Cloves: Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, and Precautions

Dr. Mohammad Azam

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Mohammad Azam


12 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Cloves provide numerous health benefits apart from increasing flavor in meals
  • Immunity boost is one of the benefits of drinking clove water every morning
  • Improved bone health, cancer & ulcer prevention are health benefits of cloves

A versatile ingredient, cloves are dried flowers obtained from the clove tree. It is an important spice that gets added to many dishes for increasing their flavor. You can either use whole cloves or grind them to give your dishes that extra zest. However, cloves aren’t used only for their flavor. They are used because of their numerous health benefits.

Cloves get their rich brown color from the beta-carotene present in them. Including these antioxidants in your diet are beneficial for your health. Tackling dental and indigestion problems are a few common clove benefits. Boosting your immunity is also one of the benefits of drinking clove water every morning. 

Nutritional Value of Cloves

2.1 grams or approximately one teaspoon of ground cloves contain approximately 

  • 6 calories
  • 0.13 grams of protein
  • 0.27 grams of total fat
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 0.7 grams of fiber
  • 1.263 milligrams present of manganese in the serving size. T

Health Benefits of Cloves

To know more about the health benefits of cloves and different clove uses, read on.  

Helps maintain oral health 

Research suggests that clove oil can be a natural and effective way to maintain your oral health. This is because of its effect on bacteria, plaque, and gingivitis. A comparison study between a herbal and commercial mouthwash concluded that the former may be more effective. This herbal mouthwash had tea tree oil, basil, and cloves [1]. Benefits of cloves also help in reducing harmful bacteria in the mouth.  

Reduces oxidative stress 

Other than minerals and vitamins, cloves are also a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress by protecting your cells from harmful free radicals. Oxidative stress can lead to a number of chronic diseases. Cloves contain eugenol which is a more effective antioxidant than vitamin E. Eugenol inhibits oxidative damage that free radicals cause [2].  

Including benefits of cloves in your antioxidant rich diet will help improve your overall health. 

Side effects of Cloves infographic

Boosts immunity 

Eugenol present in cloves is also effective against harmful virus, fungus, and bacteria. Benefits of cloves also have antiviral and blood purifying properties. This helps in detoxifying your blood and stimulating the white blood cells of your body. This stimulation helps increase resistance against certain diseases and improve your immune system.  

Manages diabetes 

The compounds present in cloves may help control your blood sugar. A compound nigericin, present in cloves, can help reduce insulin resistance [3]. Insulin is responsible for controlling glucose levels in your body and preventing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This is why is it important to ensure the proper functioning of this hormone. 

Reduces cancer risk 

Spices like cloves may play an important role in preventing and treating different types of cancer. Eugenol found in cloves also has anticancer properties. It may help in preventing cervical cancer and destroying cancerous cells [4]. Another research showed that clove oil caused 80% death of esophageal cancerous cells [5]. 

Do note that eugenol has high toxicity. So, excess dosage of clove oil can cause liver damage. Talk to your oncologist before using any remedy or medicine.  

Protects bone health 

Low bone mass is a common condition and can lead to the development of osteoporosis. It is more commonly diagnosed in women. Protection of bone health is a vital benefit of cloves for a woman. The compounds present in cloves can help preserve and improve bone mass. Eugenol present in clove extract may also help improve bone strength and density [6]. 

Cloves also have manganese, which help in bone formation and is vital for bone health. You can get around 30% of daily manganese intake from 2g of ground cloves.  

Prevents stomach ulcers 

Peptic or stomach ulcers are sores that form along the lining of esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The common causes for stomach ulcers include genetics, infection, and stress. These factors lead to a reduction in the protective lining and cause stomach ulcers.  

Clove oil can increase gastric mucus production that helps in preventing erosion of your stomach lining, as per a study [7]. Clove extract also helps treat stomach ulcers as its effects are similar to antiulcer medicines [8]. 

