Top 9 Health Benefits Of Cloves
Cloves remind me of pulao, because it is usually added into it! The intense aroma and flavour imparted is just unbeatable. The traditional ‘Biriyani’ has cloves along with cinnamon and bay leaves to make it a lot more fragrant. Yum! By the way I love pulao more! Now back to cloves 😛 This post aims at unravelling the goodness of this spice!
First let us have a look at the places where it is grown. The clove is a super spice that comes from a dried bud of the Myrtaceae tree. It grows in tropical climates all over the world but it originated in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Southern parts of India. It is used in several folk remedies that includes Chinese medicine. It has a massive nutritional and antioxidant value.
As mentioned above, a clove is a dried bud and they are best when the bud is kept intact and is used fresh. Apart from fresh cloves there are dried powders, clove teas, clove tinctures that can be used daily. You get plenty of cloves in India, you can also grind them and use them for your needs. Combining cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon to make a hot tea is a good idea as it has a lot of health properties.
Top 9 Health benefits of cloves
1) It has a ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of over 2,90,000 which is a lot of antioxidants.
2) The spice is packed with manganese and has the highest amount of the mineral than any other food. The trace mineral manganese is essential for the body as it helps in activating several enzymes. Manganese helps in forming peptides needed for protein hydrolysis in the intestines. The mineral also helps in metabolizing lipids and keeping the nervous system stable (it reduces irritability).
3) Cloves can prevent the onset of diabetes in adults as it stabilizes the levels of blood sugar.
4) They have antiviral and antibacterial properties. The oil of cloves is used to treat skin troubles like acne and warts.
5) This spice is useful in preventing allergic reactions and toothaches.
6) It is helpful in providing relief to asthma patients. It also a good anesthetic.
7) Clove oil works wonders at repelling mosquitoes. It works better than citronella.
8) Oil of cloves can also help provide relief from muscle spasms. Due to this property it has been in use for centuries as an aid in childbirth.
9) Consuming the tea of cloves can also help in treating insomnia.
So that was about the health benefits. Now let’s have a look at ways to store them.
Selecting and storing the cloves
Instead of the powder, buy whole cloves since the clove powder loses its flavour faster. Moreover, powders can be adulterated :P. To check the quality of cloves, just squeeze one with the fingernail, good quality cloves will release a bit of their oil. You can test the quality by placing them in water. The ones that float vertically are of good quality while those that sink or float horizontally are stale.
You get all kinds of spices both (Indian or foreign) these days in supermarkets. But it would be a better idea to spot a few local spice stores that have a good selection of herbs and spices. This is because you might get a superior quality of the spices here that are fresh too. Try getting your hands on cloves that have been grown organically as you can be sure of its goodness.
Talking about storage, keep cloves in a glass container with a tight cap in a cool, dry and dark place. Whole cloves can be kept this way for a year while the powder can be stored for only 6 months. If you want to increase the shelf life, you can refrigerate it.
How did you find the top 9 health benefits of cloves?
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