Originating in Indonesia, cloves are dried flower buds from the clove tree. Their name comes from the Latin word clavus, which means nail since the shape of a dried clove resembles that of a nail.
People have used cloves in cooking and traditional medicine for many years, but it is only recently that scientists have begun studying their potential health benefits.
Cloves are commonly used in Ayurveda, which is traditional Indian medicine. They have also been used traditionally to cause a numbing sensation.