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Beat acne, heart disease, diabetes and bad breath with cloves

Cloves or laung provide a whole range of health benefits. Are you aware of them? NO. Read it now!

Clove or laung is a common spice added to most Indian dishes, but this tiny, brown spice is much more than just an additive. Packed with nutrients like vitamins and minerals like iodine, calcium, phosphorous and iron, clove can do much more for your body than simply make food more palatable. Here are the top 10 reasons to add clove to your daily diet.

#1 Lowers your blood sugar levels

According to a study conducted by Dr. Alam Khan in 2006 [1], clove can lower your blood sugar levels and keep diabetes under check. This spice works by inducing an insulin-like activity in the body that helps beat insulin resistance. The study also showed that eating clove on a regular basis can help in keeping diabetes at bay.

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Tip: You could mix around ten grams of clove powder with warm water and consume it on an empty stomach every day. Alternatively, you can add a pinch of clove powder to your food to reap its anti-diabetic benefits.

#2 Helps improve digestion

Cloves not only improve your ability to digest food but also expel intestinal gas (due to its carminative property). In addition to this, the presence of essential oils in this spice reduces inflammation and kills the bacteria present within the stomach. Read more about yoga asanas for better digestion.

Tip: All you need to do is take a single clove and bite into it once and keep it at the back of your mouth till it disintegrates. Avoid chewing it too many times, as it can be very pungent and difficult to eat. This slow release of its essential oils helps your salivary glands produce more saliva and therefore aids in the digestion process.

#3 Can relieve acidity

For people with acidity, clove can be a life saver. Not only does it improves digestion but also coats your stomach and throat with mucus that can significantly reduce the symptoms of acidity. Apart from that, clove also improves peristalsis (the action of muscle contraction to keep food within the stomach) and keeps acid from rising into your throat.

Tip: In case of acidity, chew on clove right after a meal. You should ideally drink only water and avoid eating anything sweet or aerated while chewing on clove.

#5 Can lower your cholesterol levels

According to a study published by the American Heart Association [2], clove has a significant effect in reducing one's cholesterol. The study stated that the innate properties of clove help reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels in your body. It is believed that adding about 10 grams of clove powder in your daily meal can protect you from the ill effects of high cholesterol. Wondering what your cholesterol report means? Here are all the common questions about cholesterol answered.

Tip: You could add a teaspoon of clove powder to your daily meals or chew it whole after every meal. Alternatively, you can mix its powder with warm water and consume it every morning, on an empty stomach to see a considerable drop in your cholesterol levels.

#6 Maintains your overall oral hygiene

Clove oil or clove itself contains potent anti inflammatory components that help reduce the swelling around an infected tooth. It not only kills harmful bacteria present in your mouth, but also helps to numb out the pain that you experience. Apart from that, it also beats bad breath by cleaning the tongue, palate (the top of your mouth) and the upper part of your throat of any bacteria and decaying matter. Its strong aromatic qualities also alter the smell within the mouth thus helping you to deal with foul breath.

Tip: If you suffer from a toothache, try applying some clove oil or chewing on a whole clove for instant relief from the pain. You could also chew on clove or gargle with clove solution to beat bad breath. To make the solution, boil a few cloves in water for a few minutes, allow it to stand for about two minutes and then strain the solution. Once it has cooled down you can use it as a mouthwash after every meal. Here are 10 common queries on oral hygiene answered.

#6 Helps you breathe free

Clove is packed with a number of amazing components and one of the most important one is eugenol. Known to have expectorant properties, eugenol plays a key role in relieving a congested chest or sinuses. Also, the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of this spice help to wipe out infections. According to Ayurveda, clove is known to spread warmth around the area it comes into contact with, thus loosening up congested phlegm. Want instant relief from a cough? Here are some quick home remedies that might help you.

Tip: Crush three to four pieces of clove, add one black pepper and a little bit of tulsi to the mix. Add about 200 ml of water, and boil till it is half its quantity. You may add a small piece of ginger to this solution. Once the decoction is ready, strain it and drink it with a little honey to get rid of congestion.

#7 Can relieve joint pain

Laung is known to have a pain-killing effect and can beat inflammation as well. The spice is known to spread a warm sensation over the applied area and hence, helps in relaxing the affected muscles. This is the reason that it is a great way to beat arthritic, rheumatic and any other kind of joint pain. Here s how yoga asanas can help you beat the symptoms of arthritis.

Tip: All you need to do is roast few cloves on a pan and wrap them in a soft cloth. Apply this to the aching joint while it is still warm. Re-heat the contents when it becomes cold. You could alternatively crush the cloves coarsely and apply it. But make sure you do not heat it after they are crushed. The essential oils present in the clove are highly volatile and will evaporate, if heated again.

Another way is to add a few drops of the essential oils to your bath water and soak in the warm water to relieve pain. Alternatively you could crush clove, tie them in a soft muslin cloth and suspend it in warm bath water. This way your bath water will have a constant supply of clove oil. Also read about 4 ayurvedic oils that can help relieve joint pain.

#8 Beats a sore throat

The main function of clove in remedying sore throat is that it acts as an anti-bacterial agent and helps beat the pain associated with a sore throat. It also helps soothe the itchy feeling you experience during a sore throat.

Tip: Take a pod of clove and add it to a spoon of honey. Let it remain in the honey for about 8 hours and slowly swallow the honey. This will coat the throat thus, providing you some relief against sore throat.

#9 Helps you relax and fight stress

Due to its strong yet soothing aroma, clove is great to help you relax. Eugenol -- abundantly present in clove -- is also a well-known muscle relaxant. Apart from this, it is also known to be a potent aphrodisiac. This is the reason clove helps to awaken your senses and put you in the mood for some fun!

Tip: After that long tiring day, try adding a few drops of clove oil to your bath water to help you relax while you have a long relaxing soak. You could also use it as a natural room freshener that will not only keep your spirits up but will also help keep away the ill effects of artificial room fresheners.

#10 Gives you clear skin

If you are sick of using various creams to get rid of blemishes, your kitchen might hold clue for the same. Clove acts as an instant natural remedy to get rid of blemishes and pimples, because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also prevents blemishes or marks that usually appear after a pimple has subsided. Did you know these natural ways to have acne free skin?

Tip: Crush few cloves in a mortar and pestle, add one table spoon of honey and two teaspoon of lemon to the mixture. Now apply this paste on your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes. You can wash off the paste with cold water after the stipulated time to get clear skin.

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References:

  • Khan, A., Qadir, S. S., Khattak, K. N., & Anderson, R. A. (2006). Cloves improve glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus.The FASEB Journal,20(5), A990.
  • Howard BV, Kritchevsky D. Phytochemicals and cardiovascular disease. A statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association Circulation. 1997 Jun 3;95(11):2591-3. Review. PubMed PMID: 9184593.


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