There has been some hype that cloves aid in vagina tightening. The rumor has it that if you soak cloves inside water for 2 to 3 days. The resulting water is used by our women to wash the vagina in anticipation that it will tighten the vagina and removes the odor. How true is this rumor?
As part of my literature review on this important subject, I found no evidence that cloves affect vagina tightening. However, there are many benefits we derived from cloves. In this article, I review the scientific benefits of using cloves.
For instance, Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol that might help decrease pain and fight infections. Eugenol has also been described as a natural anesthetic and can reduce pain.
Two animal studies (Ali et al.2014; Kuroda et al. 2012) found that the compounds in cloves may have numerous health benefits, such as support to liver health and lowering blood sugar levels.
Clove origin is traced to the Middle East and is considered Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine due to its purported aphrodisiac properties and ability to treat headaches and indigestion. It is a spice for cooking with the species name Syzygium aromaticum. It is predominantlygrown in India and Madagascar.
Immune support, fights bacteria
Cloves are loaded with antioxidants, especially the type called eugenol, which is a phenolic compound that can lower oxidative stress. This compound is present in concentrations of 80%–90% in clove bud oil and 82%–88% in clove leaf oil. One study by Nassar et al.(2007) also reported that there are other bioactive compounds isolated from clove extracts including flavonoids, thymol, benzene, and methylene chloride. Another study by Nagababu et al.(2010) also found that due to its antioxidant nature, eugenol can avert the development of chronic diseases and may help promote healthy aging.
Cloves also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, hence when you use whole or ground cloves to add flavor to your food can provide some important nutrients. For instance, USDA found that
One teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves contains:
- Calories: 6
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Manganese: 55% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 2% of the DV
(Takeda, 2003; Palacios, 2006)study reported that manganese is an essential mineral for maintaining brain function and building strong bones Apart from being a rich source of manganese, cloves are only used in small amounts and do not provide significant amounts of nutrients.
Shan et al. (2005) also found that Cloves are loaded with antioxidants and these antioxidants reduce oxidative stress helping fight chronic disease(Pham-Huy et al. 2008). One test-tube study also found that eugenol, a natural compound in cloves that prevents oxidative damage caused by free radicals is five times more effective than vitamin E, another potent antioxidant( Nagababu et al. 2010). One article by Dr. Josh Axe(2019) also reports that eugenol also acts as a natural germicide due to its antimicrobial properties. This makes it similar to raw garlic, another type of bulb that contains immune-boosting compounds, such as allicin, that fight bacteria growth.
Another study by Carrasco et al.(2010) also stipulates that cloves are loaded with other compounds with similar effects. For instance, averts the proliferation of some harmful microbes that may cause oral or gastrointestinal infections and diseases. The researchers also found that clove buds have immunostimulatory activities that can help promote immune response mechanisms. This is one reason why Clove extract and oil have found their way as a food preservative as they have the potential to help keep the growth of bacteria, including listeria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus, under control. These can contribute to food poisoning. Clove is also popular around the world in dentistry since it fights the formation of gum disease. For instance, Nzeako et al.(2006) found that the properties of cloves could even help promote oral health. Additionally, another animal test-tube study by Cai and CD(1996) reported that the compounds extracted from cloves were found to stop the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease.
Kothiwale et al.(2014) human study using 40 people and tested the effects of an herbal mouthwash consisting of tea tree oil, cloves, and basil for 21 days. The study reported that there were changes in gum health, as well as the amount of plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
Cloves, cancer prevention
Liu et al. (2014) test-tube study found that clove extract keeps aggression of tumors and promoted cell death in cancer cells. A previous test-tube study found the same results, demonstrating that concentrated amounts of clove oil caused cell death in 80% of esophageal cancer cells ( Dwivedi et al. 2010).
Fast forward, Hussain et al. (2011) test-tube found that due to the presence of eugenol in cloves it has anticancer properties. This antioxidant property promoted cell death in cervical cancer cells. Let me state that these test-tube studies used highly concentrated amounts of clove extract, clove oil, and eugenol. A previous study by Hartnoll, G(1993) found that a high level, of eugenol, is toxic and overdosage on clove oil can cause liver damage, especially in children. There is a need to conduct studies to determine how lower amounts may affect humans.
Cloves, liver support
Studies have found that the compound eugenol has the locus standi to support the liver. For instance, one animal study(Al-Okbi et al. 2014) fed rats with fatty liver disease mixtures containing either clove oil or eugenol. They found that both mixtures enhanced liver function, decreased inflammation, and lowered oxidative stress. On the other hand, Ali et al.(2014) animal study also found that the eugenol found in cloves can reverse signs of liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver. Do remember that these are animal studies only and human studies are limited.