Updated: Apr 3
Scientific name: Syzygium aromaticum
Common name: Clove flower, Clove flowerbud, Clove leaf, Clove oil, Clove stem, Clove, Cloves bud
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle)
Cloves, also known as Syzygium aromaticum, is a beautiful, tropical tree of the Myrtaceae family with tiny reddish-brown flower buds indigenous to the Moluccas or Spice Islands of Indonesia (1). Cloves have been used for many medicinal purposes and have been a spice in cooking worldwide for many years.
Benefits of Cloves
Rich In Antioxidants
Several studies have been done on cloves and their antioxidant compounds (2). Antioxidants can help fight damage from harmful free radicals. The buildup of free radicals has been linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease (3). Due to the antioxidant compounds of clove, known as eugenol, test-tube studies have found that this compound stopped oxidative damage caused by free radicals and was five times more potent than vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant (4).
An antibacterial property is when a substance, or in this case, an herb, can destroy or suppress the growth and reproduction of bacteria (5). One test-tube study showed that clove essential oil killed three common types of bacteria: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). In another test-tube study, they found cloves to stop the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease (7). Check out my DIY, Natural, Toxin-Free Mouthwash with clove bud essential oil here.
May Reduce Stomach Ulcers
Some research suggests that the compounds in cloves may help reduce and even treat stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are painful sores that occur in the stomach’s lining, usually as a result of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or the long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (7). An animal study found that using clove essential oil increased the production of gastric mucus, which in turn protects the stomach lining (8). Another animal study found clove extract to help treat stomach ulcers while also exhibiting similar effects to several anti-ulcer medications (9). This has led researchers to believe there could be promising results for humans, but research is limited to animals only.
May Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Several studies have found that cloves have compounds that possess insulin-like effects on blood sugar. One animal study found clove extract helped moderate blood sugar increases in diabetic mice (10). In another study, they found cloves and nigerucun to increase the uptake of sugar from the blood into the cells, which led to increased secretion of insulin and improved function of cells that produce the insulin (11). Though research is currently limited to animals only, researchers believe there could be promising results for humans.
May Promote Bone Health
Low bone mass affects an estimated 43 million older adults here in the United States, which can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of bone fractures and breaks (12). Cloves are rich in manganese (13), an essential trace element cofactor for many bodily functions such as blood clotting, hemostasis, bone formation, immune response, and even reproduction (14). One animal study found that taking manganese supplements for just 12 weeks increased bone mineral density and bone growth (15). In another animal study, they found that clove extract improved several markers of osteoporosis and increased bone density and strength (16). Although research is limited to animal studies currently, researchers believe there could be similar results for humans.
May Improve Liver Health
Studies have shown several beneficial compounds in cloves that may help promote and improve liver health, especially eugenol. One animal study found a decrease in oxidative stress, inflammation, and improved liver function in mice with fatty liver disease who were given mixtures containing clove oil or eugenol (17). In another animal study, they found the eugenol compound found in cloves helped reverse signs of liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver (18). Although most studies are limited to animal studies, one human study found that taking a eugenol supplement for just one week resulted in decreased glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs), a family of enzymes involved in detoxification that’s often a marker of liver disease (19).
May Help Protect Against Cancer
Some research signifies that the compounds found in cloves may help protect against cancer. In a test-tube study, they found that clove extract stopped the growth of tumors and killed cancer cells (20). In another test-tube study, they found clove oils killed 80 percent of esophageal cancer cells (21), and another test-tube study promoted the death of cervical cancer cells (22). Studies are currently limited to test-tube studies, and further research is needed to determine the proper dosage needed to have these effects on humans safely.
⚠️ Warning: The Holistic Hipppie is not a functional medicine practitioner. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This content is not medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or replace medical guidance. The Holistic Hipppie assumes no liability for the application of the information discussed.
Contraindications & Interactions
Cloves may slow blood clotting, especially if taking clove oil along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
For a full list of contraindications and interactions, click here.
Products Recommended with Clove Ingredients
Earthley’s Candida Cleanse helps to fight yeast and candida overgrowth to restore gut health. Made with 100% natural ingredients, this herbal tincture is safe and effective to bring the relief you’ve been looking for.
Earthley’s Elderberry Elixir (Original Formula) is a liquid supplement that combines elderberries and other immune-supporting herbs for everyday wellness. It’s an elderberry tincture (not syrup) that’s a potent cold and flu fighter, shelf-stable for up to 2 years, and super concentrated, which makes it the most cost-effective option.
Earthley’s Elderberry Syrup DIY Kit Cough & Cold makes it easier than ever to make your own elderberry syrup! No need to overbuy herbs or spend time researching for the best recipe. Simply boil in water and add honey, syrup, or a sweetener of your choice. Each kit makes about two cups of syrup, which is enough to last one month for a family of four.
Earthley’s Gut Health Oil is an herbal tincture created to help detox your gut for improved health. This product can help to eliminate candida, parasites, and other stomach issues like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and more. It’s also a prebiotic, which encourages the growth of good bacteria in your gut to support better wellness.
Earthley’s No More Yeast Salve is an all-natural, anti-fungal solution to help fight infections caused by yeast and candida. This salve uses oils that naturally fight yeast. It can help with female yeast infections, athlete’s foot, jock itch, cradle cap, yeast diaper rashes, and more. Get rid of itchy, fungal rashes fast with No More Yeast!
Earthley’s Pumpkin Spice Mineral Deodorant PLUS (Seasonal) like Mineral Deodorant, the PLUS version of this deodorant is all-natural with absolutely no aluminum, baking soda, or artificial ingredients of any kind. This version has added french green clay to provide lymphatic system support, extra protection, and detox the skin to help fight stink.
Earthley’s Pumpkin Spice Natural Lip Balm (Seasonal) is as natural as it gets. Three simple, safe, and edible ingredients combine to nourish and moisturize the lips. Natural essential oils are added for a pleasant smell without artificial ingredients. Keep an eye out for seasonal and limited edition scents!
Earthley’s Pumpkin Spice Whipped Body Butter (Seasonal) combines nourishing, organic butters and oils to moisturize the skin. Use this luxurious lotion all over the body to hydrate and protect. All scents are 100% natural and made with pure essential oils. Try them all and check out the seasonal scents too!
Earthley’s Remineralizing Tooth Powder (Spice Flavor) is a 100% natural and fluoride-free option for healthy, clean teeth. This tooth powder is whitening and remineralizing, so it will help improve the look, strength, and health of your gums and mouth. Not recommended for people with metal-based tooth fillings.
Earthley’s Teeth Tamer naturally soothes pain, drooling, and irritability due to tooth pain. Instead of using harmful medications or synthetic gels with unsafe ingredients and potential side effects, experience the relieving power of herbs. Whether you’ve got a toothache or a teething baby, Teeth Tamer is the best natural solution! Made with whole organic cloves, absolutely no essential oils.
Earthley’s Tension Relief Essential Oil Roller is great for tension headaches or tension held in other muscles! Don’t just take a painkiller when a natural remedy can improve the situation. Our combination of oils can relieve tightness and pain from tension in no time.
Simply Earth's Clove Essential Oil is used mainly as a spice. Ancient cultures used Clove to treat a variety of ailments. Chinese medicine used Clove to combat bad breath, hernias, and bronchitis; others used it to relieve toothaches, aid digestion, alleviate childbirth pain, and eliminate intestinal parasites and athlete’s foot.