Cook With This Delicious Bone Building Spice - Save Our Bones

With the holidays around the corner, we all start thinking about the wonderful flavors and scents that accompany the season. One of my favorites is hot mulled cider, which fills the house with the cozy scent of apples, cinnamon, and cloves.

Who would have ever thought that in addition to their delicious fragrance, nature has packed cloves with bone-healthy nutrients? Surprisingly, these miniature nail-shaped delicacies are rich in manganese, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids. If you have the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you know that all three are Foundation Supplements.

Just two teaspoons of ground cloves contain over 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance of manganese. Amazing!

But cloves are just one of many herbs and spices that can contribute to your bone health. We tend to think of spices merely for the distinct flavors they add to our recipes, yet each herb and spice has its own set of health benefits.

A Concentrated Bone Health Package

Cloves deliver an aromatic bone health punch because they contain:

  • Manganese, necessary for the synthesis of connective tissue in cartilage and bone. It's also involved in protein synthesis and fatty acid metabolism.
  • Vitamin K, which works synergistically with vitamin D to regulate the production of osteoclasts, cells that remove old bone so that new bone can be deposited in its place.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, best known for their anti-inflammatory effects. For bone health, omega-3s increase calcium absorption, help reduce bone loss, and maintain mineral density within bones. 1
  • Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that is crucial for collagen production.
  • And last but not least, the “old faithfuls” of bone health: calcium and magnesium.

Additionally, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium are important bone and collagen-building nutrients that help enhance fracture healing.

Adding Cloves to the Menu

Cloves can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are a few tips for using cloves and adding them to your bone-healthy diet:

  • For the best flavor and health benefits, purchase organic cloves when possible.
  • Try adding some Chinese Five Spice to stir-fries or marinades. This unique blend combines anise, cinnamon, and ginger with cloves to create a subtly sweet and spicy tang.
  • Add ground cloves to chili, stews, and bean soups.
  • Pierce an onion with whole cloves and add it to soups.
  • Add ground cloves to your stuffing recipe.
  • The flavor of cloves intensifies the longer they sit in warmed food, so take that into account when you're deciding how much to add. A little goes a long way.
  • Sprinkle some ground cloves over applesauce or baked apples.
  • Keep your jar of ground cloves tightly sealed, out of direct light, and try to use them within six months (they'll keep a little longer if you store them in the refrigerator).

Be Creative and Adventurous in Your Kitchen

Cloves are not your everyday spice, but they certainly are a healthy addition to your bone-smart pantry. With their exotic and sweet taste reminiscent of the tropics, you’ll want to find more ways to include them in your meals.

Here’s a delicious dessert recipe using ground cloves and other fragrant spices. I’m sure you’ll love it… and feel free to share your recipes with us below.

After I posted this article, several of you requested a recipe for mulled cider, so I've added my favorite holiday cider recipe just below the Scent-sational Cookies. Enjoy!

Scent-sational Cookies

Yields 24 cookies


1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegetarian butter
1/4 cup extra-light olive oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Use three bowls. In one bowl, blend applesauce and baking soda. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine butter, oil, sugar, honey, and eggs. Set aside.

In the third bowl, blend the flour, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 

Pour the butter mixture into the flour and spices bowl and blend well.

Mix in applesauce mixture, and stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Using a teaspoon, drop the dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes.

Vivian's Holiday Mulled Cider


1/2 gallon apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. nutmeg
Zest of one orange
2 whole cloves
3/4 to 1-1/2 tsp. stevia (liquid or powder) *


1. Bring all of the ingredients to a simmer over medium heat.
2. When you see little bubbles forming around the edges, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for about 20 minutes.
3.Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer before serving. **

* Adjust the amount of stevia to your preference. If you can't find stevia, you can use 2 Tbsp. sugar (preferably organic) instead.
** As an alternative to straining the cider, you can tie the cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest in a little cheesecloth packet and then remove the spice packet when you're ready to serve the cider.


1 Kruger, Horrobin. “Calcium Metabolism, Osteoporosis, and Essential Fatty Acids: A Review.” Progress in Lipid Research. 1997.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Greg Hill

    Cloves are one of those special ingredients that I choose to include in my diet every day on the theory that they contain relatively small amounts of some kind of special phytonutrients, maybe even several of them, that may not even have been scientifically identified yet. But the problem was, how to make it simple and automatic so it doesn’t require any special planning or effort. What I did was get myself a coffee/spice grinder, whole organic peppercorns and whole organic cloves. Once a week I grind up a batch of mostly black pepper but maybe 1/10 cloves and put it in a pepper shaker. I sprinkle a lot of pepper on my food just before I serve it, so getting small amounts of cloves on a daily basis as opposed to getting larger amounts at a time in less-frequently served special recipes just becomes automatic.

