How to Make Clove Tea

You can make clove tea by steeping the ground spice in hot water. No evidence shows that cloves promote weight loss, but they offer other health benefits such as antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial effects.

To make clove tea, grind the spice, and let it steep in hot water for 20 minutes. Credit: Svetlana-Cherruty/iStock/GettyImages

Tips

To make clove tea, grind the spice, and let it steep in hot water for 20 minutes.

Add Cloves to Your Diet

It's easy to make clove tea. If this recipe is too strong for your preference, use fewer cloves.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

  • 1 quart water

  • Spice grinder

  • Pot

  • Mesh strainer

  1. Grind the whole cloves with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Turn off the heat, put in the cloves and steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea.

This recipe makes 4 cups of tea, which you may drink hot, cold or reheated. It will stay good for several days when stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

Cloves and other spices may be used to add flavor to foods, which can be especially helpful for people who have been told to reduce their salt intake, according to Michigan State University Extension. You should experiment with cloves when cooking vegetables. In addition, Harvard Health suggests adding the spice to bean soups, cooked grains, chili, baked goods, applesauce, cooked cereals and smoothies.

Cloves’ Uses and Benefits

An August 2014 study published in Oncology Research recounts how cloves have been used medicinally for thousands of years in China. The spice confers antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.

The authors of the Oncology Research study tested the anticancer effect of cloves on animals and cancer cells in test tubes. While the experiment didn't involve humans, the promising findings are worth mentioning. Results showed clove extract had cancer-fighting properties, so the authors concluded it might serve as a novel treatment for malignant growths.

Cloves are very rich in antioxidants, says Harvard Health. A January 2010 study published in the Nutrition Journal isn't recent, but it merits notice because it measured the antioxidant content of many spices and found cloves contained the most. In fact, cloves contained more than twice the antioxidant potential of the next highest spice, which was mint.

Read more: High Antioxidant Fruits & Vegetables

Harvard Health mentions a discovery published in a July 2009 study in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. The authors found that a compound in cloves was 29 times as potent as aspirin in preventing blood clots. Although the study isn't recent, the remarkable results that might have a bearing on cardiovascular health are worth noting.

Cloves' Side Effects and Safety

The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that cloves are likely safe when ingested in amounts commonly contained in foods. The safety of taking large medicinal amounts orally isn't known.

Sometimes a benefit can be a drawback in certain people. The compound in cloves that prevents blood clots might result in bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Clove oil or cream is possibly safe for direct application to the skin, but clove oil application on the mouth or gums can damage the teeth, gums and mucous membranes. Dried cloves may also irritate the mouth and dental tissues.

Read more: 11 Delicious Spices That Make It Easy to Hold the Salt

Injecting clove oil into the veins or inhaling smoke from clove cigarettes is likely unsafe. Either practice can cause lung disease or breathing problems.

Don't give clove oil to children orally. It's likely unsafe and can result in serious effects such as seizures, fluid imbalances and liver damage, adds the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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