There are many health benefits of clove spice that will surprise you. The same nail looking spice used in baking have powers to reverse ageing. This is due to the fact that cloves are full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants known to heal damaged cells. As a result, cloves are a powerful defense against Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.
Where does this nail looking spice come from?
This common spice is made from the dried flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. They are native to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Zanzibar. Just prior to the clove flower opening it is picked and dried. Cloves have been used for their medicinal properties as far back as 600AD. The name clove comes from the French word clou which means nail, and that is exactly what this spice looks like.
What Makes Cloves so Powerful?
Cell damage caused by free radicals has been found to be the root of many age-related diseases. Did you know that cloves have the highest antioxidant activity of all the common spices? Cloves reduce inflammation and fight wrinkles, sun damage and sagging of the skin. The same cloves used in cooking and baking contain vitamin A and beta-carotene, which help maintain bright flawless complexion. Not to mention the vitamin C that is also present in the spice which helps the reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Cloves can Protect your Brain
There is a strong link between inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease. Cloves are effective at reducing inflammation so if you can reduce it, it can actually treat the effects of the disease. There are so many studies that have shown the health benefits of cloves on the brain and prevent blood clots.
Reaping the benefits of clove spice
This spice is delicious when used in cooking, baked goods, soups, teas and smoothies. Try sipping on chai tea that is rich in cloves. When cooking you can use the whole cloves, ground cloves or clove oil extract which adds a warm spicy sweet flavor to your dishes.
To extract clove oil, you will have to soak the cloves in distilled water then boil for 15 minutes. Allow the boiled extract to cool to room temperature then put in fridge to allow the particles to settle. However, clove oil can be highly concentrated so its best to dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil, 2 drops p/1tsp, for topical use.
For a nice treat with your Chai tea, try this easy Bermudian recipe for gingerbread, which surprisingly calls for ground cloves!
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups molasses
- 5 cups flour
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups hot water
- Preheat oven to 350° F; grease and flour two loaf pans.
- In mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs. Blend well. Then add in the molasses.
- In a sperate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
- One cup at a time, add in the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Blend together until well mixed.
- While mixing slowly, add in the hot water. Use spatula to ensure the ingredients are well blended.
- Pour mixture into greased loaf pans evenly. Bake for 1 hour. Tip – use foil pan for best results. Once baked remove from oven set to cool for 30 mins before eating.