(NaturalNews)You may be familiar with clove oil used by the dentist. Some of us have used clove oil to self medicate a toothache. Clove oil is an externally applied local antiseptic that numbs on contact. But very few are familiar with a variety of other clove health benefits, which includes combating Candida.
Clove was originally indigenous to the Spice Islands, now known as Moluccas Islands of Indonesia. The largest producer of clove now is Zanzibar along with Pemba, an island that's part of the Zanzibar archipelago.
The evergreen Eugenia arena tree puts most of its punch into the pink flower buds that grow on it. The buds are picked before they fully flower. When the pink buds dry and turn brown, they are ready for market.
The dried buds contain an aromatic oily substance that is the essence of clove's medicinal and culinary properties. It's wise to purchase cloves in their bud forms. Purchased powders may have lost most of their potency by the time you buy and use them. Dried buds hold up to three times as long.
Whenever you want clove as a powder, you can grind the buds in a coffee grinder. When you shop for cloves, pinch the buds with your fingernails. You should get a strong aromatic scent and a slightly oily feel. Choose organic if possible to avoid irradiated clove spices.
Clove's oil is the key for spicing foods and promoting health. Cloves can be used to make teas by putting the buds or powder into hot (not boiling) water. But the biggest health bang for the buck comes from clove essential oil.
Clove oil is produced by a steam distillation process. So you're probably better off buying the oil rather than trying to make it yourself. Clove oil is available almost anywhere.
Clove oil is an unusually powerful antioxidant. Antioxidant capacity is measure by ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity). Although the dried buds or powders rank highly among anti-oxidants, clove oil is the monster antioxidant.
As an essential oil, clove's ORAC rating soars to over 10 million. Most other antioxidants are rated in the tens of thousands to a maximum of a few hundred thousand at best.
Producing the oil from clove buds concentrates clove's eugenol, the main active ingredient of clove. Eugenol is an anti-inflammatory. Clove's flavonoids also contribute to the high ORAC level of the essential oil.
And clove oil is a great anti-fungal. It's even recommended by many who treat Candida. The oil is also useful for direct applications to outer skin fungi, such as ringworm and athlete's foot.
Clove is one of the highest sources of manganese you'll find. Manganese is vital for metabolism, contributes enzymes, promotes bone strength, and also adds to clove's high ORAC antioxidant value.
Magnesium, calcium, vitamins C and K also make strong appearances in clove. Clove is high in fiber also. Omega-3 is in abundance in clove as well as many phytonutrients that enhance the immune system. Clove greatly boosts your humoral immunity, which protects your blood and tissues.
Clove has anti-viral anti-bacterial properties as well. It has been discovered to help prevent adult onset diabetes by tripling insulin levels.
Young children and pregnant or nursing women should avoid clove.
Clove oil is very strong. It can cause temporarily uncomfortable problems. Too much can cause manganese toxicity. So the oil should be diluted as a product or used by putting drops into tea.
About the author: Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com