Additional Read: Best Diet Plan for Weight Loss Green Tea Benefits infographic

Promotes Liver Health

Eugenol, a compound found in cloves, is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to have potential benefits for liver health. For example, one study found that ascorbic acid and beta-sitosterol, two compounds present in cloves, may inhibit the proliferation of hepatic cells or liver cells. In addition, the eugenol-rich fraction (ERF) in cloves has been shown to decrease oxidative stress. It may help to prevent liver cirrhosis, a severe condition in which the liver becomes severely damaged. Overall, the research suggests that cloves may have beneficial effects on the liver and may be helpful in managing liver-related conditions. [1]

Helps in Weight Loss Management

Cloves contain natural compounds called fatty acid synthesis inhibitors, which have been shown to have the potential to reduce body mass in some studies. For example, in animal studies, alcohol extracts of cloves (AEC) were found to reduce lipid accumulation in the liver, decrease abdominal fat tissue weight, and lower body weight overall. However, it is important to note that more research is required to fully understand the effects of AEC on body weight in humans and whether it may be a useful tool for weight management in people. [2]

Boosts Respiratory Health

Clove oil, in particular, has been found to have beneficial effects on respiratory health. It has been used to treat asthma and other respiratory conditions because it can soothe the respiratory tract and reduce inflammation. In addition, research has shown that supplementation with clove oil may help to prevent the formation of bacterial colonies in the lungs. To use clove oil for respiratory issues, massage the oil onto your chest, sinuses, and the bridge of your nose or add it to a glass of warm water and drink it as tea. Chewing on a clove bud may also help to ease a sore throat. Keep in mind that these suggestions are based on anecdotal evidence and that more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of clove oil and other forms of cloves for respiratory health. [3]

Helps with stress management

Research has suggested that alcoholic extracts of cloves may have anti-stress properties. Cloves' antioxidant effects may likely be responsible for this effect, although more research is needed to understand this relationship. It is worth noting that further studies are necessary to fully understand the potential anti-stress effects of cloves and how they may be used to manage stress in humans. [4]

Might Combat Headache

Clove oil is commonly used in aromatherapy to treat headaches, and this may be due to the presence of eugenol in cloves, which has been shown to have analgesic properties. To use cloves to help alleviate a headache, you can crush a few cloves and inhale the aroma or add two drops of clove oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage it onto your forehead and temples. However, these methods are based on anecdotal evidence. Therefore, you should consult a healthcare provider before using any new treatment, particularly if you are unsure about how to use it or have any concerns.

Boosts Testosterone levels

Some research conducted in mice has shown that orally consuming cloves may improve testicular function and increase testosterone levels. However, while anecdotal evidence suggests that cloves may enhance fertility, other studies have found that excess intake of cloves may impair fertility in animals. Therefore, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before consuming cloves to improve fertility, as it is not yet fully understood how cloves may affect fertility in humans.[5]

It helps deal with acne

Cloves' antibacterial and antifungal properties may make them useful for improving skin health and treating acne. Clove oil, in particular, is effective in treating acne and is often recommended for use in aromatherapy literature. In addition, the eugenol in clove oil has been shown to have antibacterial properties that help kill infections and reduce inflammation, making it effective in treating acne. Clove oil may be a useful natural option for improving skin health and managing acne.

Boosts hair growth

Clove oil may potentially be used in scalp and hair treatments and may help increase blood circulation and promote hair growth. However, at this time, there is limited scientific research to support these claims. While cloves are generally considered to be healthy food, and there is evidence to support many of their potential benefits, it is always a good idea to include a variety of foods in your diet and to speak with a healthcare provider if you are considering using cloves or clove oil for specific purposes. In the following section, we will discuss ways to incorporate cloves into your diet.

Common Clove Uses

  • Cloves for tooth decay and bad breath is one of the common and effective ayurvedic health tips 
  • Benefits of implementing ayurveda remedies also include relief from congestion, flatulence, and headache. 
  • Applying ground clove to minor cuts also helps in the healing process 
  • Cloves can also be used to reduce stretch marks
  • Cloves can also be used as a bug or insect repellent when you add a few drops of its oil in water 

How to Use Cloves?