  2. Linda wood

    Do you have a calcium pill with all the things on the list?

    • Delia

      I am so glad that I found the Save our bone program and Vivian. I bought the program recently and also the Densercise. I am reading so much lately and I have started to follow the program. Thanks Vivian

  3. Beverly

    I have been using a 12 pound weight vest but find it to be quite heavy for me to wear very long. How long is enough and would a lighter weight one work just as well? Is it only effective when I stand or is it somewhat helpful when we sit also?

  4. Jill

    Are hemp hearts alkalizing or acidifying?

  5. bea mowry

    hi i think i read you to say at one time that you were coming out with a cook book if so when will that be i hope soon.also i am having an awful time cumming up with the 80/20 in the mornings when you have one ofyourscent-sational cookies how do you count it i guess i just must be stupid to this whole program i want so bad to build my bones back again help bea

  6. bea mowry

    ihave your book save our bones ihave osteoporosis and i want to get started on your program but i dont quite understand it is there anyway i can purchase a book of recipes my doctor wants to put me on the shot but i am scrad no i am terrafied please help me thank you

  7. Mazey

    Hi Vivian!
    I started using a weight vest made for women with bone issues about a yr ago and I have according to my latest bone density test am reversing the bone that I had lost!
    Thank you Viv for your site with so much valuable information that is great.
    I am so happy and I thank the commentator or person who recommended it on your web site .
    I had tried some vests in the past and after one walk put them away as they were too heavy and looked hiddeous
    Oh I will pass along the name of the vest if some ladies want to get a nice one which is perfect for women with osteoporosis it is really for women NOT men like many .
    Find this great little vest at web site ( very reasonably priced too)

    • Annie

      I Do not think this is the Forum to advertize your weight Vests..
      You seeem to go on many free websites, and others have mentioned they bought your vests, and where Not happy with them!
      Shame on you

  8. Teri

    I am 40 and I have been told I have osteoporosis. My score is -2.7 in both hips.

    I have been told to go on Fosomax.

    I do not want to due to the side effects and my age. Can weight training make a difference? Also, how soon can you see a difference in a dexa scan?

  9. Nancy Kay

    You mention taking a calcium supplement – CalAlgae. I have been unable to find this and cannot find any organic calcium other than coral calcium and I do not want to take that. I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. Do you know where one could purchase this calcium on line?
    Also I discontinued Fosomax after many years. I stopped in March of 2010. I had a two year follow up bone density in August 2010 and my density went down a number of percentages. I was under the assumption that stopping Fosomax one did not get a rapid bone loss, as happens when discontinuing HRT. I am trying to follow the new way of eating, though I must admit I love whole grains of all types so it is difficult to cut back. However, I would rather try this diet and never take another one of those horrid “bone building” drugs. Thank you for all the great information.

  10. Nu Ly

    Dear Vivian,

    I received your book “New Expanded Edition” on 15 Nov.10. I like the recipes, smoothies, Avocado Sandwich etc… It looks great, thank you.

    I received your book “New Expanded Edition” on 15 Nov. 10, I like the recipes, smoothies, Avocado Sandwich etc… It looks great, thank you.

    About the coves, I know a little, thank you for your hard work. Nu

  11. Irma


  12. Dorothy frybarger

    Dear Vivian. Thank you for your efforts on save our bones.TthankyouYor for your recipes.I loved your carrot cake. I just cooked your latest
    cookies you sent.YUM; We all loved them.

  13. Kay Stovall

    Hot mulled tea recipe?

  14. Felicity Banister

    Hi Vivian,

    May we have the receipe for the mulled cider please. Many thanks


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Felicity,

      For you and the others who requested a mulled cider recipe, I added my favorite to the article. You’ll find it just after the Scent-sational Cookies recipe.

  15. Margaret Keen

    Cloves contain Vit.K
    Being on Warfarin for a
    mechanical aortic valve replacement
    should I avoid cloves, as I am not
    supposed to take Vit.K?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Yes, Margaret, if you are supposed to avoid Vitamin K, you should not use cloves. It’s important to realize that when I talk about a particular food, I’m NOT saying you have to eat that food to benefit from the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. It’s just one option among many. So if you have issues with a particular food (or just don’t like it), there are plenty of other bone healthy choices!

  16. Eunice

    Hi Vivian:

    would you please forward your recipt of mulled cider for Thanksgiving.I like to serve this .for my children and grandkids. thanks a lot.


  17. Larry Scott

    How much new info is in your package now. I purchased the Save our Bones system more than 1 year ago and wonder what is different in this edition?


