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You might associate them with festive beverages and spiced bakes. Not just something that’ll add a little extra spice to food and drink, cloves are also packed with potential benefits for the body…
Cloves are a spice native to the Spice Islands – an archipelago in northern Indonesia. Nowadays, they’re grown across the globe and used in many different cuisines.1
When unprocessed, cloves are actually the flowers of the Syzygium aromaticum tree. They’re picked and dried to form the small, pointy cloves you can buy in shops today. It’s also possible to buy ground cloves, too.
You may just consider cloves as a lovely addition to dishes and sauces. The main reasons for this include the fact they:
Just like carrots, cloves get their rich colour from beta carotene.2 This type of compound contains various antioxidants, plus it can famously be converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is needed for the immune system, the skin, and the eyes.3
As well as supporting the body’s production of vitamin A, cloves also contain high amounts of manganese. This mineral helps the body make enzymes which perform essential roles, such as helping digest food.4
As well as gaining antioxidants from numerous vitamins and minerals, cloves also contain a natural antioxidant known as eugenol. Antioxidants are essential as they help the body fight off free radicals which can cause oxidative stress and critical changes to the cells.5
Cloves have also been studied for their ability to stop the growth of bacteria. This has made them a popular ingredient in natural toothpaste and mouthwashes.6
The sweet yet spicy flavour of cloves has long made them an ingredient in sauces, curries, and even cakes! After some ideas on how to make use of cloves? Here are a few to get you started7:
Remember that cloves have a more pungent taste than many other spices so you should use them sparingly. Whole cloves will keep their flavour for longer and can easily be ground down in a pestle and mortar.
Shop our complete range of herbs, spices and seasonings and discover even more ways to liven up your kitchen over on the Health Hub.
Last updated: 8 April 2021
Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019
Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry
Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.
After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.