Clove Water Benefits: The Scoop on This All Natural Trend
Cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree used to flavor foods from various cuisines. Lately, cloves are gaining a reputation for the health benefits they provide. Drinking clove water is the best way to extract the all-natural medicinal components of cloves, which have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting effects.
What Is Clove Water?
Clove water is the byproduct of cloves that have been boiled or soaked in water. The active compounds in the clove buds release into the water, changing their color to a rich brown hue. Clove water has a spicy taste when it's too concentrated and should be made according to the taste you prefer.
How to Make Clove Water
The easiest way to make clove water is to steep two whole clove buds in a glass of warm water overnight. In the morning, remove the cloves, and your clove water is ready to drink. Another method of making it is to simmer a few clove buds in water over medium-low heat. After a few minutes of boiling, you can strain the liquid and dilute it with more water to taste. Keep any leftover concentrated clove water in the refrigerator.
Health Benefits of Drinking Clove Water
Drinking clove water aids digestion and has a range of health-boosting benefits that may surprise you.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Drinking clove water regularly may promote stable blood sugar levels. According to lab studies on human cells, an active compound in cloves known as nigericin improves the body's use of insulin — a chemical required for cells to uptake glucose from the bloodstream. While clinical trials haven't been done, test tube research on muscle cells found that clove extract increased glucose uptake.
Boosts Your Immune System
Studies show that clove extract possesses antiviral effects. Sipping on clove water can give you some of these benefits while also stimulating your immune system. One study on immunosuppressed mice found that clove oil effectively restored immune function. Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol are common immunosuppressants that can hamper your response to common colds and other infections. As an immunomodulator, clove stimulates an underactive immune system and downregulates an overactive one in the case of allergic reactions.
Improves Digestion and Digestive Ailments
Drinking warm clove water or clove tea may relieve digestive ailments like gas, indigestion, acid reflux, constipation, and diarrhea. It works by boosting the production of enzymes that break down food, as well as by lowering inflammation and boosting blood circulation. According to the Ayurvedic system of medicine from India, the best way to drink clove water for digestive health is to drink it warm before bed. You can also chew two whole clove buds, spit them out and follow up with a glass of warm water.
Anti-Parasitic and Anti-Bacterial
Everyone has gut microbes, but when certain pathogens proliferate unchecked, your digestive health gets thrown out of whack. A bacterial or parasitic infection can be the culprit behind symptoms like indigestion, diarrhea, and flatulence. The active compound in cloves called eugenol, which also gives clove buds their fragrance, boasts antimicrobial properties. It's been shown to kill common human pathogens, including bacteria, Candida yeast, and parasites.
Promotes Bone Health
Another interesting effect of eugenol is that it's shown to improve several markers for bone health, including bone tensile strength, bone density, and bone mineral content. The research behind how it works is still latent, but studies on animals have found that eugenol-rich clove extract reverses symptoms of osteoporosis — a disease characterized by low bone density and a higher risk of fracture. Cloves are also a great source of manganese, which is an essential nutrient for bone formation.
Provides Antioxidant Power
Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals — oxygen-containing molecules capable of damaging cells and DNA. When there aren't enough antioxidants to counteract the free radicals in your cells, you experience oxidative stress. Over time, oxidative stress can play a role in the development of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Eugenol's antioxidant power is 5 times that of vitamin E, making it a powerful source of disease-preventing antioxidants.
Fights Cancer Cells
As a natural antimutagen, eugenol helps prevent the reaction between mutagenic compounds and DNA that could potentially lead to cancer. Eugenol has additional cancer-fighting properties that could make it an adjunctive therapy for cancer patients, according to a 2021 review published in Molecules. Studies show eugenol prevents the migration of cancer and induces cancer cell death.
What Are The Risks of Drinking Clove Water?
Although cloves are natural, clove water and other clove bud byproducts should always be consumed with precaution. The therapeutic chemicals in cloves can cause side effects when taken in excess and be dangerously toxic at high doses. Cloves have a blood-thinning effect, so clove water shouldn't be combined with blood-thinning medications like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Other Clove Water Uses
Besides drinking clove water, you can also spray it on your scalp to cure dandruff and stimulate hair growth. Add clove water to an empty spray bottle and massage the spray into your scalp before washing your hair. Another way to use clove water is to swish it around as an all-natural mouthwash. It freshens breath by killing bacteria, and it soothes inflamed gums. To make a clove water mouthwash, use more cloves and less water for a more concentrated product.
Why You Should Drink Clove Water
Clove water is a health-boosting drink that can be enjoyed hot, warm, or cold. It's important not to drink it in excess because of clove's potent properties. The best way to benefit from clove water is to make it using two clove buds per day. You can also drink clove water as needed if you suffer from occasional digestive discomfort.
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