The active principles in the clove are known to have antioxidant, antiseptic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
The spice contains health beneficial essential oils such as eugenol. It is a phenyl-propanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to the clove-bud. Eugenol has local anesthetic and antisepticproperties, hence it is useful in dental care essentials as well as in treatment procedures.
The other important constituents in this spice include:
essential oils: acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid
flavonoids: eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin
triterpenoids: such as oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol and several sesquiterpenes.
The active principles in the clove may increase gut motility as well as improve the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. Thus, helps relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
The spice also contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium. Potassium is an important electrolyte of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Further, the spice buds contain very good amounts of vitamin A and β-carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant Vitamin A is also required by the body for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin in addition to essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancer.
Additionally, this spice is a good source of vitaminK, vitaminB6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B1), vitaminC and riboflavin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
The essential oil, eugenol in this spice has therapeutic use in dentistry as a local-anesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gum.
Eugenol also has been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, but further detailed studies required to establish its benefits.
The beverage is sometimes used in treating flatulence and indigestion in traditional medicine preparations.
It is also believed to have natural anti-parasite (kills intestinal worms) function.
The essential volatile oils function as a rubefacient, meaning that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer, making it a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.