Health Benefits of Cloves

By elizabeth
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Cortes-Rojas, Diego Francisco, et al. 'Clove (Syzygium Aromaticum): a Precious Spice.' PubMed Central (PMC), Feb. 2014,
  • 2. Kuroda, Minpei, et al. 'Hypoglycemic Effects of Clove (Syzygium Aromaticum Flower Buds) on Genetically Diabetic KK-Ay Mice and Identification of the Active Ingredients.' PubMed, Journal of National Medicine, Apr. 2012,
  • 3. 'Spices, cloves, ground.' FoodData Central, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 Apr. 2019,
  • 4. 'Manganese.' Mount Sinai Health System,
  • 5. Santin, Jose, et al. 'Gastroprotective Activity of Essential Oil of the Syzygium Aromaticum and Its Major Component Eugenol in Different Animal Models.' PubMed, 8 Dec. 2010,
  • 6. Hu, Qiao, et al. 'Progress on the Antimicrobial Activity Research of Clove Oil and Eugenol in the Food Antisepsis Field.' Wiley Online Library, Journal of Food Science, 26 May 2018,
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Cloves come from the immature flower buds of clove trees. Whole cloves are the dried flower buds, and they may be consumed or used intact. They can also be ground up and added to foods and beverages as a spice.

The strong flavor and aroma of cloves are easily recognizable in sweet foods, such as pumpkin pie. The flavor is similar to that of nutmeg, but cloves are much stronger, and they have a slightly bitter undertone. Although they're most notably used as a seasoning in entrees and drinks, cloves also have a long history of use for their perceived medicinal benefits.

Contains Eugenol

Clove buds contain anywhere from 80 to 90 percent eugenol. In fact, cloves have the highest content of this chemical compound among the spices. Because eugenol has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, many view cloves as an excellent way to consume eugenol.

Studies by the United States Department of Agriculture, various universities and other research sources evaluated the strong antioxidant properties in cloves, which are explained in part by its high eugenol content. The antimicrobial properties of cloves may be helpful in many ways, such as boosting immunity, fighting inflammation and supporting healthy digestion.1Cortes-Rojas, Diego Francisco, et al. ‘Clove (Syzygium Aromaticum): a Precious Spice.’ PubMed Central (PMC), Feb. 2014,


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