A clove tea, perhaps enriched with orange peel and cinnamon, here is the winter herbal tea! This drink, in fact, is not only tasty and pleasantly scented, but it is a powerful source of antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory substances, especially useful for lung health. This is what emerges from a recent scientific research published a few months ago in the Pharmaceutical Biology journal by a French-Tunisian team (Chniguir et al, Pharm Biol, 2019).
Cloves, as indicated in the article, fight viruses, bacteria, tumors but, above all, inflammation. Inflammations, when persist chronic for a long time, cause damage to the affected tissues. In fact, out-of-control inflammations involve several cells of the immune system, such as macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils. The latter, in particular, cause the release of free radicals, enzymes and cytokines that damage tissues. To understand if cloves, because of their properties, can also be beneficial against lung inflammation, scientists have conducted experiments in vitro, that is in the laboratory, and in vivo. In particular, aqueous clove extracts were put in contact with neutrophils and, in a second part of the study, injected in case of lung inflammation induced by a bacterium. What emerged, in both cases, was that cloves, thanks to their eugenol content, were able to inhibit neutrophils and free radicals. Moreover, cloves acted by reducing the number of enzymes that are linked to lung inflammation and that, if left free, would cause tissue damage.