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Cloves contain a compound called eugenol, which has been shown to act as a natural antioxidant. In a recent study, eugenol stopped oxidative damage caused by free radicals 5X more effectively and efficiently than vitamin E. Vitamin E is a very potent antioxidant. Cloves also contain vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant and helps to neutralize redd radicals which can build up and cause oxidative stress.
Studies have found that cloves have an antimicrobial property which means they can help to stop the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria. A recent study found that the essential oil from cloves was very effective at killing off 3 types of bacteria which included E. coli. E. coli can cause cramps, fatigue, diarrhea and in extreme cases, death.
Researchers have found that cloves can promote good oral health. When researchers extracted compounds from cloves, they stopped the growth of two types of bacteria that help to contribute to gum disease. A small study tested the effects of an herbal mouthwash containing cloves and in just 21 days, participants showed better gum health and a reduction of plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
Cloves extract has had some promising results in regards to keeping blood sugar under control. Clove extract and a compound found in cloves call nigericin was found to increase the uptake of sugar from the blood into cells. Both the extract and nigericin helped to increase the secretion of insulin and improve the functions of cells that produce insulin. More studies are needed to be done to confirm these results.
Research suggests that the essential oil from cloves helps to increase the production of gastric mucus. The mucus is a barrier and a prevention for the erosion of the stomach lining from digestive acids. Studies have found that cloves may help treat people suffering from peptic ulcers which form in the lining of the stomach, duodenum or esophagus. More research is being conducted on these promising results.
Cloves are native to the Maluku Islands found in Indonesia. They are now commercially harvested in Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
Research has found that cloves are high in anti-Cholestyramine and anti-lipid properties which help to regulate cholesterol and glucose levels. Cloves have been found to also increase metabolic rates in test subjects.
Research suggests that cloves are most likely safe when used in amounts commonly found in foods or drinks. As of now, there has not been enough research to determine how safe cloves are in medicinal doses for pregnant women.