Candida infection can easily be treated with just a few alterations in life style. There are some spices that possess properties for curing Candida infections. Cloves are among one of those spices. These are considered to be one of the best “foods for life” as they have many medicinal properties and health benefits.
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This quiz not only tells about the odds of infection from Candida albicans, but also mentions the therapeutic and preventive measures to be taken in case of a Candida infection.
What is Clove?
Cloves are known to be flower buds of a tree known as Syzgium aromaticum. Cloves are commonly used as spices. They usually grow in Indonesia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and India. Flowers on a clove tree are grouped in terminal clusters and so the cloves. When harvested, cloves are 1.5 to 2 centimeter in length. A clove is basically a long calyx that terminates with the four spreading sepals and four petals which remain opened (Germplasm Resources Information Network).
Use of cloves as medicinal agent dates back to ancient civilizations. Cloves are being used in Indian Ayurvedic medicines, Chinese medicines as well as herbalism for centuries. Earliest use of cloves is reported in Chinese Empire by as far as 200 BC. Kamatou and colleagues confirmed that Eugenol is the major chemical found in cloves, to the presence of which, this spice possesses medicinal properties and health benefits.
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How can clove help against Candida overgrowth?
It has been proven through many studies that cloves effectively ameliorates Candida albicans infection in mouth and genital region. Cloves as a spice used for fungal diseases in form of clove tea. In a study conducted by Nunez and colleagues in 2001, it was observed that clove tea possess a powerful effect on yeast fungi, especially the fungal strains such as Candida albicans.
Clove has a chemical called eugenol which is the main ingredient involved in anti fungal properties. The antiseptic characteristics of eugenol enable it to effectively kill Candida species. This chemical is also involved in boosting of immune system which further kills the fungus.
- Clove kills the fungi and inhibit further growth of Candida albicans.
- Clove boosts the immune system which enhances the killing and inhibition of Candida species.
How to take clove as a medicinal agent?
Clove is usually taken in the form of clove tea, as it is not safe to take clove oil internally. Grind one tablespoon of whole cloves per cup of tea with a spice grinder or break the cloves down with a mortar and pestle. The cloves should not be completely pulverized into a powder but should be ground down to small pieces to allow for straining. This tea not only contains eugenol but also has ingredients including eugenyl acetate, caryophyllene and iocaryophyllene. All of these ingredients have role in killing of Candida species.
Clove tea can also be made using cinnamon at the same time, further enhancing the medicinal properties. Cloves can also be taken as they are in the form of spices, they can be added to foods. It is mainly Asian dishes that contain cloves in them, such as curries and stir-fry dishes.
Who should take Clove?
Clove can be effectively taken by people who are:
- Wanting to reduce the time it takes to wait for Candida to clear
- Suffering from fungal infections like candidiasis and athletes foot
- Suffering from gastro- intestinal cancers
- Experiencing tooth ache and teeth related problems
- Suffering from stomach problems
- Finding it difficult to maintain a beneficial microbial balance
- Have difficulty in breathing
- Have kidney stones
- Have cirrhosis of the liver
What dosage to take?
Clove oil has very high concentration of the active ingredient eugenol in it, and should not be taken internally. Clove oil can be placed in very small amounts ( a few drops) in an aromatherapy burner, this will dissipate the clove fragrance through the air, purifying it. Clove tea can be taken 2 times daily. Cloves as a spice can also be taken as they are once or twice a day, one or two whole cloves at a time.
Some people find it difficult to ingest clove tea. In this case, clove tea should first be taken in a very small amount or diluted with plenty of water and the dose may be increased with time.
Benefits of clove
Some of the health benefits provided by clove are as under:
- It is used to improve peristalsis
- It kills helminthes hence used as anti-helminthes
- Used for digestive problems
- Relieves toothache
- Increase muscle strength
Different side effects of clove – if taken in very high doses
Cloves are also known to possess minor side effects when taken in a very large quantity
- They can cause seizures and sedation
- Sore throat is a common problem experienced by people taking too many cloves
- Excess use of clove can lead to kidney stones and even kidney failure (e.g. 10 cups of strong clove tea a day or by way of using lots of clove oil internally).
- Liver damage can also be caused by cloves
Be cautious not to take cloves if you are pregnant or a lactating mother. Some people are allergic to cloves, they should also avoid it.
Clove and die-off effect
Clove is observed to kill cells of Candida albicans present in gut. This effect may cause what we know of as the “die off” effect. When Candida cells are rapidly killed in body then a die-off occurs in which the metabolic system releases some chemicals in gut that are toxic for health. When Candida cells are killed in body, they can potentially release many different kinds of toxins that are not good for health. As Candida is the part of natural gut flora, a complete and entire elimination of this pathogen is not required nor desired. For this purpose, clove tea should be taken in small amounts and after getting rid of the problem, it should be avoided. This will inhibit any long term effects of a reduction in beneficial microflora.
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Foods that are great source of clove:
As cloves have an intense flavour and aroma, these can be added in daily life foods to add flavour and aroma. Cloves can also be grounded and added in foods as clove powder.
- Can be added in soups and broths
- Can be added as powder on fruits to spice them up
- Are used in many Indian dishes
- Can be used in stuffing recipes