You might have a bottle of cloves sitting in your cabinet or spice rack that you haven’t touched since the holidays. But they have so many health advantages, especially when brewed in tea, like relieving tooth and gum pain, clearing up congestion, and inflammation.
The benefits of whole cloves on their own are wide-ranging, from helping you detox your liver to protecting your body against cancer. When you drink clove tea, you get all of those perks and more! Steeping cloves in hot water unlocks more of its flavor and releases its chemical compounds. Research from Harvard Health found that tea contains polyphenols, which are compounds that act as antioxidants to rid the body of toxins. This is why it’s considered such a healthy beverage!
The experts at Harvard Health note that drinking two to three cups of tea daily is linked with a lower risk of having serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Adding in the benefit of cloves to that makes it a no-brainer! So grab that bottle of cloves and get your tea kettle boiling to make this soothing drink.
For a quick and easy way to make clove tea, follow Food & Wine‘s method of steeping one tablespoon of whole cloves in a cup of boiling water for five minutes. Strain the mixture and pour it in a mug to drink while it’s warm. Also, you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days for when you need a healthy pick-me-up.
Relieves Gum and Tooth Pain
Having tooth aches and pains can cause a lot of irritation throughout the day, especially when you’re eating or drinking. Cloves have been used as a natural remedy to relieve tooth pain for centuries since they contains eugenol, a chemical compound that provides a soothing effect.
A study published in Drug Invention Today compared the pain-relieving benefits of cloves and garlic on two groups of participants who had severe tooth aches. Only 33 percent of the group who consumed garlic experienced relief compared to 54 percent who used clove. Researchers ultimately concluded that clove was more effective than garlic for quelling tooth and gum discomfort.
Instead of trying to chew on a whole piece of clove (which could cause more tooth pain), sipping on clove tea is an easy way get rid of the achy feeling.
Clears Up Congestion
Spring and allergies unfortunately go hand in hand. Coughing, congestion, sniffing, and sneezing can get the best of us during this season. If you want to skip the over-the-counter allergy medicine or it isn’t bringing quick enough relief, try brewing a cup of clove tea.
“Cloves work as an expectorant, loosening mucus in the throat and esophagus so you can cough it up,” Neil Schachter, MD, explained in an interview with Health.com. Although this doesn’t sound like the most fun way to clear up congestion and your sinuses, it’ll bring some much needed relief.
Dr. Schachter suggests adding other whole spices to your clove tea, like cinnamon and cardamom — both of which carry their own health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss, lowering blood pressure, and easing stress. To make his version of the tea, combine two crushed cardamom seeds, a small stick of cinnamon, and two whole cloves in a tea infuser (Buy on Amazon, $8.99) so you don’t accidentally swallow any of the spices as you’re drinking. You can then brew it in a large mug along with your favorite bag of tea for added flavor (Schachter uses black tea, but chamomile, green tea, or whatever you prefer works, too).
Let it steep for one to two minutes then remove the tea infuser and bag from the liquid. Also, you can let it cool down and throw in a few ice cubes to drink as a refreshing chilled beverage. Add a tablespoon of honey or a squeeze of lemon, and it’s ready to sip and ease any allergy symptoms.
Clove Tea’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Last but not least, clove tea can be an anti-inflammatory powerhouse for your body. The spice is often hailed as being a go-to home remedy to treat mouth inflammation, upset stomach, and nausea as Healthline notes. Consuming about half a teaspoon of it on a daily basis (most easily in the form of tea) can kick those properties into high gear and help you burn belly fat.
Spices like clove work to regulate the hormones and inflammation within your body that make it hard to get rid of that extra weight around your middle. By making it a regular part of your diet, stubborn fat doesn’t stand a chance and you can reach those weight loss goals much quicker.
So who says you only need to use certain spices during the fall or winter? The health benefits that come from drinking clove tea will give you all the more reason to enjoy it year round.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.