top of page

Where Do Cloves Come From? The Intriguing History of Cloves

Did you know that 166,065 tons of cloves are produced worldwide each year? That's a lot of cloves!

So where do cloves come from? Read on to learn more about this fascinating spice including its origins, historical uses, and health benefits.

What Are Cloves?

So you may be wondering, what is a clove? A clove is the aromatic flower buds of S. aromaticum, which are most commonly used as a spice. The flowers are picked from the tree and dried out in the sun.

The buds are in the shape of a nail and have a reddish-brown coloring. Its name, clove, comes from the Latin word for nail because of its distinct shape.

Where Do Cloves Come From?

Ever wonder where did cloves originate? You don't have to look further than Indonesia. Cloves are known to come from the Indonesian islands called The Moluccas.

Known as the spice islands, the Moluccas are in present-day Indonesia. Many common spices are grown here, and this was a popular locale in the early days of the spice trade.

So where do cloves come from today? The vast majority of cloves are still grown in Indonesia. Today Madagascar, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka are also exporters of the popular spice cloves.

History of Cloves

The history of cloves is a part of the spice trade. There is a record of cloves being used as far back as the Han Dynasty in China in the second century BCE. Cloves made their way around the eastern hemisphere and made it to India in the second century CE.

Cloves were traded amongst some of the greatest ancient civilizations. Cloves were a part of life in the following cultures and places in the first few centuries:

GreekEgyptianPhoenician Mediterranean

Europeans did not learn of cloves until Marco Polo's travels. From there the spice was dispersed around the world, with various countries and cultures controlling the trade of the spice.

Health Benefits of Cloves

Cloves have both culinary and medicinal benefits for you to enjoy. The culinary world benefits from the strong and pungent yet sweet spice. Common uses for cloves in cooking and baking are spiced cookies and cakes.

Many dishes in Asian cuisines rely on cloves for their signature flair. It is frequently used in curries, rice, and teas, amongst other popular dishes.

Cook with cloves with caution, as their flavor is strong. Just a few cloves go a long way.

Cloves have also been used as a medicinal treatment for many ailments. Common uses are for oral symptoms, upset stomach, and various topical treatments. The use of cloves in your cooking or baking may soothe you in a variety of ways.

Experience the Benefits of Cloves

Now that you know about clove's origins, history, and health benefits, and can answer the question, "where do cloves come from?" you're ready to start reaping the benefits of cloves.

Shop Moms Chai today for authentic Indian Chai Masala, which features cloves amongst other real ingredients that you can pronounce.



bottom of page