You may know cloves for their sweet and spicy aroma. These dried flower buds are from the evergreen Syzygium aromaticum tree. The word cloves come from the Latin word “clavus” which means “nail.” This is because the shaft and head look so much like a nail. The Syzygium tree can be found in warmer climates, mostly in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
Cloves were spread throughout the world in ancient days via trade routes. Along with cinnamon, pepper, and hazelnut, cloves were highly sought after in Europe and the Americas by the wealthy. Together these four spices became known as the “Big Four” because of their rarity and high value.
Cloves are not only valued for their culinary and medicinal benefits but can also be used around the home and in your beauty routine.
How To Use Cloves Around The House
Everyone is familiar with the sweet aroma of cloves. Not only can cloves make your home smell great but it has a powerful antibacterial property which gives it more power around the house. Here are just some of the ways that you can use cloves to freshen and clean your home.
You can easily combat nasty odors in your home by making your own clove oil freshener spray. Mix 5-10 drops of clove oil in water in a spray bottle and shake well before using.
To eliminate mold, spray the area with a mixture containing a ½ teaspoon of clove oil and 2 cups of water. Let the solution sit for a minute and scrub. No rinsing is needed.
To squash cooking odors in your kitchen, place some whole cloves in water on the stove and simmer. The odors will quickly disappear. Add more water as it evaporates.
If you have a closet or closed in area that smells musty,l cloves will help to eliminate this odor. Place whole cloves in a piece of cotton and tie it shut. Put the clove sack in the musty area and leave for a while.
I use this easy-to-make cleaner to freshen and sanitize my whole house.
- 1 teaspoon borax
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 cups of water
- 10 drops each of clove, lavender, and orange essential oil
How to make it: Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before each use.
How To Use Cloves For Better Health
Cloves have been an integral part of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. In addition, they have been used in Thai and Kampo medicine in Japan and Indonesia.
Clove extracts contain bioactive compounds including flavonoids, hexane, chloride, methylene, ethanol, eugenol, benzene and thymol. According to research, these compounds contain a number of valuable therapeutic properties including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Here are just some of the ways that cloves can help you maintain great health.
Free Radical Buster:
Free radicals cause oxidative damage that interferes with cellular function and impact health. Antioxidants help protect against this damage. Spices are a powerful source of antioxidants including sage, oregano, and cloves. The antioxidants in cloves are concentrated and help support normal aging and optimal immune function along with cellular integrity.
Clove oil, (extracted from cloves) can be used to reduce gas and bloating. It lowers the pressure that gas puts on the stomach and supports the proper elimination of waste. It can also be effective for hiccups, motion sickness, vomiting, and nausea.
Blood Sugar Regulation:
Research has revealed that both cinnamon and cloves promote normal blood sugar levels. Research published by Dr. Alam Khan found that when cloves are consumed for more than 30 days, they can reduce average serum glucose from 225 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl.
For best results, add ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and cloves to your diet daily. I like to put mine in my morning coffee.
Clove extracts help to preserve bone density and the mineral content of bone. They also help to increase the tensile strength of bones in osteoporosis.
Research shows that cloves can inhibit the growth of tumors, specifically tumors associated with lung cancer.
Almost 70% of all people are impacted by candida, a systemic fungal infection. Yeast is often found living in colonies on human skin, in the intestines and in the mouth. There are various reasons why yeast is so prevalent including:
- The overuse of antibiotics
- Poor diet
- An unhealthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut
- Poor food quality – even food that used to be considered nutrient dense has been compromised due to agricultural practices, pollution and GMO’s
Eugenol, contained in cloves has been found to help promote balance in the gut of good and bad bacteria. In addition, cloves, wintergreen, cinnamon, and peppermint are some essential oils that show the ability to fight against harmful organisms including yeast. Researchers in Japan believe that cloves used in seafood dishes protect against microbes that cause food poisoning.
Eugenol is also a powerful anti-inflammatory substance that can also dull pain at receptor sites.
Because cloves have a way of deadening pain and fighting bacteria, they are often used in the treatment of tooth pain and oral issues such as gum disease and gingivitis.
Cloves can calm nerves which makes them great for combating stress and anxiety. They induce hormones that regulate stress and lift up your mood. Sipping on a tea made from cloves is the perfect way to wind down after a stressful day.
How To Use Cloves For Beauty
As already mentioned, cloves are loaded with powerful anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant and antiseptic properties making it a beneficial ingredient in cosmetics and beauty care products. Cloves are rich in vitamins A and C, just another reason to consider using them in your beauty regime. Here are some of the ways that you can use cloves to look your best.
If you are troubled by breakouts, consider using cloves to remedy acne prone skin. Mix one teaspoon clove powder with some raw honey and apply to acne. Let it dry and rinse off. Pat dry and repeat as necessary.
If you have scars from previous acne, clove oil can help reduce their appearance. Mix 3 drops clove oil with one teaspoon coconut oil and apply to scars before bed.
Oxidative stress is one of the main reasons we may appear older than we really are. This stress causes a reduction in skin tone, skin moisture, and premature wrinkles. For clear and healthy skin try mixing one drop of clove oil with some warmed coconut oil and apply to skin. Apply in circular motions and let it sit on the skin for a bit before washing off.
Remove Skin Tags:
Putting a drop or two of clove oil (mixed with a carrier oil) directly on skin tags will shrink them, dry them and eventually they will fall off.
Clove oil contains hair-thickening properties that will leave your locks bouncy, shiny and full. Make a nourishing hair mask by combining 2 tbsp coconut oil, 5 drops of clove oil and 5 drops of tea tree oil. Apply this to your scalp and you should feel a very relaxing tingling sensation. Apply a plastic bag around your hair and let the mask sit for about 30 minutes. Shampoo and condition as usual to remove the mask.
Oil Skin Regulator:
If you have oily skin, cloves will balance it out. Make a balancing toner by combining ¼ cup witch hazel and 3 drops of clove oil in a dark bottle. Place a little bit of the mixture on a clean cotton pad and pat your face after cleansing. Rinse with tepid water.