There are multiple ways in which you can incorporate cloves into your diet and use them for various purposes. One way to use cloves is by adding them to dishes with intense flavours, such as Indian curries, chutneys, and pickles. This can enhance the flavour and aroma of these dishes and add a unique twist. Another way to use cloves is by crushing or grinding them and adding them to desserts for a warm, spicy flavour. Additionally, you can add a few whole cloves to tea or other hot beverages for a flavorful boost. Clove oil can also be mixed with water to create a homemade air freshener, and clove water can be used as a mouthwash to help alleviate toothaches. Overall, there are many ways to take advantage of the potential benefits of cloves in your daily life, and it can be helpful to experiment with different methods to find the ones that work best for you.

top benefits of Cloves infographic

Healthy Recipes of Cloves

Laung Kadha

Laung Kadha is a traditional beverage made with spices and water that is believed to have medicinal properties. It is simple to prepare and only requires a few ingredients. This recipe makes four servings and takes about 15 minutes to prepare.


  • 1 tsp of saunf or fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp of ajwain or carom seeds
  • 4-6 pieces of laung or clove
  • 2-4 pieces of sabot kali mirch or black pepper
  • 1 tsp of jeera or cumin
  • 4 glasses of water
  • 1 tbsp of jaggery


  • Gather all of the ingredients.
  • Add the water and spices to a pot or container, except for the jaggery.
  • Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the jaggery and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the mixture to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Continue to simmer the mixture until it reduces to 1.5 glasses. You can add a half teaspoon of grated ginger for added flavour if desired.

Your Laung Kadha is now ready to enjoy and potentially provide some healing benefits.

Clove tea

Clove tea is a simple and flavorful beverage that is easy to prepare and can offer a range of potential health benefits. This recipe makes one serving and takes about 5 minutes to prepare.


  • 1 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 cup of water


  • Grind one tablespoon of whole cloves until they are finely ground.
  • Bring a cup of water to a boil
  • Add the ground cloves to the pan and allow the mixture to boil for 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow the tea to cool slightly. Strain the tea to remove the solids and serve it warm.

Some potential benefits of drinking clove tea include aiding in weight loss, boosting immunity, and helping to manage diabetes. However, drinking clove tea in the morning is recommended for maximum benefits.

Precautions To Keep In Mind For Cloves

There are certain situations where it is important to use cloves with caution to avoid potential negative effects. These include:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding:

While cloves are commonly used to add flavour to food, there is limited evidence of the safety of using cloves in large quantities during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is best to speak with a healthcare provider before consuming large amounts of cloves during these times, as the effects of consuming large amounts of cloves on pregnant and breastfeeding individuals are not fully understood.


Clove oil should never be consumed orally by children as it may cause serious symptoms such as seizures, liver damage, and fluid imbalances. It is important to keep clove oil out of reach of children and to follow all usage instructions carefully when using this product.

Bleeding disorders:

The compound eugenol found in cloves may slow down the process of blood clotting. Therefore, people with bleeding disorders should avoid clove oil as it may increase the risk of unwanted bleeding or other complications.


The chemicals in cloves can affect blood sugar levels and may also slow down blood clotting. It is generally recommended to avoid using cloves two weeks before and after scheduled surgery to avoid disrupting normal body function and potentially causing complications.

Side Effects of Using Cloves

It is important to note that while cloves and clove-based products can offer a range of potential benefits, they can also cause side effects if consumed in excess amounts or used improperly. It is generally safe to consume cloves in small amounts as a seasoning in food, but consuming large amounts of cloves for medicinal purposes should be avoided.

Clove oil or cream that contains extracts of the clove flower is generally considered safe and effective for use on the skin, but the frequent oral application should be avoided as it may damage the gums, tooth pulp, skin, and mucous membranes.

Inhaling smoke from clove cigarettes or injecting clove oil into the veins can cause breathing problems and lung infections. It is important to avoid making such risky and irresponsible decisions. Additionally, dried cloves can cause mouth sensitivity and irritation in some people. Therefore, it is important to use caution and follow all usage instructions when using cloves or clove-based products.

Keep in mind that these clove uses are remedial and not a cure to certain health conditions. If you have any persistent signs, contact a doctor immediately. You can do so with ease by booking an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. You can also opt for an in-person consultation. This will help you ease your worries and get the best treatment from the best doctors. Having regular health check-ups is one the best ways to stay aware about your health. The platform offers a wide range of test packages at an affordable price. Try these preventive measures to keep your health in the best shape!

Published on 24 Mar 2022Last updated on 12 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Mohammad Azam

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Mohammad Azam

, BAMS 1 , MD - Ayurveda Medicine 3


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