahaemolyticus. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16797760
- Shapiro R. Prevention of vector transmitted diseases with clove oil insect repellent. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22703681
- Trongtokit Y, Rongsriyam Y, Komalamisra N, Apiwathnasorn C. Comparative repellency of 38 essential oils against mosquito bites. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16041723
- Blomhoff R. [Antioxidants and oxidative stress]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15229712
- Kumar P, Ansari SH, Ali J. Herbal remedies for the treatment of periodontal disease–a patent review. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19925444
- Kannappan R, Gupta SC, Kim JH, Reuter S, Aggarwal BB. Neuroprotection by spice-derived nutraceuticals: you are what you eat! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2136000
Previous Articles by Dr Edward
- Tribulus Terrestris: Herbal Aphrodisiac?
- Top 10 ProBiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet
- 10 Foods That Detox the Body
- The Benefits of Organic Hemp Milk + How to Make Your Own
- 15 Foods High in Vitamin E
- Lung Cleansing With Peppermint Oil
- How to Flush the Liver
- Natural Remedies For Bad Breath
About the Author
Dr. Edward F. Group founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.
Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.