Cloves: Multiple Health Benefits

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Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum.

The clove tree is an evergreen tree that grows up to 8–12 m tall, with large leaves and sanguine flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds initially have a pale hue, gradually turn green, then transition to a bright red when ready for harvest.

Cloves contain the following active compounds:

Compounds in Cloves

Cloves  
CatagoryCompoundNotes/Reference(s)
Eugenol(comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves)
Eugenol acetate
Acetyl eugenol,
Beta-caryophyllene
Vanillin,
Crategolic acid,
Tannins
bicornin
gallotannic acid
methyl salicylate (painkiller)
Flavonoids
eugenin
eugenitin
kaempferol
rhamnetin
Triterpenoids
oleanolic acid

The Table below lists the recognized and researched studies on the health benefit of Cloves:

Health Benefits of Cloves

Cloves   
BiosystemConditionBenefitReference
Metabolism
Glycation
Inhibits advanced glycation end products1
Antioxidant
The clove essential oil had the highest amount of total phenols (898.89 mg/l GAE) and showed the highest percentage inhibition of DPPH radical (98.74%) and the highest FRAP value (1.47 TEAC).2
Neurological
Memory
Clove oil can reverse the short-term and long-term memory deficits induced by scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg, i. p.) and this effect can, to some extent, be attributed to decreased oxidative stress.3 4
Depression
Eugenol possesses an antidepressant-like activity.5
Alzheimer’s
A body of evidence suggests that eugenol can be used as a drug for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD).6
Increases BDNF
Eugenol, like other antidepressants, increases expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene in the hippocampus, which is necessary for an antidepressant to exhibit its activity.7
Inhibits MAO-A
Eugenol inhibits monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) and may restore monoamines that are decreased in the brain of patients with depression.8
Parkinson’s
Eugenol protected mice from 6-OHDA-induced Parkinson’s disease9
Gastrointestinal System
Bacillus subtillis
May suppress bacillus subtillis10
Escherichia coli
May suppress escherichia coli11
Shigell flexneri
May suppress shigella flexneri12
Sexual/Reproductive System
Sexual performanceCloves may improve (male) sexual performance13


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