Preclinical research has revealed that cloves have the ability to stop the development of certain malignant cells in some types of cancer, including ovarian and colon cancers.
The truth is that these aromatic flower buds have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Indonesian, Thai and Kampo medicine or in Ayurveda. Cloves can treat various types of infections caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi, relieve pain, teeth infections, treat gastrointestinal disorders or spleen and kidney medical conditions.
Few of us know that more than a third of the modern anticancer agents are derived from natural herbs. Unfortunately, most of the medicinal herbs have been overlooked, scientists trying to make up for the lost time in this area. More and more plants are being tested, and cloves have proven to be quite a potent anticancer agent.
Can cloves stop cancer?
Laboratory researchers at the University of Minnesota, China’s Capital Medical University and the University of Pittsburg have shown that clove extracts have the ability to stop the growth of breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer and liver cancer cells, not being harmful to the healthy cells. Scientists have observed that the more clove extract was applied, the greater the anticancer effect.
The most potent extract was an ethanol extract, obtained after soaking cloves in 95% alcohol for 72 hours. During this process, the medicinal compounds were released, and the result was a concentrated tincture. Some of the cloves’ medicinal compounds that have proven to have the most powerful anticancer effect were eugenol and oleanolic acid.
Back in 2013, the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that oleanolic acid has the potential of arresting and stopping the cell development in pancreatic cancer. This acid can alter the genes of the cancerous cells and interfere with the mitochondria of the malignant cells.
Other therapeutic properties of cloves
Cloves have wonderful anesthetic, antiseptic, antibiotic and aphrodisiac properties. It is very much used in Arab and Asian countries to combat a variety of infections with E.coli, Staphylococcus or Pseudomonas, sometimes with better results than antibiotics. Cloves are also used as a mosquito repellent, as a remedy for warts, scars, and acne, for insomnia or headaches.
This medicinal plant can also be used as blood thinning agent and as a digestive aid for gas, nausea, diarrhea, colic and bloating. Thanks to its antispasmodic properties, the herb helps relieve muscle spasms and aids women in preparation for childbirth.
Although it might take a long time until scientists would find a remedy for cancer, the results of the studies made on cloves and other medicinal plants seem promising, giving hope that one day we will be able to treat this deadly disease. We hold hope that, in the future, the anti-cancer agents in cloves will lead to a scientific breakthrough and to the development of new and efficient drugs to combat cancer, which is among the top 5 deadliest diseases according to the World Health Organization.