Medicinal properties and health benefits of cloves
The active principles in the clove are known to have antioxidant, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
The spice contains many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenyl-propanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to the clove-bud. Eugenol has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; useful in dental treatment procedures.
The other important constituents in this spice include:-
essential oils: acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid;
tannins: gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (pain-killer);
the flavonoids: eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin;
triterpenoids: like oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol;
and several sesquiterpenes.
The active principles in the clove may increase the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract as well as improve the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. Thus, helps relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
The spice also contains good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium. Potassium in an important electrolyte of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
It contains very good amounts of vitamin A and beta carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required by the body for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps to protect body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
This spice is a good source of vitamin-K, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), vitamin-C and riboflavin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals