When I was young my family had this tradition during the holidays of making pomander balls. We used oranges and studded them with cloves. We’d often create beautiful designs or smiley faces and then the oranges were piled on top of each other in a bowl and put on display. After the process was done I loved to smell my hands. The spicy scent of cloves will always remind me of a sentimental christmas memory.
But did you know that cloves are a spice that you may want to include all year round?
Cloves are surprisingly an amazing aid in keeping you well and keeping the flu at bay. They can also help reduce symptoms of a cold.
Why are cloves amazing at warding off a virus?
Cloves contain antioxidants and one of these is a compound called eugenol.
Eugenol not only fights oxidative stress caused by a virus but studies showed that in concentrated amounts (such as an oil extract) it caused cell death in 80% of esophageal cancer cells.
One test-tube study found that clove extract helped stop the growth of tumors.
It is important to note that eugenol is toxic in high amounts and overdosing on clove oil may cause liver damage, especially in children. Further research is needed to determine how lower amounts may affect humans.None the less, it is very amazing that cloves can have such a powerfully healing effect on the body.
So cloves are important for fighting viruses as well as cancer cells. Are they good for anything else? Well, cloves have been shown to be a great ingredient to add to your cleaner used to clean up around your house, or spray down grocery cart handles. Cloves have antimicrobial properties meaning they can help stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria. One test-tube study showed that clove essential oil was effective at killing off three common types of bacteria, including E. coli,
Along these lines it’s also a cool thing that cloves promote oral health! In one test-tube study, the compounds extracted from cloves were found to stop the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease.
So, if the sweet and spicy aroma of cloves doesn’t woo you than maybe some of these health benefits will entice you to toss in some ground cloves or a drop of clove essential oil into your next stir fry or batch of healthy cookies!
(information on studies obtained from healthline.com)