Oh, the distinctive, satisfying, mouth-watering aromas of cinnamon and clove! They’re not only found in abundance during the holiday season, but they’re also enjoyable and beneficial all year round.
Just the smell of cinnamon has the ability to boost brain activity. In fact, research says that cinnamon improves the cognitive processes in memory, attention-focused tasks, visual recognition and visual-motor speed while working on any computer-based program.
Other health benefits of cinnamon include an essential oil in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde, which helps to support healthy blood clotting. Sometimes blood clots when it should not, which can lead to cardiovascular issues. Cinnamon helps to reduce blood clots and also serves to support healthy inflammation levels. The essential oils in cinnamon are also antimicrobial to help keep unwanted bacterial and fungal growths at bay.
Add that to cinnamon’s blood sugar balancing benefit, its antioxidant, calcium, manganese and high fiber content, and you have a pretty remarkable spice. Additionally, cinnamon helps to support colon and cardiovascular health and healthy cholesterol levels. And last, but not least, cinnamon has a warming effect on the body—a huge plus during cold weather months and when you may be fighting off a cold or flu.
Likewise, clove is a powerful antioxidant that is rich in omega-3s, fiber, vitamins C and K as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium and manganese. Clove also has the ability to activate many important enzymes in the body and also plays an important supporting role in proper fat metabolism.
The main bioactive element in clove is called eugenol, and clove is known to help fight bacterial and fungal invaders, to support healthy inflammation levels, to help balance blood sugar and to support gum health and cellular health.
Additionally, clove can help with breathing and to fight against congestion, colds and sore throats (when diluted—five drops of clove essential oil in ½ cup of pure water to gargle with, not to ingest) while soothing muscle spasms and fighting acne (when used as a paste of one Tablespoon each of ground cloves and raw honey, mixed with a squeeze of lemon, and left on the face for 20 minutes prior to washing off).
Clove tea can also be a warming, healthy beverage—especially in colder months. Use fresh, organic cloves and grind 1 Tablespoon of whole cloves. Pour one cup of boiling water over the cloves and let steep for about 15 minutes. Add organic stevia or raw honey to sweeten.
Clove oil is also offers protection against chiggers and mosquitoes, which is good to know, since products with chemicals such as DEET can have harmful effects. A couple drops of clove oil in the mouth can help keep it healthy and refreshed as well.
Go ahead and spice up your health this season with the amazing benefits of cinnamon and clove.