  18. Anna Marie

    Would it be too difficult to add amount/serving/calories…I love your recipes..Anna Marie

  19. Gerri D.

    Dear Vivian,
    I am so saddened when I hear women tell about their negative experiences when on these powerful drugs.I too experienced a lot of pain and many bad side effects when on these medications. It wasn’t until I came across your website that I was told the truth about what these meds can do to you,and how to regain bone density without putting the rest of my body at risk.No more DR.bullying for me ! I know the truth now thanks to you vivian.Please keep on enlightening women and men and maybe one day everyone will educate themselves and be able to make the right choices for themselves.
    All the best to you,
    Gerri D.

  20. milly perna

    i am with you all the way

  21. Kathie Roberts

    Vivian–I was also wondering about the e-zorb calcium and was wondering if you could tell us the supplements you take [name] and where to buy them . It would be of great help to us that don,t know what were doing [me]
    Thank you,

  22. Maria Gibson

    I wanted to know if you can put cloves in green tea (warm tea)?

  23. Patricia Morine

    Hot mulled cider recipe?

  24. Cathy

    Hi Vivian, I truly enjoy reading every one of your informative emails, so thanks :). I have a question concerning connective tissue disorders which runs on my dad’s side. I also have Osteopenia, and, thru diet, exercise and lots of professional advice such as yours, doing everything I can to improve my bone density without the harmful meds. I don’t have Lupus according to my Rheumatologist, but I do have a connective tissue disorder (I am ANA positive). I take very good care of myself and consider myself very healthy. Because of the connective tissue disorder and the fact that I’m taking certain herbs or supplements, is there anything I need to know concerning any harmful effects from taking herbs or supplements, or any food for that matter, in order to improve my bone health. My GP is not very knowledgeable or helpful when it comes to advice on this subject. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  25. Ms. L.

    Hi! Vivian,

    Thank You VERY MUCH For The Valuable Information You Sent Me, And The Great Recipe For The Scent-Sational Cookies, As Well.

    LOVE, MS.L.

  26. Zulaiha

    I am wondering how I can get your book! Zulaiha

  27. Maria c Rhodes

    Vivian I am still wandering about the calcium Aspartate Anhydrous supleplement sale by EZorb that claims to be the highest biovailability and maximum absorption. What is your opinion?

  28. Tayebeh

    Hello Vivian,

    Thank you for you wonderful comments, I’m
    following your programs & getting new information.
    Unfortunately, I have got developed osteoarthritis & osteopenia in hip. I used to take alendronate acid
    for two years, after finding out its disadvantage I gave up six months ago.
    I’ve been diagnosed ( MRI) degenerative spondylosis with significant L3/4 canal stenosis. I’m going to have an specific injection in theatre room next week. Some surgeon believe that I should have surgery, but I’m too scared. Your point of views would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  29. Mary Anderson

    Vivian: Thank you for the excellent idea of mulled cider for Thanksgiving. I have been searching my mind to decide what to serve my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren before dinner Thanksgiving Day. This is IT.

  30. Edith McEvoy

    I have Celiac Disease which is a Gluten Free Diet for the rest of my life. I need recipes which do not use wheat, rye, barley and oats. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I was on Actonel for five years but haven’t been on anything for the last two years. Thanks

    • Patricia Morine a magazine and web site for those with gluten intollerance. A selection of recipes and resources.

  31. Carol Malesky

    Vivian, I took Fosomax last year for about
    4-months and I started to lose my hair. I
    did not know why at first because I had been
    on Prednisone for awhile and I still am on
    it,only 6mgs a day and it has ruined my joints.
    When I read that Fosomax had hair loss I stopped taking it and it took about 5 months
    or more before my hair got strong again.It
    took a year with special shampoos to get it
    the way it was. I think the bone pills are
    a horrible way to tell people to gain bone
    density. I can’t get over the doctors that try
    to push these drugs. They scare you into taking
    them. Now my doctor is trying to tell me to
    take Forteo because it is more mild and has
    been on the market longer. I am confused.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Carol,

      I can’t make the decision for you, but neither should your doctor! Do your research, form your own bone health philosophy, and then decide. To help with that, take a look at the article I wrote about Forteo: The Forteo Mystery: What You Should Know About This Puzzling Drug

      • cindy

        I’ve lost 34% bone density and my doctor put me on forteo, one shot every day in the stomach, before I started taking forteo I wasn’t in constant pain, after taking forteo I found that I only had maybe the first forty five minutes of the day without pain. I quit taking it and now I have more than forty five minutes pain free. I wish I never took it. cindy

  32. jean

    Vivian, you are a mind of imformation. thank God there are people like you for people like us. Thank you again.

  33. Chloa Smith

    Everytime I see any of the ads on tv about the bone building drugs, I feel so sad because I know what horrible side effects they have. I appreciate the information you send out.

