CLOVES have numerous benefits. Picture: Pexels.Com
CLOVES have numerous benefits. Picture: Pexels.Com

Healing, soothing effects of cloves

By Dr Tamlyn Govender Time of article published Aug 23, 2019

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Lifestyle - THIS aromatic unopened dried flower bud has the name “clove”, which is derived from the Latin word clavus – meaning nail – as the bud resembles a nail.

It is often used in pickles, garam masalas, breyanis and salads. 

It is one of the most precious and valuable spices of the world. This is due to the fact that just a drop of clove oil is 400 times more powerful than wolfberries or blueberries.

Clove buds possess a penetrative light and cooling quality. They are bitter and have a pungent taste. Like any culinary spice in Ayurveda, they have numerous benefits, but only if used correctly.

Ayurvedic pharmaceutics describes cloves as a potent appetiser, carminative and a taste enhancer, thus it is ideal for improving one’s digestion. 

Cloves are also an analgesic, which is why they were often used  to soothe excruciating toothache. 

A clove is a natural blood purifier, mucolytic, aphrodisiac, lactogenic, diuretic and antipyretic. 

Other medicinal uses:

- Antibacterial: It is used in various dental creams, toothpastes, mouthwashes as well as throat sprays to get rid of bacteria.  

- Antiviral: Eugininalso, which is found in cloves, has shown promising antiviral activity against the herpes virus. 

- Analgesic: It is used to relieve sore gums and improve dental health. 

- Anti-inflammatory: Due to its high content of flavonoids, aromatherapists use pure clove oil to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. 

- Anti-fungal: Clove oil is effective in curing athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

- Hepato-protective: An ethinolic extract of clove is found to be hepato-protective in paracetamol-induced liver injury. 

- Stress: Clove oil is a stress reliever. It has a stimulating effect on the mind and it removes mental exhaustion and fatigue. It also helps ful in patients suffering fromwith insomnia. 

- Clove oil has been shown to be effective in relieving muscle cramps and headaches. 

Ayurvedic preparation:

Lavanga means cloves and odak means infused water. Lavangodak, which is boiled water containing clove, is useful when there is loss of appetite, fever and rheumatoid arthritis because it digests ama (metabolic toxins).


4-5 whole cloves

A pinch of cinnamon (optional)

4 cups of water

Boil the water in a small pot. Add the cloves to the boiling water. Let the water boil and reduce it to 1 cup on a medium flame. Strain into a cup and add a pinch of cinnamon. 

Home remedies:

Local application of the paste of clove is helpful in relieving headaches caused by sinusitis. 

Chewing cloves helps with oral-dental disorders.  

Clove oil mixed with raw honey helps eliminate acne. 

*Please note that the use of clove essential oil should be used under the proper guidance of a health-care professional. Please consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician before taking any medication that has been discussed.

*Govender is registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa to practise Ayurveda. Her Ayurvedic practice is in Pretoria East. Visit


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