They might be tiny, but cloves are giants when it comes to nutrition and natural health.
I first realized this about 12 years ago when I was simultaneously doing an intestinal cleanse and having a root canal. I noticed that whenever I drank the clove oil for the cleanse, my mouth would also stop smarting.
Used often in Ayurvedic medicine, cloves are anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic. They’re packed with antioxidants and are good sources of minerals (especially manganese), omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamins
Here are six great uses for cloves, culled from an Ayurvedic tradition:
1. Temporarily treat a toothache.
You can temporarily alleviate the pain by dabbing a little clove oil on a cotton ball and placing it on the sore tooth or on your gums. An added benefit is that it will also pull out any infection.
2. Relieve upper respiratory infections.
Ayurveda suggests making a tea to lessen, or prevent, colds and flu. It is also used as an expectorant, making it easier to cough up phlegm. Cloves are a natural painkiller and also attack germs, so they'll help you get rid of that sore throat.
3. Reduce inflammation.
Use clove oil to massage sore muscles; some also use it for arthritis and rheumatism.
4. Treat scrapes and bruises.
Cloves are pretty strong and can sting, so the best bet is to probably make a poultice with a little olive oil.
5. Improve digestion
Cloves help relax the smooth lining of the GI tract, so they help alleviate vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal gas and stomachaches. Just be careful; since they're strong, they can also irritate the stomach.
6. Enhance sexual health
Sometimes used as an aphrodisiac, cloves can also help men from reaching orgasm too early.