    • Rebecca

      Wow, I just found this site and and found it a day too late…I took Boniva for the first AND the last time a few days ago…after 3 days, the side effects came…what pain!!! it was unbelievable and soooo painful for about 2 days…feeling better now, but not 100%….never again will I take poison into my body…What an eye opener when I started reading more about those “bone building” drugs…Thank goodness for Vivien’s information and care for women’s health…

  34. Christine Gadsby

    Dear Vivien,

    I have read your book and your many emails with great interest. Thank you for fighting our corner!

    Would it be possible to give weights in recipies rather than cups, either in g/oz?

    Thank you very much.


  35. Mada

    I tried the Fosamax for 6weeks and cannot describe the pain I encountered in my right arm and left hip. It took 9weeks for the pain to go away after stopping the drug. My mother was on it for 14years and was in constant pain. When I took her off it the pain eventually subsided but it was to late, Arthritis has taken her over. She lost 14good years of her life to pain and I firmly believe it was the Fosamax.

    • Annie

      I do not think you can depend on everything a Dr. prescribes for you. You have to be ProActive about your own health, and find out for your self all the side effects.

      As Drs. say, there in Practice, which means, there practising on YOU!

      If anyone is having side effects, or notices changes in there body (Pain), from Drugs, Herbs, or Vitamins. Stop taking them for a couple of weekks.If you notice a change, and your pain free, your body was trying to tell you, STOP taking that Drug etc.

      This is NOT Rocket Science.

      Be well..

    • Sylvia

      Hi Vivian, would you also give diet advice to people suffering from arthritis as well since most of us have bone density problem are seniors have arthritis also, especially osteoarthritis. Thank you.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Hi Sylvia,

        Although the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is designed for osteoporosis and osteopenia, it can help with other conditions, including arthritis, because of its pH balanced approach. Currently, my time and energies are focused on my research into osteoporosis and bone health issues, but I may be branching out into other areas in the future.

  36. Kathy R.

    I remember when I was young my Mother used to season her roast with some cloves. And she used to use it for toothaches as well. Very interesting how it can also be good for our bones. Thanks for the important information.

  37. Jean

    Is it possible to format your recipes – I really want to try that cookie recipe – in a way that they are easily printable? Thanks again for good ideas, good recipes, and good advice!

    • marianne

      Why don;t you high light it and print selection. Easy enough!

  38. Marie Pinschmidt

    Vivian, I’m following your program and feel great, but would you comment on Coumadin use. I’m avoiding some of the things you suggest ( like cloves, and dark greens, because of the Vitamin K content. Thanks. Marie

    • Elene Gusch, DOM

      This section needs to be updated. Those on Coumadin are no longer being required to avoid foods with vitamin K, and this has been the case for a few years now. They’re just advised to have the same amount of K-containing foods every day.

      Also, cloves are typically eaten only in small amounts, so they would be unlikely to have much effect on blood clotting anyway.

      The statement in this article about two teaspoons of ground cloves having 60% of the daily requirement for manganese being “amazing” is irrelevant at best, since no one would eat two teaspoons of cloves per day.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Marie,

      Yes, you’re correct that you need to ignore my recommendations about taking Vitamin K, since it interferes with coumadin. But everything else in the Program applies equally and should work just fine for you.

      • Annie

        Hello Vivian,
        Would you know why, when I take any type of Vitamin K , I get Leg Cramps?
        If I eat too many Organic greens I also get leg cramps. I do know Greens have K in them also.

        I do take 400mg aday of Magnisium.

        Thank you, and for all your Help for Osteoporosis,

        • Linda Murdock

          I have been useing this for years for leg and foot cramps. Put a partial or whole bar of Ivory soap between you mattress protector and your fitted sheet down where your feet would be. I don’t know what it is, but I no longer get cramps, and I have passed this on to others and they have found it to work. I even travel with it. It’s a really easy and inexpensive fix. Good luck.

  39. Sharon

    Recipe sounds yummy,is the amount of honey 1/2 cup?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Yes, Sharon, it’s 1/2 cup. Sorry about the omission and thanks for pointing it out! 🙂 I’ve made the correction in the article.

  40. Magda

    I have been a Fosamax user for 2 years. It is a very bad drug. Very dangerous. I am in shock people still taking this drug after so many people come forward with their problems.

    I am not on this medication for 5 years now. I have sever dental problems since. Now I am taking natural products. Thank you to Vivian to keep looking into how can we naturally build our bones.

    Magda Pakocs November 13, 2010

  41. Pam Hartfield

    I have just been to the Dentist & been advised that because I am taking Fosamax my jaw bone has been weakened & dental work is now a serious problem. I’m sure whis was not mentioned when first prescribed the drug.

    I have lost faith in the mainstream Medical profession & feel that they no longer place the patients first. Large Pharmiceutial Companies are creating products that create more problems than they solve.

    I will now endeavour to overturn years of habits & re educate myself & my family to the alternate ways to a future healthy lifestyle.

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