The Holiday Spice that Fights Cancer

I love Christmas. I love decorating my tree, admiring beautiful and multi-colored lights emanating from homes in my neighborhood, enjoying the delicious and homemade food, and inhaling the spicy and pungent aromas of the holidays. Even just catching a waft of mulled cider or wine is enough to transport me to some of the finest holiday celebrations I’ve experienced. The aroma of cloves is one of the quintessential holiday scents. And while the real stuff (not those awful fake fragrance blends) smells amazing, it’s much more than just a lovely scent; it also offers health benefits.

That’s because new research found that cloves contain many anti-cancer compounds and offer hope for the natural treatment of cancer. According to the study, published in the medical journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, cloves contain phenolics, oleanic acids, betulinic acids, and dimethyl cardamonins—all of which are natural compounds that have demonstrated anti-cancer properties. Don’t worry: you don’t have to remember or even be able to pronounce their names to benefit from these healing compounds.

An earlier study published in the medical journal Pharmacognosy Research, also found that cloves help fight breast cancer. According to this study, cloves work against cancer in multiple ways: by acting as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic agents, they have the potential to work against cancer on several levels. The scientists concluded that cloves “are promising sources for the development of anticancer agents.”

But we don’t have to wait for scientists to extract compounds in laboratories to start benefiting from cloves’ many anti-cancer compounds that Mother Nature has already packaged so nicely. As is typically the case with herbs, they tend to work best in their whole form since many of the compounds work synergistically.

What’s more: cloves are available in abundant supply, are affordable, easy to tolerate, and safe to use in moderation, making them both potent medicine and delicious food. You can enjoy cloves in many ways. They are excellent in mulled apple cider or wine, but have many other uses, including: ground and added to spice cakes or cookies, added to soups or stews, made into tea and incorporated into curries and Asian-inspired dishes.

Cloves are traditionally added to chai mixtures and are added to coffee in Ethiopia. They are also ground and added to Indian garam masala mixtures for use in curries and other Indian dishes. You’ll often find a dash of cloves in eggnog, or in higher amounts in pumpkin pies. They are also one of the classic ingredients in bechamel sauce—typically made from butter, milk, flour and seasonings but which can easily be made from plant-based ingredients like olive oil, almond milk, and gluten-free flour, along with cloves, salt and pepper, and nutmeg.

Cloves are also often used in Greek cakes, sweets, stewed fruits, making preserves, or in cooking some meat dishes (typically pork). The pungent spice also makes an appearance in the delicious Chinese 5-Spice blend used in many traditional Chinese dishes, along with Szechuan peppercorns, star anise, fennel seeds, and cinnamon.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with cloves but remember: this pungent spice is potent in both flavor and health benefits so a little goes a long way.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter Worlds Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.

 

88 comments

Thomas M
Thomas M3 months ago

thank you for sharing

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Marija M
Marija M5 months ago

tks

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Chad Anderson
Chad A6 months ago

Thank you.

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Ingrid A
Past Member 6 months ago

Thank you

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Tabot T
Tabot T6 months ago

Thanks for sharing!

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Marija M
Marija M6 months ago

tks very much for sharing

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John J
John J6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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berny p
berny p6 months ago

thank you!

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Frances G
Past Member 6 months ago

thank you

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