Clove gets its history from the fresh word “clou” which means nail from its resemblance to nails.
Ancient Chinese emperors from the Han dynasty (207 BC) ordered visitors to chew clove before an audience. Clove has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for freshening breath, kill pain especially dental and treat nausea & vomiting amongst others.
Incidentally ancient Rabbis Talmud of Judaism provided bad breath as a valid reason to divorce one’s husband. Bad breath was considered a defect of the husband that a women does not need to tolerate.
Cloves have been used in Indian Ayurvedic, German herbal medicine, Ancient Chinese, Premature American, Indonesia and Sri Lankan systems for centuries. Even the bible mentions clove to be a rare spice.
Arab traders introduces cloves to Europe around the 4th century as a luxury item. Ancient romans considered clove as a precious spice through the 16th & 17th century. Its said that they were worth more than gold in weight. They were the cause of expeditions and wars some of which in 1522 became famous for Spain winning ships laden with clove & nutmeg.
The oldest known clove tree is estimated to be 350 to 400 years of age named “Afo” originated in Ternate.